After a gripping loss against the Sydney Roosters in torrential conditions last Sunday, Wests Tigers will be looking to bounce back on a short five-day turnaround when they host the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium this Friday night.
Jason Taylor’s men will welcome a much drier track to that of last Sunday, with the conditions contributing to the side’s low competition rate of 68% (compared to 76% average).
The home side welcome back Robbie Farah at hooker after being rested following a head knock and Origin commitments, with Elijah Taylor shifting back to his preferred position at lock, after another mammoth defensive effort where he racked up another 50 tackles.
Former South Sydney forward Tim Grant has also been named to make a return against his old side, and will no doubt be fired up having missed their clash earlier this year.
Their inclusions see JJ Felise and Michael Chee Kam head back to the Intrust Super Premiership side that will play Illawarra on Saturday, with Chee Kam named as 18th Man.
South Sydney were beaten in heartbreaking fashion during golden point against the Titans in Perth, and like the Wests Tigers, will be coming off a short turnaround having only returned to Sydney on Monday. Michael Maguire’s men have had a solid month prior to that result, winning two games and having a bye and will look to continue that this week.
History is fairly even between the two sides, with Souths up by just three wins overall since 2002. And despite winning seven of their last 10 against the home side, Wests Tigers have won the last two encounters and will be looking to beat the visitors twice in a season for the first time since 2008. With both teams on six competition points, the match also looms as critical one for the finals hopes of both teams after the halfway mark of the year.
Can the Wests Tigers beat South Sydney twice this season? Read on for a full Match Preview including all the team news, history, stats and more for #NRLTigersSouths!
Date — Friday, June 10, 2016
Time — 7:50pm AEST
Venue — ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park
On-Field Referees — Matt Cecchin and Matt Noven
Touch Judges — Jason Walsh and Adam Reid
Review Officials — Jared Maxwell and Ben Galea
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 — AM 2GB 873, ABC 702 ABC Grandstand (check local guides)
For Wests Tigers, Robbie Farah and Tim Grant return to the side after missing last week’s clash with the Roosters. Their inclusions see Michael Chee Kam and JJ Felise drop out and named in the Intrust Super Premiership. For the visitors, Souths Coach Michael Macguire has named an unchanged line-up with Greg Inglis again named in the halves, although playmaker Luke Keary is in doubt with an ankle injury, which could see some positional changes to the side.
WESTS TIGERS — 1. James Tedesco 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Tim Simona 4. Kevin Naiqama 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Mitchell Moses 7. Luke Brooks 8. Aaron Woods 9. Robbie Farah 10. Ava Seumanufagai 11. Josh Aloiai 12. Chris Lawrence 13. Elijah Taylor (Interchange: 14. Sauaso Sue 15. Dene Halatau 16. Tim Grant 17. Kyle Lovett 18. Michael Chee Kam) — Coach: Jason Taylor
SOUTH SYDNEY — 1. Cody Walker 2. Alex Johnston 3. Kirisome Auva'a 4. Bryson Goodwin 5. Dane Nielsen 6. Greg Inglis 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Burgess 9. Cameron McInness 10. Nathan Brown 11. Paul Carter 12. Kyle Turner 13. Sam Burgess (Interchange: 14. Luke Keary 15. Jason Clark 16. Siosifa Talakai 17. David Tyrrell) — Coach: Michael Maguire
2016 Recent Results
R9 — Wests Tigers 30 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 22
R10 — Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 36 def. Wests Tigers 4
R11 — Wests Tigers 20 def. Newcastle Knights 12
R12 — Wests Tigers 19 def. Brisbane Broncos 18
R13 — Sydney Roosters 32 def. Wests Tigers 18
South Sydney Rabbitohs
R8 — Brisbane Broncos 30 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 8
R9 — Wests Tigers 30 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 22
R10 — South Sydney Rabbitohs 22 def. Parramatta Eels 20
R11 — South Sydney Rabbitohs 34 def. St George Illawarra 24
R13 — Gold Coast Titans 29 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 28
Last Time They Met — Wests Tigers 30 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 22 (Rd.9, 2016)
Both these sides met just five rounds ago and it was Wests Tigers who sprung an upset, after being rated a small chance following their heavy defeat to Canberra a week prior and on a short turnaround. Mitchell Moses was a late withdrawal after failing to get through the warm up but it proved to be no distraction for the visitors, who posted 20 points in as many minutes to race to a commanding lead. Halves partner Luke Brooks had the ball on a dime during the game, scoring a try and setting up James Tedesco for the opening four-pointer of the match. Souths responded with three tries before and after the break to get back within two points, however Brooks ensured the visitors’ lead extended when he placed a pinpoint grubber for Rankin to score his second. David Nofoaluma secured the win with a try from a short side play with six minutes remaining and Wests Tigers snapped a six game losing streak.
· Against the Rabbitohs — Played 27, Won 12, Lost 15, Drawn 0
· At ANZ Stadium — Played 12, Won 6, Lost 6, Drawn 0
Player to Watch — Greg Inglis, South Sydney Rabbitohs
Following the defeat to Wests Tigers back in round nine, Souths coach Michael Macguire made the decision to shift Greg Inglis from fullback to five-eighth and the visitor’s form has improved as a result. The Australian representative has four try assists in three games and is averaging over 120 metres since shifting to the pivot role. With usual playmaker Luke Keary coming off the bench, Inglis will be dangerous late in the game when positional switches come into play, evident when he played a key role in the Rabbitohs comeback against the Titans last start.
What They Said
“Our kicking wasn't the best (against the Roosters) — I take responsibility for that. It's something that me and the team need to turn around this weekend against Souths.” — Luke Brooks, Wests Tigers halfback
“We’re not happy with where we are on the ladder, we want to move ourselves up the ladder and we’ve got to create that rivalry and competition to get the best performances out of our players.” — Jason Taylor, Wests Tigers Head Coach
“They’re a quality team across the park and they’ve got a lot of young kids with enthusiasm. Whoever they put out there, we’ve got our systems in place to repel them over and over.” — Michael Maguire, South Sydney Head Coach
Three Final Facts
1. South Sydney are averaging 13 offloads per game — second highest in the NRL
2. Greg Inglis has scored 11 tries from 15 games against Wests Tigers
3. Wests Tigers have scored more points against South Sydney than any other NRL side