Wests Tigers will take on South Sydney in their first Thursday night game of the year this week as they look to bounce back from a disappointing last-start defeat.

Despite impressive performances throughout the last month, Jason Taylor’s were simply blown away by the Canberra Raiders last weekend — losing 60-6 for their biggest defeat of the season and their sixth loss in succession since a Round 2 win over the Sea Eagles.

Facing just a five-day turnaround heading into this week’s game, however, might well be a blessing in disguise for the visitors, who will be keen to redeem themselves and stake their claim against a strong Souths pack. Taylor’s men will be without both Aaron Woods and Tim Grant due to injury, but with one of the most exciting backlines in the NRL at their disposal, there’s no doubting the threat that Wests Tigers still possess going forward.

While their defeat to the Broncos wasn’t as severe as that of their opponents this week, South Sydney haven’t exactly been in the greatest run of form heading into Round 9 either. Michael Maguire’s men have been beaten by 26 and 22 points in their past two games, and have won just once since Round 2 — that win also coming against the Sea Eagles.

They’ll welcome back George Burgess into the fold this week, but Adam Reynolds still remains in doubt after suffering another knock to his jaw in last Friday’s defeat.

It’s shaping as an intriguing battle on Thursday night between two teams desperate to end a challenging few weeks — read on for a full preview of this Round 9 encounter.

Be there as Wests Tigers wear their first ever Indigenous Jersey against the Bulldogs!

Match Details

Date — Thursday, April 28, 2016

Time — 7:50pm AEDT (Gates Open 5:30pm)

Venue — ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park

 

Match Officials

On-Field Referees — Ashley Klein and Matt Noyen

Touch Judges — Jeff Younis and Kasey Badger

Review Officials — Luke Patten and Steve Chiddy

 

TV, Live Stream and Radio Information

TV — Live via Channel 9, Fox Sports 1 (subscription required)

Live Stream — Foxtel Go, NRL Digital Pass (subscription required)

Radio — FM 104.9 Triple M, ABC 702 ABC Grandstand (check local guides)

 

Confirmed Squads

South Sydney Rabbitohs

 

Wests Tigers

Greg Inglis (capt.)

1

James Tedesco

Dane Nielsen

2

David Nofoaluma

Kirisome Auva’a

3

Tim Simona

Bryson Goodwin

4

Kevin Naiqama

Aaron Gray

5

Jordan Rankin

Luke Keary

6

Mitchell Moses

Adam Reynolds

7

Luke Brooks

Thomas Burgess

8

Ava Seumanufagai

Damien Cook

9

Robbie Farah

David Tyrrell

10

Tim Grant*

Chris Grevsmuhl

11

Curtis Sironen

Kyle Turner

12

Chris Lawrence (capt.)

Sam Burgess

13

Sauaso Sue

Cameron McInness

14

Josh Aloiai

Jason Clark

15

Dene Halatau (capt.)

Nathan Brown

16

Kyle Lovett

George Burgess

17

JJ Felise

Michael Maguire

Coach

Jason Taylor

* will miss Sunday’s game with injury

 

2016 Recent Results

Wests Tigers

R4 — Parramatta Eels 8 def. Wests Tigers 0

R5 — Cronulla Sharks 34 def. Wests Tigers 26

R6 — Newcastle Knights 18 def. Wests Tigers 16

R7 — Melbourne Storm 19 def. Wests Tigers 18

R8 — Canberra Raiders 60 def. Wests Tigers 6

 

South Sydney Rabbitohs

R4 — Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 42 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 12

R5 — South Sydney Rabbitohs 16 def. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 12

R6 — Sydney Roosters 17 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 10

R7 — North Queensland Cowboys 44 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 18

R8 — Brisbane Broncos 30 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 8

 

Last Time They Met — Wests Tigers 34 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 6 (R14, 2015)

Last time these two sides met, it was all Wests Tigers as they thrashed the South Sydney Rabbitohs despite missing the likes of Aaron Woods and Robbie Farah. James Tedesco, Luke Brooks and David Nofoaluma all grabbed tries in the win while former Martin Taupau also crossed the line in the comprehensive 28-point win for the home side.

Wests Tigers 34 (James Tedesco 2, Martin Taupau 2, Luke Brooks, David Nofoaluma tries; Pat Richards 5/6 goals) def. South Sydney 6 (Bryson Goodwin tries; Adam Reynolds 1/1 goals)

 

The History

·       Against the Rabbitohs — Played 26, Won 11, Lost 15, Drawn 0

·       At ANZ Stadium — Played 11, Won 5, Lost 6, Drawn 0

 

Player to Watch — Luke Keary, South Sydney Rabbitohs

While much of the focus will be on Adam Reynolds and whether he will be selected for the hosts this week, Luke Keary has shown he’s more than capable of handling the additional responsibility in the middle this season. Having beat of Cody Walker for the No.6 jersey, Keary has been impressive in the last fortnight — setting up a try against the Cowboys — and has shown a willingness to get through plenty of work defensively too. So far this season, Keary has averaged over 24 tackles per game, missing only 2.5.

 

Three Final Facts

·       Wests Tigers and South Sydney come into this match having scored the same number of tries so far in season 2016 — 29 through eight games.

·       Robbie Farah has scored more tries (10) against South Sydney than any other team

·       Wests Tigers have never won on a Thursday, losing all three of their matches so far