Matt Attard previews the round 11 clash between the Tigers and Bulldogs. Here’s what we have to look forward to …
Wests Tigers Vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Venue: Leichhardt Oval, Sydney
Date: e.g., Friday May 20, 6:00pm
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Tigers: 1. Starford To’a 2. Junior Tupou 3. Asu Kepaoa 4. Tyrone Peachey 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Jock Madden 7. Jackson Hastings 8. James Tamou 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Zane Musgrove 11. Luke Garner 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Joe Ofahengaue 14. Kelma Tuilagi 15. Alex Twal 16. Fa’amanu Brown 17. Stefano Utoikamanu 18. Alex Seyfarth 19. Oliver Gildart 20. Thomas Mikaele 21. Brent Naden 22. Junior Pauga 23. Tukimihia Simpkins 24. Fonua Pole
Former Bulldogs winger Brent Naden named in the extended squad after a mid-season switch. Jock Madden is the new five-eighth with Luke Brooks sidelined by a hamstring injury. Asu Kepaoa returns in the centres. Jacob Liddle comes in at hooker to replace Jake Simpkin. Fa’amanu Brown will make his club debut from the bench.Embed from Getty Images
Bulldogs: 1. Matt Dufty 2. Jayden Okunbor 3. Aaron Schoupp 4. Jake Averillo 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Luke Thompson 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Jackson Topine 12. Tevita Pangai Junior 13. Josh Jackson 14. Bailey Biondi-Odo 15. Joe Stimson 16. Max King 17. Chris Patolo 19. Jacob Kiraz 20. Zach Dockar-Clay 21. Brandon Wakeham 22. Tuipulotu Katoa 23. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 24. Paul Alamoti 25. Ava Seumanufagai
Jake Averillo is back in the centres with Naden off to the Tigers. Back-rower Corey Waddell will miss the match and is replaced by Jackson Topine.
Referee: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
Wow. What a week of turmoil for the Canterbury-Bankstown club. After a mountain of external pressure, coach Trent Barrett resigned when news broke of his impending sacking.
As hard as he tried, he wasn’t cut out for the tough job of turning around a once powerful club. It means the Bulldogs will have caretaker coach Mick Potter at the helm for the rest of the season.
It will begin on Friday against a Wests Tigers outfit who has improved tenfold in 2022, with halfback Jackson Hastings proving a real gem.
They do, however, go into this match missing Luke Brooks, Jake Simpkin, and possibly others. The Bulldogs are in a similar boat, having released disappointing outside back Brent Naden to, funnily enough, the Tigers – meaning he could play against his former club come kick-off.
The Bulldogs were also rocked by flu over the week, with as many as 14 players sent home on Monday with illness. I expect their side to look very different on Friday evening than the one named on Tuesday.
Both these teams have been cellar dwellers for several years, but no doubt it’s the Balmain boys who have responded well this season, scoring some impressive wins and playing with real determination.
The Bulldogs players’ response to the scrutiny and loss of Barrett will be interesting to see, but given everything that has happened, and with only two days of training before the game, it’s hard to go past a Tigers victory.Embed from Getty Images
Caretaker Bulldogs coach Mick Potter has a 50 per cent win record as a coach. The 58-year-old has coached 263 top grade games in England and Australia – his last gig being with his opponent on Friday night back in 2013 and 2014. He also played 80 games for the Bulldogs between 1983 and 1988.
Tigers by 18.
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