Match Preview: Wests Tigers vs Sydney Roosters

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Match Preview: Wests Tigers vs Sydney Roosters

Post by willow » Sat 23 Feb, 2013 3:05 pm

Match Preview: Wests Tigers vs Sydney Roosters
AJ Carr

Saturday 23 February 2013 2:17 PM

Wests Tigers will today line up against a Sydney Roosters side which is the talk of the NRL after one of the strongest recruitment drives in recent memory.

While the superstar of the new group Sonny Bill Williams will not play, coach Trent Robinson has named Michael Jennings, James Maloney and former Wests Tigers Luke O'Donnell and Sam Moa.

The new look outfit is now rated fourth favourite to win the NRL after finishing a disappointing 13th in 2012.

Wests Tigers will run out their own star recruit, former Roosters captain Braith Anasta to take on the side which defeated Manly 20-4 last weekend.

Anasta will return to the left edge for his new club after spending much of his tenure at Bondi in the halves.

Wests Tigers coach Mick Potter has placed his faith in New Zealand captain Benji Marshall and rookie Jacob Miller to steer the side from the halves.

Fans will be hoping to see Anasta return to the form of 2010 when he guided Sydney Roosters to the Grand Final from the left second row position.

With rain expected for much of Saturday, Anasta's speed and ball-playing will be crucial in moving around a big Roosters forward pack who will look to test Wests Tigers' front row depth.

Youngster Jack Buchanan stood up strongly in the front row against Parramatta last weekend and the same will be expected of the former Dragon and his more experienced prop parter Keith Galloway.

Mick Potter's men will be boosted by the addition of Matt Bell who missed last week's game with illness. The club is currently without the services of big men Aaron Woods, Matt Groat and James Gavet who are all absent due to injury.

Wests Tigers' start to the year has been an impressive one, with a brutal preseason leading to a 41-4 demolition of Parramatta last Saturday.

Coach Potter will be keen to see his troops continue that form in the last hit out before the NRL season kicks off.

For the Roosters, New South Wales halfback Mitchell Pearce will combine for the first time with new halves partner James Maloney in what looks a formidable combination.

Wests Tigers showed a new resolve in defence against the Eels, sustaining pressure for long periods before opening up in attack.

Fans will have a chance to see just how much Mick Potter has been able to improve the team's defence, which at times fell to pieces in a disappointing 2012 season.

Potter told media during the week that he has worked to instill the idea amongst the players that they must work hard for the opportunity to unleash their attacking talent.

That much was apparent during the highly professional performance at Campbelltown last weekend.

Wests Tigers fans will be hoping for more of the same tonight.

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