Tigers Seek Rare Win

Source: Getty Images/dailytelegraph.com.au
Benji Marshall returned for the Tigers last week. Source: Getty Images/dailytelegraph.com.au
Last 5 Meetings

Round 1 2012 – Wests Tigers 17 d Cronulla Sharks 16 at Leichhardt Oval
Round 26 2011 – Wests Tigers 30 d Cronulla Sharks 22 at Sharks Stadium
Round 21 2010 – Wests Tigers 24 d Cronulla Sharks 22 at Leichhardt Oval
Round 23 2009 – Wests Tigers 56 d Cronulla Sharks 10 at Sharks Stadium
Round 25 2008 – Cronulla Sharks 32 d Wests Tigers 6 at Leichhardt Oval

Current Form

  Rd 4    Rd 5    Rd 6    Rd 7    Rd 8 
Tigers

L

L

L

L

L

Sharks

L

L

L

L

W


Despite suffering five consecutive defeats going into this match, the Tigers  will be confident of collecting two much needed competition points when they face the Sharks  at Allianz Stadium on Friday night. Wests has won thirteen of the past fourteen meetings between these clubs, including a memorable golden point victory in round one last season.

The same 17 man squad that was humbled 40-4 by the Bulldogs last weekend has been retained for the Tigers, although Tim Simona and Sauaso Sue come off the bench to replace Bodene Thompson and Jack Buchanan in the run on side.

The well-publicised knee injury to Sharks skipper Paul Gallen means that he has been ruled out of the match, with Chris Heighington coming off the bench to replace him in the starting 13, while Jason Bukuya returns to the squad. Only four teams have won fewer games than Cronulla this season but victory here could see them finish the round in the top eight, such is the evenness of the competition this season.

1st Tryscorer

Despite missing two weeks with a toe injury, Tigers playmaker Benji Marshall  is the joint top tryscorer for his side with three. He scored a four pointer, kicked two goals and the match winning field goal the last time these teams met and will want to do everything in his power to break the Tigers five game losing streak.

Jonathan Wright  took six matches to open his account for the Sharks but did so in style last weekend, with his double playing a key role in his sides upset win over the Knights in Newcastle. Cronulla fans will hope that performance will open the floodgates for the former Bulldogs winger.

Prediction

The Tigers haven’t tasted success in the NRL since March and this is already looming as a must win match with the club anchored to the foot of the table. Their formidable record against the Sharks, coupled with the loss of inspirational skipper Paul Gallen for the visitors could be enough for them to cause an upset at Allianz Stadium however. Wests Tigers 1-12

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