These two underdogs have surprised many so far this season by performing at a higher level than expected. Both teams had horrific off seasons but have managed to build competitive rosters and start the season strong. These two lightweights should make an exciting match.

Last Time Out

The Titans dominated the Knights in round 1 with their forward pack rolling over their opposition and Ashley Taylor and Greg Bird executing in attack. In week two it was a similar story however they faced a much more daunting prospect in the Storm. They competed strongly for the majority of the match; however, short lapses in defensive prowess caused a slide of the scoreboard. The final score was not indicative of the effort.

The Tigers have been one of the most impressive offensive teams in the first two rounds with Tedesco, Moses and Brooks destroying their opponents. They have unleashed a more unpredictable style of football which is reminiscent of Benji Marshall at his peak. Their forwards have been uncharacteristically impressive; many expected them to be one of the weakest packs in the NRL. The Tigers main concern has been allowing teams to load on points in short periods of time.

Key Battles

Agnatius Paasi vs. Aaron Woods

Paasi and Woods have been two of the most impressive props so far this year. Woods is already considered one of the best in the competition while Paasi is heading towards to top quickly after becoming progressively better in 2015. These two big men are likely to crunch through their opposition defense on Saturday night and I would expect them to run more than 300 metres between them.

Luke Brooks vs. Ashley Taylor

Mitch Moses has starred in the Tigers first two matches but now that Brooks has had one week under his belt I expect him to explode in round 3. Ashley Taylor has been one of the Titans best players through his first two NRL games. The battle of the prodigies should be exciting to watch. These two players could potentially face each other in the Origin arena one day.

Prediction

The Tigers forward pack, despite the loss of Sironen, should be able to match the Titans’ based on the first two rounds however the difference will be made on the edges. The Tigers players from 1-6 are a much better than the Titans’ and that is where I expect the game to be won. Expect big numbers from the Tigers’ backline.

Tigers to win by 14.

Squads

Titans
1 David Mead (Marist Bros Lismore)
2 Anthony Don (Grafton Ghosts)
3 Josh Hoffman (Norths Mackay)
4 Nathan Davis (Hinchinbrook Hornets)
5 Nene MacDonald (Cairns Brothers)
6 Tyrone Roberts (Wests Newcastle)
7 Ashley Taylor (Toowoomba)
8 David Shillington (Brothers juniors)
9 Nathan Friend (c) (West Juniors)
10 Agnatius Paasi (Mangere East)
11 Zeb Taia (Enfield)
12 Chris McQueen (Kingaroy Red Ants)
13 Greg Bird (Maitland Pumpkin Pickers)
14 Luke Douglas (Yamba Dolphins)
15 Ryan James (Bilambil Jets)
16 Leivaha Pulu (Marist Saints)
17 Daniel Mortimer (Orange CYMS)
18 Eddy Pettybourne (Mascot Jets)

Wests Tigers

1 James Tedesco (Camden Rams)
2 David Nofoaluma (Campbelltown)
3 Tim Simona (Doonside)
4 Kevin Naiqama (Arncliffe Scots)
5 Jordan Rankin (Burleigh)
6 Mitchell Moses (Carlingford Cougars)
7 Luke Brooks (Holy Cross Rhinos)
8 Aaron Woods (c) (Leichhardt Juniors)
9 Dene Halatau (Merrylands)
10 Tim Grant (St Marys)
11 Kyle Lovett (Five Dock RSL)
12 Chris Lawrence (Eagle Vale St Andrews)
13 Sauaso Sue (Macquarie Fields Hawks)
14 Jack Buchanan (Culburra)
15 Joshua Aloiai (Glenora Bears)
16 Ava Seumanufagai (Wainuiomata Lions)
17 Manaia Cherrington (Quakers Hill)
18 Michael Chee Kam (Mt Wellington)