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2015 NRL Match Preview: New Zealand Warriors vs Wests Tigers

Date: Saturday 11th April, 2015

Venue: Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland

Kick-Off: 5:30pm local

New Zealand Warriors 1. Tuimoala Lolohea 2. Jonathan Wright 3. Konrad Hurrell 4. Solomone Kata 5. Manu Vatuvei 6. Chad Townsend 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Jacob Lillyman 9. Thomas Leuluai 10. Ben Matulino 11. Bodene Thompson 12. Ryan Hoffman 13. Simon Mannering. Interchange: 14. Nathan Friend 15. Sebastine Ikahihifo 16. Sam Lisone 17. Albert Vete 18. Dominique Peyroux

Wests Tigers 1. James Tedesco 2. Kevin Naiqama 3. Tim Simona 4. Chris Lawrence 5. Pat Richards 6. Mitchell Moses 7. Luke Brooks 8. Aaron Woods 9. Robbie Farah (C) 10. Keith Galloway 11. Curtis Sironen 12. Kyle Lovett 13. Martin Taupau. Interchange: 14. Dene Halatau 15. Ava Seumanufagai 16. Jack Buchanan 17. Sauaso Sue 18. Asipeli Fine.

Preview

Manu Vatuvei will celebrate his 200th NRL game when the New Zealand Warriors take on the Wests Tigers at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The home side will be hoping the occasion is enough motivation to lift from a form slump that has seen them slip to two straight losses, one at home to the Broncos before losing away to the Melbourne Storm.

They face a stiff opposition in the Tigers however, who sounded a warning to rivals by belting the Parramatta Eels 22-6, thanks largely to in form winger Pat Richards.

Both sides have gone in with relatively stable teams from last round, with additions to an extended bench the only changes made.

For the Warriors to bounce back, they must fix their low completion rate, something which has cost them dearly in both attack and defence. Last week they completed just 65% of their sets on their way to a 30-4 defeat at the hands of the Storm.

They will feel a lot more comfortable playing in front of a boisterous home crowd, however unless they can handle the ball better, their fans may be in for a joyless evening at Mt Smart.

Wests will be feeling quietly confident, as they continue to build in the 2015 season with three wins and two losses to have them placed at 6th on the table compared to the Warriors  2 wins/3losses record.

The Tigers will be wary however, knowing what the Warriors can produce, having been belted 42-18 the last time the sides met across the ditch.

The New Zealand side will be looking to put in their first 80minute performance of the season while the Tigers will be looking to build consistency. On form, it looks like it could be Wests who spoil Manu’s party. You can’t help but feel the Warriors will turn it on at some point, but it doesn’t look like it will happen yet. Tiger’s fans will be hoping it isn’t for at least another week.

 

Prediction

Wests Tigers by 8

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