Wests Tigers Intrust Super Premiership side can secure a spot in the 2016 Grand Final when they take on Mounties RLFC this Sunday afternoon at Leichhardt Oval.

After dropping their Qualifying Final to Illawarra, Paul Stringer’s side bounced back on the weekend with a convincing 26-16 win over the Wyong Roos at Pepper Stadium.

The high-quality win will hold the side in good stead this week as they come up against the minor premiers, Mounties RLFC, who have dropped just three games all season.

In their two meetings earlier in the year, it was the Canberra Raiders’ feeder team who recorded wins on both occasions, but Wests Tigers had chances to win both — losing 27-20 early in the season before succumbing to a second half comeback in Round 21.

Boosted by NRL experience in Josh Addo-Carr, Michael Chee Kam, Joel Edwards and Curtis Sironen, Wests Tigers will certainly fancy their chances this time around.

Question marks also remain over how Mounties will line up for the game, with the likes of Sam Williams, Paul Vaughan and Adam Clysdale all potentially called into Ricky Stuart’s side given the injury concerns over Josh Hodgson, Blake Austin and Clay Priest.

Mounties will also be without the leading try-scorer of the Intrust Super Premiership competition, Kato Ottio (29 tries in 22 games) after he suffered a ruptured ACL.

The winner of Sunday’s Semi Final will go through to the 2016 Grand Final.

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Match Details

Date — Sunday, September 18, 2016

Time — 3:15pm AEST

Venue — Leichhardt Oval, Sydney

TV — Live via Fox Sports 1 (subscription required)

Radio — Live via Steelesports (click here) and FM 89.9 Hawksbury Radio

 

Match Officials

Match Referee — Jon Stone

Touch Judges — Jay Farlow and Jimmy Oliviera
 


Team Lists

Wests Tigers

1. Watson Heleta 2. Charlie Taylor 3. Tyler Cassel 4. Michael Chee Kam 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Jack Littlejohn 7. Justin Hunt 8. Jordan Grant 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Wesley Lolo 11. Jackson Williams 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Joel Edwards (Interchange: 14. Manaia Cherrington 15. Matthew Eisenhuth 16. Dallas Graham 17. Jayden Wheelhouse 19. Manaia Rudolph)


Mounties RLFC

1. Zac Santo 2. Alofi Mataele 3. Brenko Lee 4. Brent Naden 5. Eddie Aiono 6. Maurice Kennedy 7. Sam Williams 8. Paul Vaughan 9. Adam Clydsdale 10. Jeff Lima 11. Jarrad Kennedy 12. Scott Sorenson 13. Shaun Fensom (Interchange: 14. Will Mataka 15. Rhys Kennedy 16. Pat Mataele 17. Sam Duggan 18. Jarrod Brackenhofer 20. Sonny Bristow 21. Royce Hunt)

 

Recent Form

Wests Tigers

R23 — Wests Tigers 39 def. Wentworthville Magpies 14

R24 — Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 38 def. Wests Tigers 34

R25 — Wests Tigers 30 def. Newcastle Knights 28

QF1 — Illawarra Cutters 32 def. Wests Tigers 22

EF1 — Wests Tigers 26 def. Wyong Roos 16
 

Mounties RLFC

R22 — Mounties RLFC 22 def. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 20

R23 — Mounties RLFC 30 def. Newtown Jets 28

R24 — Mounties RLFC 38 def. Wests Tigers 30

R25 — Mounties RLFC 22 def. Wentworthville Magpies 17

PF1 — Mounties RLFC 30 def. Newtown Jets 12

 

Key Matchup — Watson Heleta (WST) vs. Zac Santo (MOU)

In a contest that features plenty of big games, the battle of the fullbacks will be crucial for both side’s attacking chances on Sunday. Normally a centre, Watson Heleta has shown plenty of class at the back this season, with his hard running and tenacity proving a handful for defences on several occasions. Contrast that with Santo, whose playmaking skills have added another dimension of attack to Mounties this season, with the former North Queensland Cowboys fullback registering an impressive 13 try-assists this year.

Both Santo (2nd, 99) and Heleta (5th, 82) rank highly this season in tackle busts and will be key for both teams’ hopes of progressing through to the Grand Final on Sunday.


2016 Season Summary

Position | Wests Tigers (3rd), Mounties (1st)

Points For | Wests Tigers (3rd), Mounties (1st)

Points Against | Wests Tigers (9th), Mounties (2nd)

Completion Rate | Wests Tigers (3rd), Mounties (5th)

Linebreaks | Wests Tigers (2nd), Mounties (4th)

Offloads | Wests Tigers (2nd), Mounties (7th)

Missed Tackles | Wests Tigers (2nd), Mounties (7th)

Errors | Wests Tigers (8th), Mounties (5th)

Penalties | Wests Tigers (10th), Mounties (11th)