Wests Tigers will look to keep their finals hopes alive this week when they take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Bankwest Stadium.
After fighting from 14 points down late on to secure a thrilling win over the Sea Eagles last weekend, Michael Maguire's side will head in to Thursday's game full of confidence and still in the hunt for a top eight finish, but knowing that they need to secure the two points on offer this weekend to stay in the playoff picture.
Level on points with the New Zealand Warriors, Wests Tigers enter Round 18 four points outside the top eight following Cronulla's heavy defeat to Newcastle.
With Wests Tigers playing in the first game of the round, that gap can be cut to just two with a win on Thursday with the Sharks set to face the Warriors on Sunday.
Wests Tigers will head in to the contest with two late changes after Moses Mbye and Joey Leilua were both ruled out. Chris Lawrence and Tommy Talau both return to the side, with Adam Doueihi shifting back to fullback.
South Sydney are set to welcome back Origin representative Dane Gagai from a hamstring injury. Having scored a hat-trick when the two sides met earlier in the year, Gagai's inclusion is a key one for the Rabbitohs with the 29-year-old set to take the place of Jaxson Paulo on the wing.
Despite their defeat earlier in the year, Wests Tigers still maintain a good overall record against Souths, having scored more points per game against the Rabbitohs than any other club in history. Interestingly, Wests Tigers also haven't lost twice in the same season to South Sydney since 2013.
Date — Thursday, September 8, 2020
Time — 7:50pm AEST
Venue — Bankwest Stadium
TV, RADIO AND LIVE STREAM INFORMATION
TV — Live via Channel 9 and Fox Sports (Ch.502)
Radio — AM 702 ABC Grandstand, AM 873 2GB, FM 104.9 Triple M
Live Stream — 9NOW, FoxtelGo KAYO, NRL Digital Pass and Watch NRL (int.)
Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 4 Adam DoueihiFullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 Corey Allan
Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David NofoalumaWinger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Alex Johnston
Centre for Wests Tigers is number 18 Chris LawrenceCentre for Rabbitohs is number 3 Campbell Graham
Centre for Wests Tigers is number 19 Tommy TalauCentre for Rabbitohs is number 4 Steven Marsters
Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Asu KepaoaWinger for Rabbitohs is number 5 Dane Gagai
Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Benji MarshallFive-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 6 Cody Walker
Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke BrooksHalfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Adam Reynolds
Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 Josh AloiaiProp for Rabbitohs is number 8 Liam Knight
Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Harry GrantHooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Damien Cook
Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 Thomas MikaeleProp for Rabbitohs is number 10 Thomas Burgess
2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Luke Garner2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 Jaydn Su'A
2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Bayley Sironen
Lock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Alex TwalLock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Cameron Murray
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Matthew EisenhuthInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 14 Mark Nicholls
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Elijah TaylorInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 15 Jed Cartwright
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Jacob LiddleInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 16 Patrick Mago
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Sam McIntyreInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 17 Keaon Koloamatangi
- Referee: Ben Cummins
- Touch Judge: Todd Smith
- Touch Judge: Chris Sutton
- Video Referee: Bryan Norrie
- Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara
LATEST TEAM NEWS
Wests Tigers — Joey Leilua and Moses Mbye are both late omissions, with Chris Lawrence and Tommy Talau joining the side and Adam Doueihi going to fullback.
Rabbitohs — Dane Gagai returns from a hamstring strain on the wing in place of Jaxson Paulo. Junior Tatola is out with Liam Knight starting at prop and Jed Cartwright onto the bench.
LATEST NEDS ODDS
H2H — Wests Tigers ($3.15), South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.36)
Line — Wests Tigers (+7.5) $2.00, South Sydney Rabbitohs (-7.5) $2.00
Odds correct as of 3:00pm, September 8. 18+ only. Gamble responsibly.
Head-to-Head — Played 35, South Sydney Rabbitohs 19, Wests Tigers 16
At Bankwest Stadium — Played 2, South Sydney Rabbitohs 1, Wests Tigers 1
Last Time They Met — South Sydney 18 def. Wests Tigers 10 (Rd.9, 2020)
Referee — Ben Cummins
Touch Judges — Todd Smith and Chris Sutton
Review — Bryan Norrie and Henry Perenara