After 24 rounds of regular season, Wests Tigers finals hopes come down to a Sunday afternoon at Leichhardt Oval with a winner-takes-all clash against the Cronulla Sharks.

The scene is set, with a sold-out crowd to pour in to the suburban venue as the two sides battle it our to try and keep their top eight hopes alive.

Sunday's clash between the ninth-placed Wests Tigers and the eighth-placed Sharks is remarkably the first meeting between the two sides this year, with the result to determine the make-up of the 2019 Telstra Premiership finals series.

Wests Tigers head in to this week's game full of confidence and well-prepared for sudden death football, having secured big wins over the Knights and Dragons in recent weeks — both matches they went in to knowing they had to win.

Meanwhile, Cronulla let slip a golden chance to get two points last week when they led a 12-0 lead at home against the Raiders go to the wayside — the Green Machine storming back to clinch victory in Golden Point.

The do-or-die showdown is set to hold milestones, records, farewells and news-worthy highlights as Wests Tigers look to remain undefeated at Leichhardt Oval in 2019 having downed the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (Round 1) and North Queensland Cowboys (Round 20) earlier this year.

Wests Tigers have not won all games at Leichhardt in a single season since 2010.


Wests Tigers playmaker Josh Reynolds has been named at hooker for what will be his 150th NRL game this Sunday with Maguire listing the same team that got the job done over the past fortnight. The 30-year-old will bring up the milestone in his 12th game for Wests Tigers, but all eyes are on the reserves list for the hosts this week with Robbie Farah (fractured tibia) a chance of making an 11th hour return.

Farah — who trained with the squad throughout the week — was retained in the updated squad by Maguire, with a final decision to be made just before kickoff.

Captain Moses Mbye won't return from injury, however, with Benji Marshall to captain the side after a Man of the Match performance against the Dragons. 

For the Sharks, Coach John Morris has named Kiwi playmaker Shaun Johnson to start at five-eighth after being a late omission in the warm-up last week.

His inclusion sees Kyle Flanagan drop back to the reserves, who was also retained as cover in the 19-man squad in case of another late withdrawal.

Playmaker Matt Moylan was a confirmed out on Saturday by Morris, with Josh Dugan to start at fullback after being cleared from concussion last week. Sosaia Feki returns on the wing in place of Sione Katoa.


The only other change for the Sharks is forward Jack Williams, who comes into the side in place of the experienced Jayson Bukuya who drops out of the squad.

Historically, the Sharks have done well in recent times against Wests Tigers with five straight wins but their record isn't as good at the suburban venue.

Cronulla have won just three of their past eight games at Leichhardt Oval.


MATCH DETAILS

Date — Sunday, September 8, 2019

Time — 2:00pm AEST

Venue — Leichhardt Oval


TV, RADIO and LIVE STREAM INFORMATION

TV — Live via Fox League (Ch.502)

Radio — AM 702 ABC Grandstand, AM 873 2GB

Live Stream — Foxtel Go, KAYO, NRL Digital Pass and Watch NRL (int.)


LATEST TEAM NEWS

Wests Tigers — Unchanged from last week with Josh Reynolds listed at hooker. Robbie Farah could be a late inclusion after being retained in the reserves.

Cronulla Sharks — Shaun Johnson has been included in the starting side after a quad injury forced him out of last week's loss to Canberra, while Sosaia Feki (groin) returns on the wing at the expense of Sione Katoa. Matt Moylan won't return from injury, however, with Jack Williams replacing Jason Bukuya on the bench.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 3 Paul Momirovski
    Fullback for Sharks is number 1 Josh Dugan
  • Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 Robert Jennings
    Winger for Sharks is number 2 Sosaia Feki
  • Centre for Wests Tigers is number 17 Michael Chee-Kam
    Centre for Sharks is number 3 Bronson Xerri
  • Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Esan Marsters
    Centre for Sharks is number 4 Josh Morris
  • Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 David Nofoaluma
    Winger for Sharks is number 5 Ronaldo Mulitalo
  • Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Benji Marshall
    Five-Eighth for Sharks is number 6 Shaun Johnson
  • Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks
    Halfback for Sharks is number 7 Chad Townsend

Forwards

  • Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 Thomas Mikaele
    Prop for Sharks is number 16 Andrew Fifita
  • Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 13 Ryan Matterson
    Hooker for Sharks is number 9 Jayden Brailey
  • Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 Oliver Clark
    Prop for Sharks is number 10 Matt Prior
  • 2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Luke Garner
    2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora
  • 2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Chris Lawrence
    2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Wade Graham
  • Lock for Wests Tigers is number 14 Matthew Eisenhuth
    Lock for Sharks is number 13 Paul Gallen

Interchange

  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 9 Josh Reynolds
    Interchange for Sharks is number 8 Aaron Woods
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Elijah Taylor
    Interchange for Sharks is number 14 Kurt Capewell
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Alex Twal
    Interchange for Sharks is number 15 Jack Williams
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 21 Robbie Farah
    Interchange for Sharks is number 17 Braden Hamlin-Uele


LATEST NEDS ODDS

H2H — Wests Tigers ($2.00), Cronulla ($1.80),

Line — Wests Tigers +1.5 ($1.90), Cronulla -1.5 ($1.90)

Odds correct on Thursday, September 5 — 18+ only and gamble responsibly


HEAD-TO-HEAD

Overall — Played 31, Wests Tigers 17, Cronulla 13, Drawn 1

At Leichhardt Oval — Played 9, Wests Tigers 5, Cronulla 3

Last Time They Met — Cronulla 24 def. Wests Tigers 16 (Rd.14, 2018)


MATCH OFFICIALS

Match Referees —Ben Cummins and Peter Gough

Sideline Officials — Nick Beashel and David Munro

Video Referees — Jared Maxwell, Ben Galea