Key Match-Up: Round 14 vs. Roosters
Two contrasting yet equally dynamic wingers will go head-to-head this Sunday as Wests Tigers’ David Nofoaluma and Sydney Roosters’ Daniel Tupou square off.
Not since midway through last season have the pair faced off against each other, with both wingers crossing for tries in the Roosters’ 32-18 win in the rain back in Round 13, and they’ll no doubt be looking to carry on their rivalry again this Sunday afternoon.
Contrasting in their styles, both Nofoaluma and Tupou have certainly made their presence felt so far in 2017 — sitting in the top five for metres gained by wingers this season, with Nofoaluma sitting fourth overall despite missing Round 12 due to the bye.
Currently in his fifth season of first-grade, the Campbelltown Warriors junior has already cracked the 2000-metre mark for 2017, while also adding an impressive 77 tackle breaks and 34 offloads. He is the only player in the competition to sit in the top five for all three categories and will be keen to continue that at his home ground.
He’ll no doubt have a tough afternoon, however, against the Roosters flyer, who has been named to play despite being forced off with a groin injury last weekend.
Prior to that game, Tupou had scored three tries in his past three games, and with a tremendous record against Wests Tigers, will be looking to improve on that further this week.
With Mitchell Pearce returning for the Roosters and Tuimoala Lolohea all the better for more time at his new club, both attacks should be in for a strong afternoon despite the rain around Campbelltown this week, which should suit the styles of both wingers.
Other interesting Key Matchups to keep an eye on include James Tedesco v Michael Gordon, Aaron Woods v Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Elijah Taylor v Sio Siua Taukeiaho.
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ALL THE NUMBERS
Nofoaluma and Tupou have square off against each other on four occasions, with the Roosters flyer coming on top all four times. Nofoaluma did cross for a try last time they met, while Tupou has scored in all four games played against Wests Tigers when Nofoaluma is in the team, although the Wests Tigers man was at centre on one occasion.
NOFOALUMA’S CAMPBELLTOWN RECORD
Growing up in the area and playing his junior footy around the corner, there’s no denying the fact that Nofoaluma certainly loves playing at Campbelltown Stadium, with his record attesting to that fact. In his 12 career games at the venue, Nofoaluma has crossed for 11 tries, including nines tries in his last eight games there.
Nofoaluma (12 games) requires just one more try to be Wests Tigers’ all-time top try-scorer at the venue, currently tied with Benji Marshall (29 games) with 11 tries at the ground.
TUPOU’S WESTS TIGERS RECORD
As impressive as Nofoaluma’s Campbelltown record is, he’ll be up against Tupou’s impressive against Wests Tigers — a team the Roosters winger seems to love playing against.
In his seven games against Wests Tigers, Tupou has never lost, has scored in every single game, and has amassed a total of 48 points with 12 tries to his name.