Wests Tigers will look to take another step towards the top eight when they take on the Sydney Roosters this Saturday at Leichhardt Oval in a must-win contest for Michael Maguire's side.
Having got the job done last week against the Bulldogs — albeit in far more dramatic circumstances than appeared likely in the first half — Wests Tigers find themselves just one spot outside the top eight and two wins behind the eight-placed Rabbitohs with six games remaining in the regular season.
With Wests Tigers and South Sydney set to face off later in the year, Saturday's game against the two-time defending premiers will no doubt prove crucial in their bid to reach the finals for the first time since 2011 and carry on the momentum gathered from last week's one-point win over the plucky Bulldogs.
Wests Tigers were convincing winners in their last fixture at Leichhardt Oval — running out 48-0 winners over the Brisbane Broncos — but will certainly face much tougher opposition this time around. Despite their loss to Melbourne last weekend, the Tricolours sit inside the top four on for-and-against and look on track for another strong finish to the year despite a number of players under injury clouds.
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With Luke Keary and Lachlan Lam both going down last weekend, it's shaping as a new-look halves combination for the Roosters this weekend with Kyle Flanagan and Drew Hutchinson returning to the side.
The visitors welcome back plenty of experience in the shape of Brett Morris and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, who return to the run-on side this weekend.
Wests Tigers will also welcome back some familiar faces, with Alex Twal and Thomas Mikaele named to return from their minor setbacks.
After bagging a try and a try assist last weekend in another strong performance, David Nofoaluma will be out to continue his try-scoring streak this year having crossed in four of his side's last five matches. With 12 tries in 14 matches, the 26-year-old requires just two more tries to level his best individual season in the NRL.
Date — Saturday, August 22
Time — 5:30pm 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 — Alex Twal and Thomas Mikaele are both set to return, with the duo replacing Sam McIntyre and Alex Seyfarth on the bench.
Roosters — Morris and Waerea-Hargreaves return from injury in place of Christian Tuipulotu and Mitch Aubusson (fractured wrist) with Nat Butcher shifting to the second row. Lam and Keary's injuries sees Hutchinson and Flanagan named in the halves while Freddy Lussick is named for his NRL debut on the bench.
Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Adam DoueihiFullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David NofoalumaWinger for Roosters is number 2 Matt Ikuvalu
Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Joseph LeiluaCentre for Roosters is number 3 Josh Morris
Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Moses MbyeCentre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph Manu
Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Tommy TalauWinger for Roosters is number 5 Brett Morris
Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Luke BrooksFive-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Drew Hutchison
Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Benji MarshallHalfback for Roosters is number 7 Kyle Flanagan
Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 Josh AloiaiProp for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Jacob LiddleHooker for Roosters is number 9 Jake Friend
Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 Russell PackerProp for Roosters is number 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho
2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Luke Garner2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Sitili Tupouniua
2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Nat Butcher
Lock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Matthew EisenhuthLock for Roosters is number 13 Isaac Liu
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Elijah TaylorInterchange for Roosters is number 14 Freddy Lussick
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Josh ReynoldsInterchange for Roosters is number 15 Poasa Faamausili
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 18 Alex TwalInterchange for Roosters is number 16 Daniel Fifita
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 19 Thomas MikaeleInterchange for Roosters is number 17 Lindsay Collins
LATEST NEDS ODDS
H2H — Sydney Roosters ($1.33), Wests Tigers ($3.25)
Line — Sydney Roosters -8 ($2.00), Wests Tigers +8 ($2.00)
Odds correct as of 11:30am, Tuesday August 18. 18+ only. Gamble responsibly.
Overall — Played 34, Sydney Roosters 9, Wests Tigers 25
At Leichhardt Oval — Played 3, Sydney Roosters 2, Wests Tigers 1
Last Time They Met — Sydney Roosters 24 def. Wests Tigers 16 (Rd.16, 2019)
Referee — Grant Atkins
Touch Judges — Todd Smith and Chris Sutton
Review Officials — Ben Lowe and Ashley Klein