Wests Tigers will kick off season 2016 when they take on the New Zealand Warriors at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Saturday, March 5 at 5:30pm.
Starting the season with a home game for the first time since 2013, Jason Taylor’s side have plenty of reasons for optimism against a Warriors side touted by many to be the best ever — and we’ve crunched the numbers to prove why that confidence should exist.
In their last two games against the New Zealand Warriors at Campbelltown, Wests Tigers have scored 50 points on both occasions. In 2010, it was a 50-6 victory for the home side with Chris Lawrence and Robbie Farah both scoring tries, while their most recent encounter in Round 25, 2015 saw Wests Tigers deliver a 50-16 win. Only the North Queensland Cowboys have twice put 50 points on the Warriors in that time.
Wests Tigers have lost just eight of their last 23 games at Campbelltown Sports Stadium, despite winning just two of their four games at the venue in 2015. Meanwhile, the Warriors haven’t won at the ground in eight years, with their last win at Campbelltown coming in Round 19, 2008, where they won 28-16.
Saturday’s game will be the only game that the Warriors play in Sydney until Round 16 — an incredible streak that could work in favour of the home side. In fact, the Warriors have only played Wests Tigers in Australia on a Saturday once before, with Wests Tigers producing a 20-12 win at Leichhardt Oval in Round 2, 2011. Speaking of Saturday, the Warriors haven’t been able to win any of their last five Saturday afternoon/night games.
The first home game of the year is always a special occasion for any team, and perhaps none more so than Wests Tigers. Incredibly, Wests Tigers haven’t lost their opening home game of the year since 2007 — a streak bettered only by the Melbourne Storm.