After a heartbreaking 19-18 loss to the Gold Coast Titans, Wests Tigers will head to the foot of the mountains on Friday night desperate to keep their hopes at a top eight finish alive when they take on the Penrith Panthers at Pepper Stadium.

Wests Tigers were bitterly unlucky not to extend their winning streak to four against the Titans, leaving them two points outside the top eight with three weeks remaining.

They’ll now take on a Penrith side sitting two points ahead of them in seventh position on the ladder — themselves coming off a dominant win over the Newcastle Knights.

The big talking point in this one will be the absence of James Tedesco, with Wests Tigers confirming that the fullback will not feature again this season after having his jaw broken in last Saturday’s loss to the Titans. He is replaced at fullback by Jordan Rankin, with Josh Addo-Carr returning to the wing after scoring a hat-trick in reserve grade.

Luke Brooks returns for his first game since picking up a hamstring injury in Round 21, partnering Mitchell Moses in the halves in a big boost for Jason Taylor’s side.

Penrith may have won four of their last five games, and their last two games in a row at home, but the visitors will have plenty of reasons for confidence this weekend.

Wests Tigers have won their last three games at Pepper Stadium, while a strong 34-26 win over the Panthers back in Round 17 this year would still be fresh in their minds.

Don't miss our last home game of the year against the Raiders at Leichhardt Oval!

Match Details

Date — Friday, August 19, 2016

Time — 7:50pm AEST

Venue — Pepper Stadium, Penrith

 

Match Officials

On-Field Referees — Jared Maxwell and Gavin Reynolds

Touch Judges — Russell Turner and Jeff Younis

Review Officials — Bernard Sutton, Luke Patten and Matt Cecchin

 

TV, Live Stream and Radio Information

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

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

Radio — AM 873 2GB, AM 702 ABC Grandstand

Confirmed Squads

Penrith Panthers

 

Wests Tigers

Matt Moylan (capt.

1

Jordan Rankin

Josh Mansour

2

David Nofoaluma

Waqa Blake

3

Tim Simona

Tyrone Peachey

4

Kevin Naiqama

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak

5

Josh Addo-Carr

Bryce Cartwright

6

Mitchell Moses

Nathan Cleary

7

Luke Brooks

Leilani Latu

8

Aaron Woods (capt.)

Peter Wallace

9

Dene Halatau

Suaia Matagi

10

Sauaso Sue

Isaah Yeo

11

Josh Aloiai

James Fisher-Harris

12

Chris Lawrence

Trent Merrin

13

Elijah Taylor

Sitaleki Akauola

14

Kyle Lovett

Jeremy Latimore

15

Ava Seumanufagai

Reagan Campbell-Gillard

16

Tim Grant

Zac Hardaker

17

Joel Edwards

Moses Leota

20/18

Michael Chee Kam

Anthony Griffin

Coach

Jason Taylor

 

2016 Recent Results

Wests Tigers

R18 — Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 32 def. Wests Tigers 22

R20 — Wests Tigers 25 def. St. George-Illawarra Dragons 12

R21 — Wests Tigers 23 def. Parramatta Eels 8

R22 — Wests Tigers 26 def. North Queensland Cowboys 14

R23 — Gold Coast Titans 19 def. Wests Tigers 18

 

Penrith Panthers

R19 — Penrith Panthers 22 def. Parramatta Eels 18

R20 — Penrith Panthers 31 def. Brisbane Broncos 12

R21 — New Zealand Warriors 20 def. Penrith Panthers 16

R22 — Penrith Panthers 38 def. Sydney Roosters 20

R23 — Penrith Panthers 42 def. Newcastle Knights 6

Last Time They Met — Wests Tigers 34 def. Penrith Panthers 26 (Rd.17, 2016)

Trailing 14-2 early in the first half, Wests Tigers ran in 32 unanswered points to blow the Panthers out of the game, before the visitors grabbed two late tries to add some respectability to the scoreline. James Tedesco was a standout for the home side, setting up three tries, while Tim Simona crossed for a double in the eight-point victory.

 

The History

·       Against the Panthers — Played 28, Won 12, Lost 16, Drawn 0

·       At Pepper Stadium — Played 13, Won 5, Lost 8, Drawn 0

Player to Watch — Josh Mansour, Penrith Panthers

Since returning from injury early in the year, Josh Mansour has quickly found his form and continues to cause havoc on the left edge seemingly every week. The Australian international winger has broken over 100 tackles this season, while chalking up 13 tries and 19 linebreaks as well. He’ll have a tough match-up against arguably the most in-form winger of the competition in David Nofoaluma, who himself grabbed a double last week, but Wests Tigers will certainly need to be on their game to shut down Mansour.

 

Three Final Facts

—    David Nofoaluma has scored nine tries in his last eight games.

—    Wests Tigers have won six of their last eight games against the Panthers.

—    Wests Tigers have won their last three games against Penrith at Penrith.