After a last start defeat to the Gold Coast Titans, Wests Tigers will be looking to turn it around this week when they take on familiar foes in the Parramatta Eels.
Both teams come into Monday’s match with two wins and a loss to start the year, and we’ve crunched the numbers to show that Jason Taylor’s side should have plenty of confidence heading into the blockbuster Easter Monday clash at ANZ Stadium.
While the overall head-to-head might show a slight advantage for Parramatta, who have won 17 from 31, recent history shows that Wests Tigers seem to produce the goods against the Eels. This week’s hosts have won eight of the last 11 games between the two sides, and haven’t lost the first meeting of the season between the two since 2011.
The Easter Monday clash between Wests Tigers and Parramatta is quickly becoming an important fixture on the NRL calendar, and so far, it’s been dominated by Wests Tigers. Wests Tigers have won both of the Easter Monday games since it’s inception two years ago — recording a 21-18 win in season 2014 and a 22-6 victory in season 2015.
They might have won last Friday night’s clash against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, but ANZ Stadium is far from a happy hunting ground for the Eels, who have lost 19 of their last 22 games at the venue — one of which did come against Wests Tigers last year. And if we look all the way back to 2011, Brad Arthur’s side have also won just six of their last 19 games played on a Monday afternoon or night.
On the other hand, Monday’s seem to be better for Wests Tigers, who have won five of their last seven Monday night games. Jason Taylor’s side have already played and won on a Monday this year, beating the Manly Sea Eagles 36-22 at Leichhardt Oval.
Coming off his first ever three-try haul against the Gold Coast Titans last week, Kevin Naiqama will be looking to continue his strong start to the season this year when he takes on the Eels — a team he certainly doesn’t mind coming up against!
In his two meetings against Parramatta last year, the Fijian international scored three tries, while three is also the number of try-assists he has recorded in the 2016 season so far.