Thrilling edge battle looms in Tigers v Eels



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    Arguably the most in-form attacking edge in the NRL will face off against arguably the most feared when the Wests Tigers host the Eels at ANZ Stadium on Easter Monday.

    No flank has been more destructive over the opening three rounds than the unheralded Kevin Naiqama-David Nofoaluma right side for Wests Tigers, the pair combining for an astounding seven tries and 32 tackle breaks between them in the opening three games.

    After a slow start the new-look Parramatta left edge pair now have three tries and 26 tackle breaks – but 15 of those (and all three tries) came just last week in a dominant 80 minutes against Canterbury after a slow opening fortnight.

    A mouth-watering battle awaits fans on that side of the field, with Tigers players in particular wary of what the ‘Semi Trailer’ can do in open space.

    However Tigers forward Dene Halatau backed his clubmates to continue to do a job in defence against an impressive-looking Parramatta outfit.

    “They’ve been good all across the park, [their forwards] have been very strong… getting them rolling forward, making some big runs on the edges there, providing their halves with plenty of freedom to do what they do and obviously on the end of that the Semi Trailer just tearing teams apart so there’s a lot to look out for with Parra,” Halatau said.

    “I think our two boys have been really good there in defence. Dave Nofoaluma’s been outstanding, his defence has been a noticeable thing. He carries the ball strong every time he plays but his defence has been really good too.”

    Teams have been showing a noticeable preference to kick the ball away from Radradra so far this year, meaning plenty of work for rookie winger Clint Gutherson, but the former Sea Eagle has warmed to his task well over the first three games and his teammates had confidence that if teams continued to try and keep the ball away from Radradra their right edge would come to the fore.

    “Kick it to whatever side you want,” was the blunt challenge laid down by Eels forward Danny Wicks.

    “Gutho’s a very fit boy so he’s running circles around it. If they’re going to kick it to him I’m sure he’ll be ready for it, he’s a very exciting player. We’ve got a bit of punch both sides.”

    Halatau said Nofoaluma would be ready for the task of marking up on Radradra but pointed out the rest of the team would need to be as well with the flying Fijian’s willingness to go looking for extra work through the middle.

    “It doesn’t get any easier [for Nofoaluma this week] with Semi coming at him but we’ll work hard in the video and out on the field to try and do our best to try and stop him. But we’ve got to be tackling well all across the field – he turns up everywhere,” Halatau said.

    He also praised former journeyman Naiqama’s form and consistency over last season and early this season.

    “Kevvie’s been great. I think last year was a really good year for him. He cemented a spot there in the team at centre and he’s really built on that through the pre-season and his opening three games have been outstanding,” Halatau said.

    “Kevvie’s a really good guy, the boys love being around him, he’s one of the nicest guys you’ll meet in the game and he works really hard on himself, his preparation and how he approaches the game. I’m happy to see him do well and I’m really happy for him.”



  • Target Semi in attack, can’t tackle and will tire him out. Short grubbers behind him, Nofa run at him etc.



  • The cross field high ball is our big weakness, Foran will be bombing us all day especially if our forwards can hold them on the edges



  • Its a very interesting battle.

    They have great defence and a physical pack

    We have great attack and exciting youngsters.

    We nedd to throw caution to the wind here and ask questions of there defence.

    And we have to defend better for longer periods.

    All the smart money seems to be for Parra but we can test them in different ways.

    Either ay this game might answer a few questions about our team.



  • I have a good feeling about this game tbh. I think our combos are better than theirs and for some reason we have a good record on Monday nights. With an even share of luck and both sides performing to their best I think we shade them right now. Once they get their options sorted out though they are premiership material. I’m glad we’re playing them now. We’re kind of luck we got to play the Warriors and Manly before they ironed out their combos too.



  • @MacDougall:

    I have a good feeling about this game tbh. I think our combos are better than theirs and for some reason we have a good record on Monday nights. With an even share of luck and both sides performing to their best I think we shade them right now. Once they get their options sorted out though they are premiership material. I’m glad we’re playing them now. We’re kind of luck we got to play the Warriors and Manly before they ironed out their combos too.

    They’ve won 2 in a row, their combos are pretty good atm. Our back row is the weakest i ever remember it being. They’re going to steamroll us.


  • ForumSupporter

    @MacDougall:

    I have a good feeling about this game tbh. I think our combos are better than theirs and for some reason we have a good record on Monday nights. With an even share of luck and both sides performing to their best I think we shade them right now. Once they get their options sorted out though they are premiership material. I’m glad we’re playing them now. We’re kind of luck we got to play the Warriors and Manly before they ironed out their combos too.

    Yep…. I’m glad this one is a day game…

    Hold them in the middle provide a good platform like the 1st 2 games…there is no reason we can’t win…

    It’s Parra they have had 2 good wins but it’s still early in the season and have been as inconsistent as us could turn up like Premiership favourites or a bottom 4 side…



  • @GNR4LIFE:

    @MacDougall:

    I have a good feeling about this game tbh. I think our combos are better than theirs and for some reason we have a good record on Monday nights. With an even share of luck and both sides performing to their best I think we shade them right now. Once they get their options sorted out though they are premiership material. I’m glad we’re playing them now. We’re kind of luck we got to play the Warriors and Manly before they ironed out their combos too.

    They’ve won 2 in a row, their combos are pretty good atm. Our back row is the weakest i ever remember it being. They’re going to steamroll us.

    I’d be surprised if we didn’t run out with Corey Payne/Danny Galea backrow combo at one point haha.



  • Watched the manly game again last night. One thing that impressed me was how hard our forwards were running the ball, & from a run-up also. Really gave Tedbroses plenty of time & options.

    If we can continue this, have a high completion rate & good line speed in D I reckon we’ll be in with a chance.

    The 9 day turn-around will hopefully see us play with more energy also.



  • I agree Geo. Our forwards need to hit hard and make metres. The boys must hold on to the ball at all costs and stay disciplined. No giving away stupid penalties.
    And our kicking game needs to be top notch. Our halves need to play smart footy.
    And last but not least, i hope the refs are kind to us. 🙏
    BRING it ON. Can’t wait.


  • Banned

    @Tigermama:

    Our halves need to play smart footy.

    I really want to see our halves get it right and do it consistently.



  • We run the ball at Takairangi’s side and then use a short kicking game aimed at getting behind Radradra with his lack of pace turning around



  • I’m not confident but I’d be inclined to take the opposite approach and kick the ball to Radradra, make him cart the ball up and just make sure there are sufficient numbers each time, bugger the bloke out so he doesn’t have that explosiveness up his sleeve if the game is in the balance.



  • Interview with Moses says that they have to get into the grind with the eels….really hope we do this as we sometimes get gassed with our expansive offense. Would like to see Grant start from the bench and Ava to start.



  • @stevetiger:

    @Tigermama:

    Our halves need to play smart footy.

    I really want to see our halves get it right and do it consistently.

    Don’t we all Steve… Don’t we all!



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