Wests Tigers have played all but one team in the competition so far this season, leaving Cronulla Sutherland Sharks as their final unique opponent in 2021.
In fact, these two sides will face off for the first time in 448 days when they meet on Saturday afternoon — the longest current drought between fixtures in the NRL.
And this clash comes at no better time with Wests Tigers and Sharks locked on 18 competition points — just one win outside the top eight — and fighting for a spot in the finals.
Wests Tigers will enter the match high on confidence following back-to-back wins over the Bulldogs and Cowboys — and now they’ll be looking for three-straight victories for the first time since 2018.
However, Michael Maguire’s men will have to play without Thomas Mikaele and Jacob Liddle after they both copped one game suspensions for a crusher tackle during the win against the Cowboys in Round 22.
James Tamou and James Roberts were also both late scratchings on Friday as the club confirmed the duo would miss the match with injury.
Their omission sees Joe Ofahengaue shift into the run-on side, while it's an inexperienced bench for Michael Maguire's side — Kelma Tuilagi (3), Tuki Simpkins (4), Billy Walters (11) and Tom Amone (14) set to feature.
The match was originally scheduled to be played at Scully Park in Tamworth, however a relocation to Queensland due to COVID-19 has seen the fixture shifted to Browne Park in Rockhampton.
It will be the first ever NRL match played at the venue — giving the Rockhampton locals an opportunity to watch live first grade footy.
UPDATED TEAM NEWS
Wests Tigers: Jacob Liddle (suspension), James Roberts (achilles), Thomas Mikaele (suspension) and James Tamou (foot) are all out. Tom Amone, Tuki Simpkins, Kelma Tuilagi and Billy Walters are named on the bench, while Jake Simpkin and Joe Ofahengaue both move into the starting side.
Sharks: Matt Moylan will make his return from a hamstring injury with Luke Metcalf set to start at five-eighth and Connor Tracey shifting to the centres. Mawene Hiroti and Will Chambers drop out of the squad originally named during the week.
Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Moses MbyeFullback for Sharks is number 1 William Kennedy
Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David NofoalumaWinger for Sharks is number 2 Sione Katoa
Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Tommy TalauCentre for Sharks is number 4 Jesse Ramien
Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Michael Chee KamCentre for Sharks is number 6 Connor Tracey
Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Ken MaumaloWinger for Sharks is number 5 Ronaldo Mulitalo
Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Adam DoueihiFive-Eighth for Sharks is number 14 Luke Metcalf
Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke BrooksHalfback for Sharks is number 7 Braydon Trindall
Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 Stefano UtoikamanuProp for Sharks is number 8 Toby Rudolf
Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Jake SimpkinHooker for Sharks is number 9 Blayke Brailey
Prop for Wests Tigers is number 14 Joe OfahengaueProp for Sharks is number 10 Aaron Woods
2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Shawn Blore2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora
2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Siosifa Talakai
Lock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Alex TwalLock for Sharks is number 13 Jack Williams
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Kelma TuilagiInterchange for Sharks is number 15 Braden Hamlin-Uele
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Tukimihia SimpkinsInterchange for Sharks is number 16 Teig Wilton
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 18 Billy WaltersInterchange for Sharks is number 17 Billy Magoulias
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 19 Tom AmoneInterchange for Sharks is number 18 Matt Moylan
Reserve for Wests Tigers is number 21 Zac CiniReserve for Sharks is number 20 Kai O'Donnell
- Referee: Gerard Sutton
- Touch Judge: Dave Munro
- Touch Judge: Belinda Sharpe
- Senior Review Official: Grant Atkins
Date — Saturday, 21st August, 2021
Time — 3:00pm AEST
Venue — Browne Park, Rockhampton
TV, RADIO AND LIVE STREAM INFORMATION
TV — FOX League (Ch.502)
Radio — AM 702 ABC Grandstand, FM 104.9 Triple M
Live Stream — KAYO Sports, Watch NRL (int.)
LATEST NEDS ODDS
Head-to-Head — Wests Tigers ($2.50), Cronulla Sutherland Sharks ($1.55)
Line — Wests Tigers +4.5 ($1.90), Cronulla Sutherland Sharks -4.5 ($1.90)
Moses Mbye discusses decision to leave Wests Tigers
Head-to-Head — Played 33, Wests Tigers 18, Cronulla Sharks 13, Draw 2
At Brown Park — Yet to play at the venue
Last Time They Met —Wests Tigers 28 def. Cronulla Sharks 16 (Rd.3, 2020)
Referee — Gerard Sutton
Touch Judges — Dave Munro & Belinda Sharpe
Bunker Review Official — Grant Atkins
Nofoaluma: 'The focus is on us'