Wests Tigers will be looking to get their season off to a positive start as they host the Melbourne Storm on Saturday night at CommBank Stadium.
Following an impressive 16-8 victory over the Roosters in their final trial match, the club will be hoping that their momentum can continue into the regular season.
Three players are set to make their Wests Tigers debuts in the clash, with Oliver Gildart and Jackson Hastings named to start and Tyrone Peachey adding attacking spark off the bench.
After a successful return from injury in the trials, Daine Laurie will fill the custodian role again in 2022 as he looks to emulate the strong form of his debut season.
Also entering his second season in the top flight, Stefano Utoikamanu has been tipped for a breakout year and will be joined by Alex Twal in the front row, who remains on the hunt for his elusive first career try.
Peachey excited to be in Wests Tigers leadership group
Jake Simpkin has been named at hooker following the knee injury sustained by Jacob Liddle, while Kelma Tuilagi has earned his first career start and will partner Luciano Leilua to form a potent second-row pairing.
Both clubs will be eager to defend impressive early-season records, with Wests Tigers winning six of their last seven Round 1 matches while Melbourne have won 21 consecutive opening games dating back to 2002.
The Storm will be without star five-eighth Cameron Munster and former Wests Tigers hooker Harry Grant, but still ooze class across the field with several representative-calibre players.
Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Daine LaurieFullback for Storm is number 1 Ryan Papenhuyzen
Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David NofoalumaWinger for Storm is number 2 George Jennings
Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 James RobertsCentre for Storm is number 3 Reimis Smith
Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Oliver GildartCentre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Ken MaumaloWinger for Storm is number 5 Xavier Coates
Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Jackson HastingsFive-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Nick Meaney
Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke BrooksHalfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes
Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 Alex TwalProp for Storm is number 10 Christian Welch
Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Jake SimpkinHooker for Storm is number 9 Brandon Smith
Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 Stefano UtoikamanuProp for Storm is number 17 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Kelma Tuilagi2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi
2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich
Lock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Joe OfahengaueLock for Storm is number 13 Josh King
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Tyrone PeacheyInterchange for Storm is number 14 Tyran Wishart
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Luke GarnerInterchange for Storm is number 16 Trent Loiero
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Zane MusgroveInterchange for Storm is number 19 Alec MacDonald
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Alex SeyfarthInterchange for Storm is number 25 Tepai Moeroa
Replacement for Wests Tigers is number 18 Thomas MikaeleReplacement for Storm is number 22 Bronson Garlick
- Referee: Chris Sutton
- Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
- Touch Judge: Nick Beashel
- Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy
NRL Team Announcement: Round 1
Date — Saturday, 12th March, 2022
Time — 7:35pm AEDT
Venue — CommBank Stadium
TV, Radio and Live Stream Information
TV — FOX League (Ch. 502)
Radio — AM 702 ABC Grandstand, AM 873 2GB
Live Stream — KAYO Sports, Watch NRL (int.)
Latest PlayUp Odds
Head-to-Head — Wests Tigers ($4.00) vs. Melbourne Storm ($1.25)
Head-to-Head — Played 34, Wests Tigers 12, Melbourne Storm 22
At CommBank Stadium — Yet to play at venue
Last Time They Met — Melbourne Storm 66 def. Wests Tigers 16 (Rd. 15, 2021)
Maumalo excited to show what Wests Tigers have been working on
Match: Storm v Wests Tigers
Round 2 -
Venue: AAMI Park
After stealing a 10-8 victory over the widely-favoured Roosters, the Wests Tigers repeated their performance on the road against the reigning premiers in Round 2.
Esan Marsters was the only player to trouble the scoreboard in a tryless first half, with two late penalty goals giving his side a 4-0 lead at the break.
A try from Suliasi Vunivalu levelled the scores with fifteen minutes to play, before the boot of Cameron Smith put the Storm in front with less than ten minutes to play.
However, the Wests Tigers would ultimately spoil the fairytale in Billy Slater’s 300th game as Luke Brooks crossed for his first try of the season with three minutes remaining.
Making the NRL is a dream come true for Gildart
Referee — Chris Sutton
Touch Judge — Drew Oultram & Nick Beashel
Bunker Review Official — Steve Chiddy