Early team news for Round 5!
Mon 8 Apr 2019, 01:12 PM
ests Tigers will head north this week off the back of another short turnaround as they look to regain their winning form against the Brisbane Broncos on Thursday Night Football.
After going down in heartbreaking fashion in Golden Point last week, Michael Maguire’s side still sit inside the top eight after the opening month of the season and will be looking to bounce back with a win against the Broncos — a side themselves struggling somewhat for form after a heavy defeat to the Roosters last week.
Returning to the first-grade side for the first time this season, Josh Reynolds was one of his side’s best against the Panthers with two try assists and looks set to start in the number six jersey once again with Benji Marshall (hamstring) unlikely to play.
Reynolds’ partnership with Luke Brooks and fullback Moses Mbye will certainly be better for the experience of last week’s game and will no doubt come under the spotlight this week against a Broncos spine also facing a number of questions.
Luke Garner (shoulder) got through the match unscathed and looks to have overcome his knock while Ryan Matterson passed his concussion test on the night — returning just before half-time before scoring his first try for Wests Tigers.
Both Garner and Matterson look likely to start once more in the second row.
After dropping out of the side last week in place of Matt Eisenhuth, young prop Thomas Mikaele played just shy of 50 minutes for the club’s Canterbury Cup side on Sunday and could possibly come in to contention once more, although the short turnaround from Sunday to Thursday could make it tough for any changes there.
Eisenhuth played 27 minutes in Friday’s loss to Penrith — adding 65 metres from eight runs as well as 14 tackles — and could figure on the bench once again alongside 2019 regulars Russell Packer, Josh Aloiai and Michael Chee Kam.
David Nofoaluma (shoulder) could also possibly come in to contention as he nears a return from his pre-season dislocation. Should the winger return to the side, any of Wests Tigers outside backs could drop out with plenty of positional flexibility, so it’s definitely worth keeping an eye out to see who is named in the Tuesday team list!
North of the border, Broncos Coach Anthony Siebold is rumoured to have made some big changes for the clash as a result of Tevita Pangai Junior’s suspension.
Pangai Junior’s late shot on Roosters halfback Cooper Cronk earned the tyro a two-week ban, with Siebold reportedly turning to rookie Pat Carrigan for his NRL debut.
Payne Haas is also eligible to return after his four-game suspension to start the season, with Jaydn Su’A, Tom Flegler or Gehamat Shibasaki likely to drop out.
Blues centre James Roberts also looms as a likely omission for the Broncos as he battles an achilles injury, with Kotoni Staggs set to play again in the centres.
21-man squads for Thursday’s game will be announced at 4:00pm AEST on Tuesday, with two players dropping out of the squads at 7:50pm on Wednesday.
Final team lists will be confirmed one hour prior to kickoff (6:50pm, Thursday).
Match: Broncos v Wests Tigers
Will another wall be punched?? i cant be sure…. most likely…