Mark Barnes previews the final round 15 clash between the Bulldogs and Tigers at CommBank Stadium on Sunday.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Vs Wests Tigers
Venue: CommBank Stadium
Date: Sunday June 19, 4:05pm
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Bulldogs: 1. Jake Averillo 2. Jacob Kiraz 3. Aaron Schoupp 4. Corey Allan 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Max King 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Josh Jackson 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 13. Tevita Pangai Junior 14. Zach Dockar-Clay 15. Corey Waddell 16. Joe Stimson 17. Kurtis Morrin 19. Matt Dufty 20. Bailey Biondi-Odo 21. Jayden Tanner 22. Isaac Lumelume 24. Jackson TopineEmbed from Getty Images
Tigers: 1. Daine Laurie 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Starford To’a 4. Asu Kepaoa 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Luke Brooks 7. Jackson Hastings 8. James Tamou 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Zane Musgrove 11. Luke Garner 12. Kelma Tuilagi 13. Joe Ofahengaue 14. Fa’amanu Brown 15. Alex Twal 16. Adam Doueihi 17. Alex Seyfarth 18. Jake Simpkin 19. Fonua Pole 20. Austin Dias 21. Junior Tupou 22. Tyrone Peachey
Referee: Ben Cummins
The Tigers and Bulldogs clash after two clubs that moved on their coaches have experienced very different fortunes in the weeks following.
The Bulldogs come in full of confidence after an emphatic 34-4 win over the Parramatta Eels that they would hope will kick-start their season after moving off the bottom off the ladder.
There were several positive signs for the Bulldogs following on from the axing of coach Barrett, most notably the form of Matt Burton who had three try assists last round and continues to terrorise teams with one of the most dangerous kicking games in the NRL.
Likewise, Josh Addo-Carr was in sublime form again with his first hat trick of tries in a Bulldogs jersey stamping his claim on the game, but also on being considered for a return to a New South Wales Origin jersey.
Conversely, the Tigers offered very little last round against an under strength Manly side missing both Tom Trbojevic but also Daley Cherry-Evans who was a late withdrawal.
Playing at Campbelltown Stadium there was some hope from Tigers fans they would have at least competed in the game following Michael Maguire’s axing as head coach, but with 50 tackles conceded and a lack of effort in front of their home fans that hope could not have been further from the truth.
Coming into this clash both teams will be close to full strength with the Tigers missing Brent Naden to suspension and Luciano Leilua who has left being released to the Cowboys.
They do have the return of Adam Doueihi from the interchange bench. Doueihi has not played since an ACL injury sidelined him in the 2021 season and up until then was one of the Tigers shining lights.
The other aspect of the clash the Tigers can take confidence from is in the last two clashes CommBank Stadium against the Bulldogs, including round 11, the Tigers have won both, having never lost to the Bulldogs in the short history of games there.
The Tigers have also won four of the last five matches against the Bulldogs with three out of those four being double digit margins of victory.
Despite that, on form the Tigers are deserved underdogs and with the second worst points differential in the league, will be in danger of plummeting as far as last place on the competition table depending on other results.
Like the Tigers the Bulldogs are gunning for their fourth victory of the season and to avoid being relegated again to the 16th place on the table.
After a historically bad first couple months of attacking footy the Bulldogs have managed to put together a month of games now where they have averaged over 24 points per game, a far cry from a side that took more than two months to eclipse that point scoring to start the year.
If that attack continues the Tigers might find it hard to keep up.
A Bulldogs victory seems to be heavily reliant on Matt Burton continuing his current form and if he does Burton and the Fox are likely to add another loss to the Wests Tigers already disappointing season.
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