It’ll be a tough contest right across the board as Wests Tigers take on the Sydney Roosters this Saturday afternoon at Allianz Stadium, but particularly out on the right wing where Latrell Mitchell and David Nofoaluma will go head-to-head.
Moved on to the wing in place of the injured Daniel Tupou, Mitchell is more than capable of breaking a team open with his strength and offload — something he did with great effect last time the two teams met at Campbelltown Sports Stadium in Round 14.
Playing on the wing that day as well, Mitchell recorded a season-high 162 metres from his 14 runs, while adding two linebreaks, two try-assists and an offload to his numbers — paving the way for the Roosters to build on a 18-12 half-time lead for a 40-18 win.
Nofoaluma and Esan Marsters (who played with Mitchell in SG Ball at the Roosters) will certainly need to be on guard for Mitchell in attack once again this week, and will take plenty of confidence from their past few defensive performances on the wing.
Nofoaluma’s two intercepts on Sea Eagles fullback Tom Trbojevic changed the game for his side last weekend, and a strong defensive performance ensured no tries were scored down his side of the field. Since a tough night against the Gold Coast Titans in Round 16, Nofoaluma has conceded just two tries down his side of the field — one of which came directly off an error in attack as Tyrone Peachey scooped up an errant pass to score.
Wests Tigers’ record against the Roosters is far from impressive, with Nofoaluma yet to taste victory against the Tricolours in five meetings, while Mitchell is yet to lose against Wests Tigers in his two games — with four try-involvements to his name in all.
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ALL THE NUMBERS
Nofoaluma and Mitchell have only come up against each other on two occasions — the first being last year’s “big wet” at Allianz Stadium with Mitchell playing at fullback and guiding the Roosters to a 32-18 win. The other was earlier this year at Campbelltown Stadium, when Mitchell again had a big impact in the Roosters’ 40-18 victory.