2021 NRL Round 20 Preview, Tigers Vs Warriors

Joshua Knox previews the Friday evening clash between the Wests Tigers and New Zealand Warriors. Both sides will be looking for a win to keep their finals hopes alive. This is what we have to look forward to.

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Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Date: 30/7, Time: 6pm

Tigers Team

1. Daine Laurie
2. David Nofoaluma
3. Moses Mbye
4. Tommy Talau
5. Ken Maumalo
6. Adam Doueihi
7. Luke Brooks
8. Stefano Utoikamanu
9. Jacob Liddle
10. James Tamou
11. Shawn Blore
12. Luciano Leilua
13. Joe Ofahengaue
14. Alex Twal
15. Tom Amone
16. Tukimihia Simpkins
17. Michael Chee Kam
18. Kelma Tuilagi
19. Jock Madden
20. Zac Cini
21. Jake Simpkin

Team Changes

IN: Alex Twal, Jake Simpkin, Jock Madden, Kelma Tuilagi, Shawn Blore, Tom Amone, Zac Cini.
OUT: Alex Seyfarth, Junior Pauga, Luke Garner, Thomas Mikaele.

Warriors Team

1. Reece Walsh
2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
3. Adam Pompey
4. Euan Aitken
5. Marcelo Montoya
6. Peta Hiku
7. Sean O’Sullivan
8. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
9. Taniela Otukolo
10. Ben Murdoch-Masila
11. Eliesa Katoa
12. Bayley Sironen
13. Josh Curran
14. Kodi Nikorima
15. Bunty Afoa
16. Kane Evans
17. Jazz Tevaga
18. Viliami Vailea
20. Edward Kosi
21. Pride Petterson-Robati

Team Changes

IN: Ben Murdoch-Masila, Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, Kane Evans, Peta Hiku, Pride Petterson-Robati, Sean O’Sullivan, Viliami Vailea.
OUT: Addin Fonua-Blake, Chad Townsend, Jack Murchie, Leeson Ah Mau, Matt Lodge.

Referee: Ben Cummins


West Tigers

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The Wests Tigers enter this clash in need of a win to keep touch with the top eight after suffering a 44-24 loss to the Manly Sea Eagles. The Tigers led for the majority of the first half before four tries either side of half time from Manly ended their chances of an upset win. The side will be without back rower Luke Garner who suffered an injury in the loss which sees Shawn Blore promoted to the starting lineup. Young centre Junior Pauga misses out in favour of the experienced Moses Mbye.

The Tigers have won only one of their last five matches and with pressure on the team and their coach, this is one that they must win against a side in a similar position.

New Zealand Warriors

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The Warriors are reeling after losing a number of key players over the past two weeks to injury which has halted their season. To add insult to injury, captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has been granted an early release from his contract and has therefore played his last game for the club. The Warriors have lost seven straight matches with the latest being a demolition job 60-22 loss to the Rabbitohs and now find themselves three wins adrift from the top eight.

Addin Fonua-Blake, Tohu Harris, Jack Murchie, Chad Townsend, Leeson Ah Mau and Matt Lodge are just a few of the names that have suffered injuries over the past fortnight. The club welcomes back Jamayne Taunoa-Brown from his two game loan spell at the Dragons to bolster a depleted forward pack. He joins Ben Murdoch-Masila and Kane Evans who have also been brought back into the side. Peta Hiku’s timely return at five eighth sees him gain the captaincy that was left by RTS.


This shapes as an interesting clash. The team that loses can all but put a line through their name for a finals berth. A Warriors loss could potentially see them four wins outside the eight by weeks end although a win still sees them needing results to go their way. The Tigers have one of the easier draws to finish the season and they will need to win this one to start that momentum. The Tigers face the bottom team the Bulldogs twice, they also play the Cowboys who are languishing towards the bottom of the competition ladder.

Losing club captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is a hammer blow to the Warriors who are almost unrecognisable from their best 17. Look to young gun Reece Walsh to try and put his stamp on the game in the absence of Tuivasa-Sheck and begin to make the vacant fullback position his own.

Adam Doueihi has been one of the most influential players for Wests since his return to the number six a fortnight ago leaving a number of pundits to question why he was ever taken out of the position. Since the shift, Doueihi has had his hand in six tries and has looked his threatening self when attacking the line.


The Warriors got the better of the Tigers in 2020 with a 26-20 win in round 12 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. A late Tommy Talau was in vein as the side fell short. The return of Peta Hiku is a welcome one as he crossed for a double the last time these sides clashed. Ex-warriors winger Ken Maumalo is coming off a try double from last round and will be hoping to continue his try scoring run against his former club.


The Warriors will put up a good account for themselves but with the calibre of player missing the Tigers are going to prove too strong and keep their season alive.

Tigers by 10

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