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Match Preview: Wests Tigers vs. Melbourne Storm

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.

Team Lists

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Daine Laurie
    Fullback for Storm is number 1 Ryan Papenhuyzen
  • Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David Nofoaluma
    Winger for Storm is number 2 George Jennings
  • Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 James Roberts
    Centre for Storm is number 3 Reimis Smith
  • Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Oliver Gildart
    Centre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
  • Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Ken Maumalo
    Winger for Storm is number 5 Xavier Coates
  • Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Jackson Hastings
    Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Nick Meaney
  • Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks
    Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes

Forwards

  • Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 Alex Twal
    Prop for Storm is number 10 Christian Welch
  • Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Jake Simpkin
    Hooker for Storm is number 9 Brandon Smith
  • Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 Stefano Utoikamanu
    Prop for Storm is number 17 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
  • 2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Kelma Tuilagi
    2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi
  • 2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua
    2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich
  • Lock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Joe Ofahengaue
    Lock for Storm is number 13 Josh King

Interchange

  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Tyrone Peachey
    Interchange for Storm is number 14 Tyran Wishart
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Luke Garner
    Interchange for Storm is number 16 Trent Loiero
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Zane Musgrove
    Interchange for Storm is number 19 Alec MacDonald
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Alex Seyfarth
    Interchange for Storm is number 25 Tepai Moeroa

Reserves

  • Replacement for Wests Tigers is number 18 Thomas Mikaele
    Replacement for Storm is number 22 Bronson Garlick

Match Officials

  • Referee: Chris Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
  • Touch Judge: Nick Beashel
  • Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy

Last updated:

NRL Team Announcement: Round 1

Match Details

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)

Odds correct at time of publishing, odds subject to change at anytime, gamble responsibly 18+ 

History

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

Flashback

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

Match Officials

Referee — Chris Sutton

Touch Judge — Drew Oultram & Nick Beashel 

Bunker Review Official — Steve Chiddy 

Acknowledgement of Country

Wests Tigers respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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