Wests Tigers v Warriors, Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Sydney 7.35pm (EST)
I can’t pick the Warriors away from home; you just don’t know what they are going to toss up - but invariably it’s pretty poor. Despite the Tigers’ ordinary form over the last month I’m going to go with them. Sydney is quite wet at the moment, and with the kicking game of Benji Marshall, Robert Lui and Robbie Farah, they look well placed. The Tigers also have a great chase game and I think they will somewhat turn the corner in this match.
Gary has seen something in our kicking game that I have not . I suppose we can come up with a decent grubber every now and then, but really, to highlight our kicking and kick-chase as a big strength is amusing.
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Good to see that Muppet Daley was too busy with his failure SOO side to do his previews this week
Wests Tigers v Warriors Preview
NRL.comThu, 27 May 2010 11:34
Wests Tigers v Warriors
Campbelltown Sports Stadium
Oh boy… Strap in for some entertainment out in old Magpies territory, as this is a critical match for both sides if they are to continue entertaining thoughts of finals football in 2010.
Sitting in seventh (Warriors) and eighth (Wests Tigers) on the NRL ladder, the two clubs are in prime position to make a drive for post-season play. But with every other club barring Melbourne still in this premiership hunt, they are also in a precarious position should the losses start mounting again.
Both sides have seemingly overcome bad runs to steady their ship: the Warriors dropped three in a row recently before rebounding to beat the Cowboys and Rabbitohs in successive starts, while the Wests Tigers fell four times on the trot before getting up over the Knights last weekend.
A loss here could quite easily mean dropping out of the top eight, whereas a win ensures they’ll stay put for the time being and push up closer to the top four.
More importantly, this is about continuing momentum and getting the confidence necessary to make a real play for the title. Consistency in performance is what all teams strive for… one team will be on the right path after this game; the other will be back into the mire.
Both clubs are unaffected by Origin this week, offering no excuses not to be switched on and ready for high-class footy.
The Wests Tigers have kept the same side that found a way to win against Newcastle, although Josh Davis has been added as an 18th man and could still play.
The Warriors have sadly lost prop Sam Rapira to injury (dislocated patella) with Jesse Royal slotting into the side, and Jeremy Latimore or Joel Moon expected to cover a bench spot.
Watch out Wests Tigers: The Warriors love to pop a pass and create second-phase play at the best of times, but coming up against the Tigers they’ll have more reasons than usual to create from offloads.
The team from across the ditch has the third-most offloads in the competition this year (with 136) – almost four more a game compared to the Wests Tigers, who are equal last with just 97 offloads in 2010.
Thankfully for Tigers fans one of the Warriors’ best offloaders in Sam Rapira is out, but Brent Tate is the main man to contain with 19 already this year.
However, if the side thinks he’s the only man to watch, they are sadly mistaken… every man in the Warriors’ line-up has popped a pass or more this season making them deadly across the park.
Watch out Warriors: As revealed by NRL.com’s Stats Insider in his weekly Tuesday column, the Wests Tigers are the most prolific team when it comes to scoring from long range, and with their confidence returning against the Knights the side is set to chance their hand.
With 10 tries from over halfway in just 10 games, the Tigers know how to entertain; if the Warriors compress their defence to pressure the home side, Benji Marshall will get the ball to the edges and ran amok.
Having conceded just two tries from distance, the Tigers are very good defending this area.
Where it will be won: Execution in attack and scramble in defence. Both sides are going to have plenty of chances to post points, as it shapes to be a pretty open affair.
With the rain due to clear on Friday, both sides can still go for the jugular in attack, but they will need to execute well to make the most of it. One gets the feeling this could be a try-for-try match, so the side that can put two or three together is likely to prevail.
Obviously if both sides are looking to attack, the scramble defence is the other aspect that needs to be on cue. The side that shuts a breakdown without leaking points will be doing very well. Both sides need to anticipate the other and work harder than usual in defence. Any lapse will be punished.
The history: Played 16; Wests Tigers 7, Warriors 9. The Warriors have won six of the past seven clashes between the two clubs, making the Tigers look like cubs in the process. There have been three clashes at Campbelltown between the sides, with the Warriors holding a 2-1 advantage.
Conclusion: While both sides won last time out, neither was terribly convincing and as such their form is a little hard to trust.
The Warriors have had the Tigers’ measure recently and they could certainly continue this trend – although the rocket placed under the Tigers the other week is still burning a few backsides and could be enough to see the joint venture side home.
Maybe the pressure needs to be firmly on Benji Marshall… if he fires again, as he did last weekend, the Tigers will win. If not, the Warriors could push higher up into the finals zone.
Match officials: Referees – Steve Lyons & Tony De Las Heras; Sideline Officials – Russell Turner & Adam Reid; Video Ref – Steve Clark.
Televised: Channel Nine – Delayed 9.30pm; Fox Sports – Delayed 12.30pm Saturday.
Ahh has Gary belcher watched a tigers game this year?
Lui will be better for the run last week, so maybe badge is onto something
Sportal Preview: Wests Tigers v Warriors
VENUE & TIME: Campbelltown Stadium, Friday, May 28, 7.35pm (AEST)
COVERAGE: Channel 9
HEAD TO HEAD Played 16, Warriors 9, Tigers 7
LAST TIME: Warriors 14 - Tigers 0 at Mt Smart Stadium, Round 12, 2009
WALKING WOUNDED: Tigers coach Tim Sheens has named an unchanged line-up for this match, with centre Blake Ayshford (knee), utility Liam Fulton (shoulder) and prop Keith Galloway (hand) all not considered. The Warriors suffered a massive blow on the weekend, losing hard-running prop Sam Rapira for up to six weeks with a dislocated patella, but five-eighth James Maloney has been named in the side despite suffering back and hip bruising in the same game. Former Bronco Joel Moon has been named as 18th man in case Maloney pulls out. Winger Manu Vatuvei (leg) is expected to return next week, while former Queensland Origin forward Jacob Lillyman (foot) is due back in a month.
FORM: The Tigers bounced back from their tragic 40-point thrashing at the hands of the Rabbitohs in Round 10 with a patient win over the Knights in atrocious conditions at EnergyAustralia Stadium last Friday night. The result relieves the pressure somewhat on coach Tim Sheens, who was beginning to receive some unwanted press as the losses began mounting up. The Warriors maintained their top-eight standing with a courageous 26-24 win over the Rabbitohs at home on Sunday. The loss of Rapira and Maloney with injury left them with an undermanned bench for the majority of the second-half, but Ivan Cleary’s men soldiered on to repel a fast-finishing Souths side in trying conditions. They displayed the sort of qualities we should be seeing from this club on a more regular basis.
WHO’S HOT: It was cold, wet and mighty uncomfortable at EnergyAustralia last Friday night and that’s just how Tigers back-rower Gareth Ellis likes it. The non-stop Englishman reveled in the English-like conditions to finish head and shoulders above every other player on the field. No wonder the Tigers did everything in their power to extend his contract for a further two years. One of the best forwards in the NRL.
Jerome Ropati was probably the difference between a win and a loss for the Warriors last Sunday, with his determination in attack proving invaluable. The Kiwi Test star ripped through 191m from 25 runs and scored a crucial solo try after half-time to swing the momentum back to his side.
WE THINK: The Warriors have won six of their past seven matches against the Tigers and have improved on the road of late, winning two of their past three on Australian soil. This puts them in good stead for a decent showing at Campbelltown Stadium on Friday night, but they have been weakened in an area where they would usually dominate the Tigers - up front. The continual absence of Steve Price and now the in-form Sam Rapira, severely restricts their go-forward and with both sides looking evenly-matched in the forwards, the slick Tigers backs could well prove the difference in what should be a intriguing contest. Tigers by 7.
Wests Tigers v Warriors
May 28, 2010
Friday, Campbelltown Sports Stadium, 7.35pm
Referees: Steve Lyons and Tony De Las Heras
Head to head: Warriors 9, Tigers 7
Last clash: Warriors 14-0 at Mt Smart Stadium (rd 12, 2009)
TAB SportsBet: Tigers $1.45, Warriors $2.65
FootyTab: Warriors +6.5
The Tigers had lost four in a row, inlcuding a 50-10 flogging from the Rabbitohs, before going to Newcastle for a critical game last weekend. They went into camp up there for a couple of days before the game and it had the desired effect, bonding the team and resulting in a good performance. After trailing 6-0 early, they won 23-6 in pouring rain. But now they have to show they can build on that win, and start stringing some quality performances together.
The Warriors have pulled themselves out of a hole in the last two weeks, with wins at home over the Cowboys and Rabbitohs. They had lost three straight before that, but worked hard on things during their bye week and got a few injured players back, and then the results came. They are so much better off since halfback Brett Seymour returned from injury. They were lacking direction, but were able to go in the right direction when they absolutely needed to in what was a close game against the Rabbitohs.
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Belcher doing Raiders games, reminds me of the Benny Hill show