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2021 NRL Round 21 Preview, Bulldogs Vs Tigers

Matt Attard previews the Sunday afternoon clash between Canterbury-Bankstown and the Wests Tigers. This is what we have to look forward to.

TEAM NEWS

Venue: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast, Date: 8/8, Time: 1:50pm

Bulldogs Team

1. Nick Meaney
2. Corey Allan
3. Will Hopoate
4. Aaron Schoupp
5. Falakiko Manu
6. Bailey Biondi-Odo
7. Jake Avarillo
8. Ava Seumanufagai
9. Jeremy Marshall-King
10. Jack Hetherington
11. Corey Waddell
12. Adam Elliott
13. Josh Jackson
14. Sione Katoa
15. Dylan Napa
16. Chris Patolo
17. Matt Doorey
19. Tuipulotu Katoa
20. Joe Stimson
21. Kyle Flanagan
22. Jackson Topi

Team Changes

IN: Ava Seumanufagai
Jackson Topine
Joe Stimson
Sione Katoa
Tuipulotu Katoa


OUT: Jayden Okunbor
Renouf Atoni

Tigers Team

1. Moses Mbye
2. David Nofoaluma
3. Michael Chee Kam
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. Thomas Mikaele
14. Alex Twal
15. Zac Cini
16. Joe Ofahengaue
17. Kelma Tuilagi
18. Tukimihia Simpkins
19. Tom Amone
20. Jock Madden
21. Jake Simpkin

Team Changes

IN: Jake Simpkin
James Tamou
Jock Madden
Thomas Mikaele


OUT:
Daine Laurie

Referee: Chris Butler

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Bulldogs

The end of the season can’t come quick enough for Trent Barrett and his coaching staff. With a long injury list, a group of players divided, and more than 10 players who know they’re out the door in just a few weeks’ time, means a wooden spoon is on the horizon.

A trend seems to be several good games in a row full of effort without a result, followed by an abysmal showing like the weekend just gone. Thankfully there’s a chance for Barrett to blood some very young players, such as Bailey Biondi-Odo, giving them valuable first grade time that would otherwise be a couple of seasons away.

Tigers

A well-publicised basket case, they can use this game to hit some form. I have no doubt that will be the case. They keep missing the mark with recruitment, but I see that as the only victory the Bulldogs will have over Wests this season.

Daine Laurie is a big loss but they’ve show enough in patches this season to show that a game against the lowly Bulldogs is just what they need to boost their confidence.

PREVIEW

Wests lack consistency, while the Bulldogs lack everything else. Biondi-Odo gets a chance starting in the halves, his natural position opposed to hooker, with a view to cementing a spot in the top 30 for next season.

While he has been a rare beacon of light for the club, Wests would be pleased with the recent performances of Luciano Leilua. He’s tried his guts out all season and currently averages 115 metres a game as well as two offloads. With the Bulldogs missing Luke Thompson, they don’t have the forwards to compete with the likes of Leilua.

KEY STAT

The Bulldogs have a 23-15 head-to-head lead since 2000, though the Tigers won both 2020 clashes: 29-28 and 34-6.

PREDICTION

Wests will be played well into form here. I can’t see the Bulldogs getting close. They don’t have the points nor the defensive grit.

Tigers by 12.

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