Wests Tigers will be looking to build on last week's come-from-behind victory when they take on the Sydney Roosters in their Round 8 clash this week at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground.
Michael Maguire's men will be heading to the SCG for the first time since 2013, looking to build on their current top eight position. Last week’s Wests Tigers fought back after being down against the Gold Coast Titans to take a 30-14 victory in Tamworth, while the Sydney Roosters' ANZAC Day match against the St. George-Illawarra Dragons saw the competition favourites chalk up their fourth straight win.
Having lost Josh Reynolds (knee) in the early stages of last week's win, Maguire will again look to former Rooster Ryan Matterson at five-eighth, with the utility forward called in as a late replacement for Benji Marshall. Marshall had been scheduled to make his return from a hamstring injury suffered in Round 3, but was a late withdrawal for Saturday's game, with Matterson instead moving in to the halves.
Matterson's move to the halves sees Luke Garner return to the run-on side after missing out last week due to necessary concussion protocols, with the former Roosters squad forward joining Chris McQueen in the back row.
McQueen was impressive in his return to first-grade last week against the Titans and has retained his spot in the back row as such, with Elijah Taylor on the bench.
David Nofoaluma was the other player omitted by Maguire 24 hours before kickoff, with Russell Packer, Paul Momirovski and Jacob Liddle retained as reserves.
Press Conference: Chris McQueen
For the Roosters, Coach Trent Robinson will welcome back Luke Keary from concussion with the five-eighth replacing Lachlan Lam in the halves, while Isaac Liu also returns from a broken finger to slot in at lock in place of Mitchell Aubusson.
Aubusson himself will play out of position once more with Matt Ikuvalu's late omission seeing Joseph Manu move to the wing and Aubusson to the centres.
Jake Friend's biceps injury forces Victor Radley shift from lock to hooker, while Sam Verrils joins Lam as the two reserve players retained as part of the 19-man squad.
The Sydney Roosters hold a remarkable head-to-head advantage over Wests Tigers with 11 wins from their last 12 matchups, although the visitors will gain confidence from their performances against the Tricolours in 2018 that saw them secure a win in Round 1 before going down in the final seconds of their Round 13 clash.
Date — Saturday, May 4, 2019
Time — 7:35pm AEST
Venue — Sydney Cricket Ground
TV, RADIO AND LIVE STREAM INFORMATION
TV — Live via FOX League (Ch.502)
Radio — AM 702 ABC Grandstand, AM 2GB 873
Live Stream — Foxtel Go, KAYO, NRL Digital Pass, Watch NRL (int.)
LATEST TEAM NEWS
Sydney Roosters — Luke Keary (concussion) returns in place of Lachlan Lam, while Victor Radley moves to hooker in place of Jake Friend (biceps). Isaac Liu's return from a broken finger sees him move to lock, while Mitchell Aubusson shifts to the centres and Joseph Manu to the wing to cover Matt Ikuvalu (knee).
Wests Tigers — Benji Marshall (hamstring) will not play after being omitted from the squad 24 hours before kickoff. Instead, Ryan Matterson will partner Luke Brooks in the halves with Luke Garner returning from concussion to start in the back row.
Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James TedescoFullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Moses Mbye
Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel TupouWinger for Wests Tigers is number 2 Mahe Fonua
Centre for Roosters is number 3 Latrell MitchellCentre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Robert Jennings
Centre for Roosters is number 17 Mitchell AubussonCentre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Esan Marsters
Winger for Roosters is number 4 Joseph ManuWinger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Corey Thompson
Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Luke KearyFive-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 11 Ryan Matterson
Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Cooper CronkHalfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks
Prop for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-HargreavesProp for Wests Tigers is number 8 Ben Matulino
Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Victor RadleyHooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Robbie Farah
Prop for Roosters is number 10 Siosiua TaukeiahoProp for Wests Tigers is number 10 Alex Twal
2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Boyd Cordner2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Chris McQueen
2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Angus Crichton2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 14 Elijah Taylor
Lock for Roosters is number 13 Isaac LiuLock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Josh Aloiai
Interchange for Roosters is number 14 Nat ButcherInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Thomas Mikaele
Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Zane TetevanoInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Matthew Eisenhuth
Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Sitili TupouniuaInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Luke Garner
Interchange for Roosters is number 18 Lindsay CollinsInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 19 Jacob Liddle
NRL.com preview Roosters clash
LATEST NEDS ODDS
H2H — Sydney Roosters ($1.18), Wests Tigers ($4.75)
Line — Sydney Roosters -12.5 ($1.95), Wests Tigers + 12.5 ($1.85)
Odds correct on Saturday, May 4 — 18+ only and gamble responsibly
Overall — Played 32, Roosters 23, Wests Tigers 9
Last Time They Met — Sydney Roosters 16 def. Wests Tigers 14 (Rd.13, 2018)
Match Referees — Matt Cecchin and Tim Roby
Touch Judges — Nick Beashel and Mark Bohan
Review Officials — Ben Galea and Steve Chiddy
NRL Team Announcement: Round 8