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Luciano Leilua confident Wests Tigers can match top teams

Wests Tigers forward Luciano Leilua said he and his teammates are ready to match it with the best teams in the competition with the side set for a month a blockbuster fixtures.

Following the club’s impressive win over the ladder leading Panthers last Friday night, Michael Maguire’s men will now face the other three top four teams in consecutive matches — Parramatta (3rd), Melbourne (2nd) and South Sydney (4th).

“It’s going to be a good test for us — to see where we are against the top teams,” Leilua said.

“We can really put some teams on notice and show that we can make the top eight. From there, we can keep going.

“We can win big games. This is a perfect chance for us to beat the top teams and put ourselves in a good position.”

Press Conference: James Tamou

Not intimidated to face the competition’s highest-ranked clubs, Leilua said he’s ready for the challenge and is confidence his side can perform well this month.

“We want to be playing the best teams. As a footy player, you want to play in the big games against the winning teams and we’re up for the challenge over the next month,” he said.

“I love this middle part of the season. It’s a good chance for us to get a few wins before the backend of the year.”

Claiming back-to-back wins for the first time this season, including defeating the top-ranked team, has given Wests Tigers a massive confidence boost at the halfway stage of the season — according to Leilua.

Press Conference: Adam Doueihi

“It was a great game for us. We know they had a few players out because of State of Origin, but our boys brought the energy and played well — we still had a job to do and we got it done,” he said.

“Getting back-to-back wins gets the monkey off the back and now we’re looking to make it three wins in a row.”

Wests Tigers will now turn their attention to Sunday’s match against the Eels at Bankwest Stadium as they hunt for three-straight wins for the first time since 2018.

“They’re a good side all across the park so we know we’re going to have to be at our best,” Leilua said.

“We need to try to slow down their middle third and shut down their edges. It’s going to be a good Sunday footy showdown.”