Wests Tigers will return to Leichhardt Oval for the battle of the big cats when the Penrith Panthers come to town on Friday night.
Following last week’s convincing win over the Dragons, Michael Maguire’s men will be high on confidence and eager to upset the undefeated Panthers for the first time this season.
The Mountain Men will be without eight of their stars for the Round 13 clash with seven players called up for State of Origin, while prop Moses Leota has been rubbed out through suspension.
Wests Tigers will be missing enforcer Joe Ofahengaue for the clash after he was named in the Queensland Origin squad, but are boosted by the inclusion of Luciano Leilua after he was successful in getting a Shoulder Charge dismissed at the judiciary on Tuesday night.
Wests Tigers recruits Daine Laurie and James Tamou will be looking to impress when they face their former team for the first time since joining the club this season, while former Panther Shawn Blore will clash against his old teammates for the second time.
James Roberts was impressive in his return from injury last weekend as he bagged two tries on the wing, and he’ll be keen for another good performance this time around.
After inking a new, two-year contract extension with the club on Tuesday, Jacob Liddle is expected to start at hooker for the home side while second row forward Luke Garner is set to play his 50th NRL game for the club.
LATEST TEAM NEWS
Wests Tigers: In-form second-rower Luciano Leilua was successful at the judiciary on Tuesday night, meaning he is eligible to play in Friday's game. Alex Seyfarth starts at lock in place of Joe Ofahengaue (representative duties) with Stefano Utoikamanu coming into the bench for his first game since Round 9.
Panthers: The return of Dylan Edwards (hamstring) at fullback allows Stephen Crichton to shift back to the centres and Matt Burton to move to five-eighth to replace Jarome Luai. Robert Jennings gets a recall on the wing while Tyrone May will play halfback and Mitch Kenny is the new hooker. Yeo and Martin are replaced in the back row by Scott Sorensen and Matt Eisenhuth while the interchange bench has four new faces in former Eel Jaeman Salmon, one-gamer J'maine Hopgood and debutants Lindsay Smith and Izack Tago. Prop Moses Leota accepted a one-week ban for a careless high tackle and his place is taken by Spencer Leniu.
Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Daine LaurieFullback for Panthers is number 1 Dylan Edwards
Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David NofoalumaWinger for Panthers is number 2 Charlie Staines
Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Adam DoueihiCentre for Panthers is number 3 Stephen Crichton
Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Tommy TalauCentre for Panthers is number 4 Paul Momirovski
Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 James RobertsWinger for Panthers is number 5 Robert Jennings
Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Moses MbyeFive-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Matt Burton
Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke BrooksHalfback for Panthers is number 7 Tyrone May
Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 James TamouProp for Panthers is number 8 Spencer Leniu
Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Jacob LiddleHooker for Panthers is number 9 Mitch Kenny
Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 Alex TwalProp for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Luke Garner2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Viliame Kikau
2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Scott Sorensen
Lock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Alex SeyfarthLock for Panthers is number 13 Matthew Eisenhuth
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Stefano UtoikamanuInterchange for Panthers is number 14 Jaeman Salmon
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Shawn BloreInterchange for Panthers is number 15 J'maine Hopgood
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Tom AmoneInterchange for Panthers is number 16 Lindsay Smith
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Thomas MikaeleInterchange for Panthers is number 17 Izack Tago
Reserve for Wests Tigers is number 18 Michael Chee KamReserve for Panthers is number 18 Brent Naden
- Referee: Grant Atkins
- Touch Judge: Chris Sutton
- Touch Judge: Nick Beashel
- Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall
Date — Friday, 4th June, 2021
Time — 7:55pm AEST
Venue — Leichhardt Oval
TV, RADIO AND LIVE STREAM INFORMATION
TV — Channel 9, FOX League (Ch.502)
Radio — AM 702 ABC Grandstand, AM 873 2GB
Live Stream — 9 NOW, KAYO Sports, Watch NRL (int.)
LATEST NEDS ODDS
Head-to-Head — Wests Tigers ($2.75), Penrith Panthers ($1.44)
Line — Wests Tigers +5.5 ($2.00), Penrith Panthers -5.5 ($2.00)
Head-to-Head — Played 36, Wests Tigers 13, Penrith Panthers 23
At Leichhardt Oval — Played 5, Wests Tigers 1, Penrith Panthers 4
Last Time They Met — Penrith Panthers 30 def. Wests Tigers 6 (Rd.16, 2020)
Referee — Grant Atkins
Touch Judges — Chris Sutton & Nick Beashel
Bunker Review Official — Alan Shortall