Wests Tigers will kick off the 2018 season with a number of blockbuster games — six of the opening eight games coming against teams sitting in last year’s top four.
Twice will Ivan Cleary’s side face off against the defending premiers Melbourne and Parramatta inside the opening eight rounds, while the Club’s two new home games — against the Storm in Auckland and the Knights in Tamworth — will also feature early on.
With a great mix of days and times at the club’s various home grounds, it’s shaping as an exciting year for the new-look Wests Tigers, with plenty of fascinating games ahead!
Take a look at all the key numbers from the 2018 NRL Draw for Wests Tigers…
2018 will be the first time in Telstra Premiership history that any team has begun the season against the previous year’s top four as well as two games against the defending premiers. It looms as a difficult start for the side, but competitive performances against the Eels, Storm and Roosters in particular last year should hold the team in good stead.
After playing away to all three Queensland teams in 2017, Wests Tigers won’t venture north of the border once in 2018 with only home games against the Titans (Rd.16 at Leichhardt), Broncos (Rd.3 at Campbelltown) and Cowboys (Rd.10 at Leichhardt).
Furthest road trips for Wests Tigers in 2018 (excludes flights)
Excluding games where the team will fly, Wests Tigers’ longest road trip of the season will come in Round 7 when they take on the Newcastle Knights at Scully Park in Tamworth — a 613km trip from Sydney. In a great boost for the New England region that last saw the NRL with the 2016 City v Country fixture, the match will also coincide with school holidays, giving families the perfect chance to come out and enjoy the day!
The dreaded five-day turnaround will occur on three occasions for Wests Tigers in 2018 — the toughest of which being the Round 5 clash that also includes a flight to New Zealand to take on the Melbourne Storm. Taking in to account the 1:00pm local kickoff, it’s nearly just a four-and-a-half day turnaround for that game! Wests Tigers will also have to account for the five-day turnaround coming back from New Zealand ahead of Round 10, where they face the 2017 Grand Finalists Cowboys at Leichhardt Oval. The final instance occurs in the penultimate game of the season when Wests Tigers play the Sea Eagles on Thursday night at Campbelltown after a Saturday clash with the Dragons.
In a boost for the Club, Wests Tigers will feature in an impressive 12 free-to-air games throughout the season, including six Sunday afternoon games at 4:00pm. The next most popular timeslot for the Club is the Fox Sports 5:30pm game on Saturday (5 times). Having not played a Thursday night game or Friday 6:00pm game at all in 2017, Wests Tigers will feature on Thursday night four times in 2018 (two home and two away), as well as one Friday 6:00pm game against the Newcastle Knights in Round 21.