2023 NRL Preview Round 16: Tigers Vs Storm

Debra Sherwood previews the Round 16 match between the Wests Tigers and Melbourne Storm.



Wests Tigers Vs Melbourne Storm
Venue: Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Sydney
Date: Saturday June 17, 7:35pm


Tigers: 1. Jahream Bula 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Brent Naden 4. Asu Kepaoa 5. Junior Tupou 6. Starford To’a 7. Brandon Wakeham 8. Fonua Pole 9. Jake Simpkin 10. David Klemmer 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. Shawn Blore 13. John Bateman 14. Tallyn Da Silva 15. Tommy Talau 16. Alex Twal 17. Alex Seyfarth 18. Will Smith 19. Justin Matamua 20. Aistasi James 21. Brandon Mansfield 22. Triston Reilly

Storm: 1. Nick Meaney 2. William Warbrick 3. Reimis Smith 4. Marion Seve 5. George Jennings 6. Jonah Pezet 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Tui Kamikamica 9. Bronson Garlick 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Trent Loiero 12. Tariq Sims 13. Josh King 14. Tyran Wishart 15. Tom Eisenhuth 16. Alec MacDonald 17. Aaron Pene 18. Justin Olam 19. Grant Anderson 20. Sualauvi Faalogo 21. Chris Lewis 22. Kane Bradley

Referee: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski

Embed from Getty Images


It will be a battle against all odds for the Tigers as they take on the Storm this Saturday night at Campbelltown Stadium.

The Tigers have really struggled this season to find their feet, with it being always the case of close but no cigar.

In their match against the Titans last weekend, the Tigers only had 70 percent of possession due to numerous handling errors. They will need to focus on being error free if they are to have a fighting chance against the Storm.

The Tigers will see a reshuffled side, with two of their key players out due to injuries. Luke Brooks has a hamstring injury and Apisai Koroisau has a broken jaw from their last match with the Titans.

Despite the absence of these key players, Brandon Wakeham will be replacing Brooks in the halves, Starford To’a will be five-eighth, and Brent Naden is returning in the centres. Jahream Bula will be on the outside edge bringing his strong running game, combined with David Nofoaluma – who has scored 17 tries in 25 games at Campbelltown Stadium – further strengthening their backline.

The Tigers are fielding a solid forward pack against the Storm: leading them up front will be David Klemmer, who has made 15 tackle breaks to date this season, 744.6 post contact metres, with 338 tackles made with 99.7 percent efficiency (an average of 152 running metres). He will team up with Isaiah Papali’i, one of the best edge forwards in the NRL, who has made 370 tackles in defence with a 94.9 efficiency rate, with an average of 122 running metres made this season.

The Storm will line up as a different team to the one that absolutely smashed the Sharks last weekend, missing Cameron Munster, Harry Grant, and Xavier Coates due to Origin duties, with Christian Welch suspended, but this shouldn’t waiver an already energised Storm team.

The Tigers will need to keep their guard up against the likes of Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Nick Meaney, and Will Warbrick.

Asofa-Solomona is known for an unrelenting on-field showing and is like a wall of steel, with 45 tackle breaks, 366.1 post contact metres (with 150 tackles made) with 89.9 percent efficiency, averaging 114 running metres just this season so far.

Nick Meaney has scored six tries in the past six games against the Wests Tigers and only requires 10 points to reach 500 career points. Warbrick played an impressive game against the Sharks (scoring in the 16th minute), and is averaging 136 running metres.

Saturday night will see a battle of the toughest and a fight the Tigers will need to win if they are to stay off the bottom of the ladder.


Tigers 3, Storm 7


Storm by six points.

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