Sunday, 29 June 2008
: Wests Tigers vs. New Zealand Warriors
Where: Leichhardt Oval, Sydney
When: 2pm, Sunday 29th June 2008
Sportingbet Odds: Tigers ($1.19) Warriors ($4.90)
Line Option: Warriors +13.0 ($1.91)
Referee: Steve Lyons
Last Friday night's one-point loss to the Broncos was a significant one as far as ladder position was concerned for the Tigers, as they dropped out of the eight, whereas a win on the night would have seen the Tigers start Sunday's home clash against the Warriors inside the eight, and pushing towards solidifying their place in the upper echelons of the NRL table.
Wests enter Sunday's match as a firm favourites to overcome the Warriors, and with their playmakers all fit and firing, they'll have no excuses should they fail to come up with the victory. They have made a change on a wing, with Beau Ryan coming in for Shannon McDonnell, while Diane Laurie has been added to the extended interchange bench.
Tigers: Brett Hodgson (capt), Taniela Tuiaki, Dean Collis, Chris Lawrence, Beau Ryan, Benji Marshall, Mathew Head, Bronson Harrison, Robbie Farah, Bryce Gibbs, Ben Te'o, Chris Heighington, Liam Fulton. Interchange: John Morris, Dene Halatau, Corey Payne, Daine Laurie, Ryan Tandy (one to be omitted).
The Warriors were certainly more than competitive against the Sea Eagles last Sunday at Mt Smart Stadium, however the lack of a kiler edge in attack submaried the Warriors, who couldn't find the try in the final ten minutes that would have given them the chance to take the game into golden point time.
With the finals berth essentially now a fantasy rather than reality, the Warriors face a tough trip across the Tasman, and given they will be without the injured Manu Vatuvei and Origin-tied Steve Price and Brent Tate, their chances of victory are made even slimmer.
Malo Solomona comes into the backline for Vatuvei, while Sam Rapira and Ben Matulino come into the forward pack in what could the first of many times the two youngsters start in the Warriors pack. Another youngster, Sonny Fai has been added to the interchange bench.
Warriors: Lance Hohaia, Aidan Kirk, Jerome Ropati, Simon Mannering, Malo Solomona, Michael Witt, Nathan Fien, Ruben Wiki, Ian Henderson, Sam Rapira, Ben Matulino, Logan Swann, Micheal Luck (capt). Interchange: Patrick Ah Van, Evarn Tuimavave, Epalahame Lauaki, Sonny Fai.
Line Option: Wests Tigers -13.0 ($1.91)
The Tigers will have no excuses if they do not put the Warriors away by a solid margin on Sunday. Though the line option has them as 13-point favourites, the Tigers should cover the line option well.
There's no reason to back the Warriors away from Mt Smart Stadium after three of their best players have been forced out.
Racing and Sports tip: Wests Tigers