The Wests Tigers and Sydney Roosters will be looking to start their seasons on a high as the two teams clash at ANZ Stadium in round 1.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
The Tigers come into this clash off the back of mixed results in their trial games. A strong performance saw them beat the Cowboys 30-16 in their first trial, while they were quite disappointing in their 24-12 loss to the Sharks the next week.
The Roosters were much the same in their trial games. Losing first up tot the Panthers 30-18, before going on to beat Manly 28-26 a week later.
The biggest talking point out of the Tigers team list is the exclusion of star winger David Nofoaluma. Corey Thompson takes his place on the right wing, while Tui Lolohea lines up at fullback. Usual first graders Chris McQueen and Jesse Sue have also missed out.
With Luke Keary ruled out with a broken jaw, Mitch Cornish steps up to play alongside Cooper Cronk in the halves. Former Tigers superstar James Tedesco takes his place in the number one jumper for the tri-colours.
The Tigers generally don’t have much luck against the Bondi based, having not beaten them since 2011. It doesn’t look like things are going to get any easier today for Ivan Cleary’s men, as the Roosters boast one of the strongest squad in the competition. New recruits James Tedesco and Cooper Cronk headline just a small number of weapons the Roosters have in their arsenal.
The battle of the front rowers will be one to keep an eye on during this game. All four starting props in this game have represented New Zealand at some point in their careers. Packer and Matulino for the Tigers will both make their club debut, while Waerea-Hargreaves and Taukeiaho will be looking to lead from the front for the Roosters.
“We just want to get the season started — it’s as simple as that for us.” – Ivan Cleary, Wests Tigers coach.
“They’ve got to perform tomorrow, that’s what we do, that’s what we’ve been building for and that’s all that counts.” – Trent Robinson, Sydney Roosters coach.
The Tigers are unbeaten in their last 3 round 1 games, while they haven’t beaten the Roosters since 2011.
Wests Tigers: 1 Tuimoala Lolohea, 2 Corey Thompson, 3 Esan Marsters, 4 Kevin Naiqama, 5 Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, 6 Josh Reynolds, 7 Luke Brooks, 8 Russell Packer, 9 Pita Godinet, 10 Ben Matulino, 11 Chris Lawrence, 12 Robbie Rochow, 13 Elijah Taylor
Interchange: 14 Benji Marshall, 15 Alex Twal, 16 Michael Chee Kam, 17 Matthew Eisenhuth
Roosters: 1 James Tedesco, 5 Blake Ferguson, 4 Joseph Manu, 3 Latrell Mitchell, 2 Daniel Tupou, 6 Mitchell Cornish, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9 Jake Friend (c), 10 Sio Siua Taukeiaho, 11 Boyd Cordner (c), 12 Mitchell Aubusson, 13 Isaac Liu
Interchange: 14 Dylan Napa, 15 Zane Tetevano, 16 Ryan Matterson, 17 Victor Radley
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Saturday 10th of March
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Referee: Gavin Badger
WHO WILL WIN?