Wests Tigers will look to build on a strong run of recent results when they take on the in-form Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs this Saturday night at ANZ Stadium.

After producing 30 unanswered points to comfortably defeat the Penrith Panthers last weekend, Jason Taylor’s side come in to Saturday’s game having lost just twice since Round 11 — keeping their finals hopes alive to sit just two points outside the top eight.

Their task will be made much tougher this weekend with Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah and James Tedesco all unavailable due to State of Origin commitments; however, the Bulldogs will also come into the game minus key forwards David Klemmer and Josh Jackson.

After an inconsistent start to the year, Des Hasler’s men have strung several impressive performances together over recent weeks to sit in fourth position. In the last month, the Bulldogs have won their last three matches in a row, with victories over Brisbane Broncos and Sydney Roosters, as well as a close 20-18 defeat to the Cronulla Sharks.

When they met earlier in the year, it was the Bulldogs who posted a comfortable win over an injury-ravaged Wests Tigers, but the two sides will look very different this time.

Canterbury have won eight of the last 10 meetings between the two sides, although Wests Tigers have not lost twice to the Bulldogs in the same season since 2012.

Sunday afternoon footy returns to Leichhardt Oval when we take on the Cowboys!

Match Details

Date — Saturday, July 9, 2016

Time — 7:30pm AEST

Venue — ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park

 

Match Officials

On-Field Referees — Ashley Klein and Chris James

Touch Judges — Ricky Macfarlane and Rohan Best

Review Officials — Bryan Norrie and Jason Robinson

 

TV, Live Stream and Radio Information

TV — Live via Fox Sports 1 from 7:00pm (subscription required)

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

Radio — AM 2GB 873, ABC 702 ABC Grandstand (check local guides)

Confirmed Squads

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

 

Wests Tigers

Will Hopoate

1

Jordan Rankin

Brett Morris

2

David Nofoaluma

Josh Morris

3

Tim Simona

Curtis Rona

4

Kevin Naiqama

Sam Perrett

5

Josh Addo-Carr

Josh Reynolds

6

Mitchell Moses

Moses Mbye

7

Luke Brooks

Aiden Tolman

8

Tim Grant

Michael Lichaa

9

Dene Halatau (capt.)

James Graham (capt.)

10

Sauaso Sue

Asipeli Fine

11

Josh Aloiai

Greg Eastwood

12

Chris Lawrence (capt.)

Danny Fualalo

13

Elijah Taylor

Sam Kasiano

14

JJ Felise

Tony Williams

15

Ava Seumanufagai

Tim Browne

16

Michael Chee Kam

Raymond Faitala-Mariner

17

Kyle Lovett

Kerrod Holland

19/18

Joel Edwards

Craig Garvey

22

 

Des Hasler

Coach

Jason Taylor

Jordan Rankin shifts to fullback and Josh Addo-Carr on the wing to cover for James Tedesco (Origin). Tim Grant starts in place of Aaron Woods, with JJ Felise, Michael Chee Kam and Joel Edwards included on an extended five-man interchange bench. For the Bulldogs, Greg Eastwood’s return sees the New Zealand international take the place of Josh Jackson (Origin), while Danny Fualalo starts at lock for David Klemmer (Origin).

 

2016 Recent Results

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

R12 — Canberra Raiders 30 def. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 20

R13 — Cronulla Sharks 20 def. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 18

R14 — Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 34 def. St. George-Illawarra Dragons 16

R16 — Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 40 def. Brisbane Broncos 14

R17 — Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 24 def. Sydney Roosters 20
 

Wests Tigers

R12 — Wests Tigers 19 def. Brisbane Broncos 18

R13 — Sydney Roosters 32 def. Wests Tigers 18

R14 — Wests Tigers 30 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 14

R16 — Melbourne Storm 29 def. Wests Tigers 10

R17 — Wests Tigers 34 def. Penrith Panthers 26

Last Time They Met — Bulldogs 36 def. Wests Tigers 4 (Rd.10, 2016)

Missing several players due to injury and losing several more during the game, Wests Tigers were simply no match for the Bulldogs, who raced to a 20-4 lead at the break before piling on three more tries in the second half to emerge with a 32-point victory.

 

The History

·       Against the Bulldogs — Played 30, Won 11, Lost 19, Drawn 0

·       At ANZ Stadium — Played 18, Won 7, Lost 11, Drawn 0

 

Player to Watch — Brett Morris, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Returning from injury in the past fortnight, Brett Morris has had no problems settling back in to the Bulldogs attack, with two superb performances against the Broncos and Bulldogs. The Australian international winger has chalked up five tries in his two games,  as well as four linebreaks with an average of 147.5 metres per game. His combination with brother Josh in the centres was a big threat for the Bulldogs last week, and the livewire combination of David Nofoaluma and Kevin Naiqama will need to be at their best to contain the twins. On their day, Nofoaluma and Naiqama have shown to be one of the best attacking centre-wing combinations in the NRL, but it’s defensively they’ll need to be switched on this weekend if they’re any chance of bettering the Morris brothers.

 

Three Final Facts

·       Last week’s win over Penrith was Wests Tigers only victory at ANZ Stadium on a Saturday since Round 17, 2009 (def. South Sydney Rabbitohs, 54-20).

·       Mitchell Moses will play his 50th NRL game this Saturday against the Bulldogs. Since his debut in Round 17, 2014, Moses has only missed one NRL game for the Club.

·       Luke Brooks has scored five tries in five games against the Bulldogs.