Match Preview: NRL Trial vs. Cowboys

Wests Tigers play their second and final trial match tomorrow night when they take on the North Queensland Cowboys at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

Head Coach Jason Taylor has named a strong 24-man squad for the hit-out as he looks to fine tune combinations ahead of Round 1, with skipper Aaron Woods and superstar fullback James Tedesco set to play for the first time this year.

Playmakers Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks will be missing from the game due to injury, as will hookers Matt Ballin and Jacob Liddle.

Expect players such as Jack Littlejohn, Justin Hunt, Matt McIlwrick and Jeremy Marshall-King to step-up and fill the void left by the injured quartet.

Looking at the North Queensland team, Coach Paul Green has named a full-strength 18-man squad to travel down for what should be an entertaining match.

After being rested for last weekend’s trial match against the Roosters, both Johnathan Thurston and Michael Morgan return to bolster the side in the halves.

An inexperienced Cowboys side narrowly defeated the Roosters 11-10 last weekend in Mackay, with Kyle Laybutt kicking the winning field goal.

Wests Tigers also fielded a young side against the Dragons last week in Wollongong, going down 20-10 despite leading at half-time.

Tomorrow night’s match will be an important game in both team’s preparations for the 2017 NRL season, which gets underway in just under two weeks.

All 2017 Wests Tigers Members will have free access to the match at Campbelltown Sports Stadium, with General Admission tickets also available for $10.

The Club will also be providing a live stream of the match, which will be available on weststigers.com.au

Match Details

Date — Friday, February 17

Time — 7:00pm AEST (Gates Open 6:30pm)

Venue — Campbelltown Sports Stadium

Tickets — Click here

 

TV, Live Stream and Radio Information

TV — No TV coverage

Live Stream — Wests Tigers will be providing a live stream of the match on weststigers.com.au

Radio — No Radio Coverage

Follow @WestsTigers on Twitter for live match commentary and scores

 

Confirmed Squads

Wests Tigers

Josh Aloiai, Michael Chee Kam, Joel Edwards, JJ Felise, Tim Grant, Watson Heleta, Justin Hunt, Jamal Idris, Chris Lawrence, Jack Littlejohn, Jeremy Marshall-King, Esan Marsters, Matt McIlwrick, Kevin Naiqama, David Nofoaluma, Jordan Rankin, Ava Seumanufagai, Tim Simona, Bayley Sironen, Sauaso Sue, Moses Suli, Elijah Taylor, James Tedesco, Aaron Woods

North Queensland Cowboys

John Asiata, Scott Bolton, Gavin Cooper, Lachlan Coote, Kyle Feldt, Jake Granville, Ben Hampton, Coen Hess, Sam Hoare, Patrick Kaufusi, Kane Linnett, Ethan Lowe, Michael Morgan, Justin O’Neill, Matt Scott, Jason Taumalolo, Johnathan Thurston, Antonio Winterstein.

Key Points

- Exciting youngster Kayln Ponga has been overlooked for the Cowboys NRL side and will play in a combined ISP and NYC trial back in Townsville

- Wests Tigers stars Aaron Woods and James Tedesco will play their first match of 2017, however halves Mitch Moses and Luke Brooks will miss the trial

- Matt McIlwrick will be once again looking to impress in the absence of Matt Ballin and Jacob Liddle

- Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott and Jason Taumalolo headline a star-studded Cowboys squad

- Rookies Jeremy Marshall-King, Esan Marsters, Bayley Sironen and Moses Suli will be given another chance to impress with the NRL squad

- Paul Green has named an 18-man squad, with a host of NRL regulars set to play long-minutes

Players to Watch

James Tedesco (Wests Tigers)

Tedesco takes the field for the first time since travelling to Papua New Guinea late last year with the Prime Minister’s XIII side and will certainly bring plenty of excitement to the match. The livewire fullback will be looking for plenty of game time to shake the cobwebs off leading into the 2017 season, however expect Watson Heleta to be brought on at some point at the back. With Moses and Brooks absent, don’t be surprised to see ‘Teddy’ put his hand up to cover some of the playmaking duties against a strong North Queensland outfit. The Campbelltown crowd will no doubt be looking forward to seeing their local junior back in action tomorrow night.

Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland)

The 2016 Dally M winner will be looking to pick-up where he left-off last year, with the barnstorming forward a handful to say the least for opponents. At 191cm and 113kg, Taumalolo is a damaging ball-runner and will need to be shut down by Woods and the rest of the Wests Tigers forward pack. While there’s plenty of stars in the Cowboys side, Taumalolo is the one to keep an eye on tomorrow night if last season is anything to go by.