Match Preview: Wests Tigers vs. Panthers
Wests Tigers will look to continue their strong start to season 2017 when they take on the Penrith Panthers this Sunday at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.
In somewhat of a Western Sydney derby, it’ll be Jason Taylor’s men who head into Sunday’s showdown with plenty of confidence following on from their opening round win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Despite falling behind early, Wests Tigers showed plenty of potency in attack to lead the Rabbitohs 38-4 midway through the second half, before conceding a few late tries to narrow the eventual winning margin to 16 points.
Of particular note was the dangerous combination between Luke Brooks, Mitchell Moses and James Tedesco, who looked like causing the Rabbitohs problems with every touch, while young gun Moses Suli was also impressive on debut, having a hand in three tries.
The situation could not have been more different for the Panthers, who began 2017 in disastrous fashion with a humiliating 42-10 loss to the St. George-Illawarra Dragons.
Touted as premiership contenders pre-season, Penrith struggled to get anything going on the day as the Dragons’ big men bullied their way through the Panthers’ pack — running away with a convincing victory that had the Red V faithful in a standing ovation.
To make matters worse for Anthony Griffin, Kiwi international Peta Hiku will miss Sunday’s game against Wests Tigers after suffering a facial fracture in the match.
Young Dylan Edwards has been named on the wing for just his second first-grade game, but Dallin Watene-Zelezniak could come in for the youngster if declared fit to start.
Wests Tigers have named the same 17 that took the field against the Rabbitohs.
Wests Tigers have enjoyed good recent success over the Panthers, winning eight of the last 11 games between the two sides and all of the last four at Campbelltown.
Date — Sunday, March 12, 2017
Time — 4:00pm AEDT
Venue — Campbelltown Sports Stadium
Theme — Multicultural Round
TV, LIVE STREAM AND RADIO INFORMATION
TV —Channel 9 and Fox Sports League from 3:30pm AEDT
Radio —AM 702 ABC Grandstand, FM 104.9 Triple M Sydney (check local guides)
Live Stream —NRL Digital Pass and Foxtel Go (subscription required)
Referees — Gerard Sutton and Matt Noyen
Touch Judge — Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski and Jeff Younis
Review Officials — Luke Patten and Bernard Sutton
1. James Tedesco 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Kevin Naiqama 4. Michael Chee Kam 5. Moses Suli 6. Mitchell Moses 7. Luke Brooks 8. Aaron Woods 9. Matt McIlwrick 10. Ava Seumanufagai 11. Sauaso Sue 12. Chris Lawrence 13. Elijah Taylor (Interchange: 14. Tim Grant 15. Josh Aloiai 16. Jamal Idris 17. Jack Littlejohn 18. Joel Edwards 19. Justin Hunt 20. Jordan Rankin 21. Wesley Lolo) — Coach: Jason Taylor
1. Matt Moylan 2. Dean Whare 3. Waqa Blake 4. Tyrone Peachey 5. Dylan Edwards 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Nathan Cleary 8. James Tamou 9. Peter Wallace 10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 11. Bryce Cartwright 12. Isaah Yeo 13. Trent Merrin (Interchange: 14. James Fisher-Harris 15. Leilani Latu 16. Tim Browne 17. Moses Leota 18. Sitaleki Akauola 19. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 20. Mitch Rein 21. Viliame Kikau) — Coach: Anthony Griffin
Wests Tigers and Penrith have both named 21-man squads for the contest, with two players to be omitted from each team 24 hours before kickoff (4:00pm, Saturday) and a further two players to omitted one hour before kickoff (3:00pm, Sunday).
Round 1 — Wests Tigers 34 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 18
Round 1 — St. George-Illawarra Dragons 42 def. Penrith Panthers 10
· Head-to-Head — Played 29, Wests Tigers 12, Penrith Panthers 17
· At ANZ Stadium — Played 7, Wests Tigers 4, Penrith 3
· Last Time They Met — Penrith Panthers 40 def. Wests Tigers 10 (Rd.24, 2016)
THREE FINAL FACTS
· Wests Tigers have not lost in Round 2 since 2012 (lost 22-18 to the Sea Eagles)
· Aaron Woods has won seven of his nine career games against the Panthers
· Penrith have lost six of their last seven Sunday afternoon games