Preview: New Zealand Warriors vs Wests Tigers

The 2016 season will officially be over for the loser of the clash between the Warriors and the Tigers on Sunday afternoon, however both sides will be hoping for a Titans loss on Saturday night to keep their finals hopes alive. The Warriors will welcome the return of two of their most exciting attacking stars, with Solomone Kata returning from injury and Tuimoala Lolohea being recalled to the side. Winger David Nofoaluma will shift into James Tedesco’s vacant fullback jersey. Both sides are coming off disappointing performances last week, which has put a heavy dent in their finals aspirations.

Last Time Out
The Tigers were woeful against a red hot Penrith side, falling to a 40-10 defeat at Pepper Stadium. The Tigers got off to a good start by crossing for the first try after 6 minutes, however they had to endure a 7 try onslaught before finally crossing the try line again in the 63rd minute. Although the Panthers were threatening, the Tigers made it a lot easier for them with 49 missed tackles.

The Warriors couldn’t contain the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville last Saturday, as they shot back into form with a 34-6 demolishing of the New Zealand side. The Warriors looked far from their attacking best, crossing for just one try through Ryan Hoffman. The Warriors gave away too many critical errors, and the Cowboys were strong enough to capitalise on their mistakes.

Key Battle
Shaun Johnson and Mitchell Moses possess some of the silkiest skills in the NRL, and the two will have a thrilling battle as they do their best to inspire victory for their sides. Johnson was guilty of going missing last week when his side needed him against the Cowboys, with the Warriors just crossing for one try as a result. Although his side was on the end of a thrashing, Moses can be proud of his efforts. He made two important line breaks, setting up a try with the first one, and crossing for his own in the 63rd minute. Both players have the potential to make or break a game, ensuring that this will be a thrilling personal battle.

Prediction
This game is crucial for both sides, and although they have both been down on form in the past 2 weeks, the Tigers look to be shot in the arm after losing James Tedesco for the season. A home crowd and the do or die nature of the clash should be enough to get the Warriors over the line.

Warriors by 8

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