Tigers Try To Focus On Warriors

Source: Getty Images/dailytelegraph.com.au
Benji Marshall asked the Tigers for a release this week. Source: Getty Images/dailytelegraph.com.au
Last 5 Meetings

Round 11, 2012 – Wests Tigers 24 d NZ Warriors 22 at Leichhardt Oval
1st Semi Final, 2011 – NZ Warriors 22 d Wests Tigers 20 at Allianz Stadium
Round 14, 2011 – Wests Tigers 26 d NZ Warriors 22 at Mt Smart Stadium
Round 2, 2011 – Wests Tigers 20 d NZ Warriors 12 at Leichhardt Oval
Round 12, 2010 – Wests Tigers 50 d NZ Warriors 6 at Campbelltown Stadium

Current Form

  Rd 14    Rd 15    Rd 16    Rd 17    Rd 18 
Tigers

L

W

W

L

-

Warriors

W

-

W

L

-


The Tigers  will try to put a week of off-field drama behind them when they welcome the Warriors  to Leichhardt Oval on Friday night, with Benji Marshall named as part of an unchanged side to that which lost to the Sharks 36-22 a fortnight ago. The star playmaker asked the club for a release this week, catching his teammates off guard and will undoubtedly be playing on the player’s minds going into this match. Aaron Woods and Robbie Farah have both been named to back up less than 48 hours after the Origin decider.

Manu Vatuvei has been named to return for the Warriors after being a late withdrawal with a shin injury prior to his sides 30-13 defeat to Souths in round 17. Russell Packer and Suaia Matagi have both been added to the squad as part of a seven man interchange bench that also contains Ngani Laumape, who will step in for Vatuvei if he isn’t fit enough to play.

1st Tryscorer

21 year-old Tim Simona  only got a chance in the Tigers side this season as a result of injuries to Lote Tuqiri and Matt Utai but has made a big impression in the past month. He has four tries from his past three matches and will relish the prospect of taking on the Warriors big outside men.

Konrad Hurrell  was expected to be one of the dominant centres in the NRL this season but made a slow start to the year and is only now regaining his best form. He has bagged five tries in as many matches since round 12 and ran for an average of 194 metres in his past three outings.

Prediction

Both of these teams have been enjoying their best run of form this season in recent weeks but lost their most recent matches prior to last week’s bye. Wins over the Broncos and Roosters away from home have shown that the Warriors can get a result away from home but Wests have won 13 of their past 16 games at Leichhardt Oval and will be a formidable foe. It’s impossible to believe that the ‘Benji saga’ hasn’t affected the Tigers and New Zealand should be too good. New Zealand Warriors by 4

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