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04 May 2018 by TSZ

2018 NRL – New Zealand Warriors vs Wests Tigers Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When? Saturday 05th May, 08:30 (UK)

Where? Mt Smart Stadium

What channel is it on? UK - Sky Sports Arena Australia - Foxtel, LIVE PASS

Where can I stream the match? UK - Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via Sky Go Australia - https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-...

Are tickets still available? http://premier.ticketek.co.nz/...

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

WARRIORS

Head Coach: Stephen Kearney

Starting 13: Tuivasa-Sheck, Fusitu’a, Hiku, Kata, Maumalo, Green, Johnson, Afoa, Luke, Paasi, Mannering, Harris, Blair – Interchanges: Lawton, Lisone, Papali’i, Gavet – Reserves: Gelling, Lino, Vete, Cook

Unavailable: Nathaniel Roache, Gerard Beale, Leivaha Pulu, Jazz Tevaga

  • New Zealand Warriors were thumped by Melbourne last week with the Warriors struggling to get going against the reigning Premiers. The Storm scored five tries in the opening 21 minutes to blow the Warriors away by 50 points to 10.
  • Stephen Kearney has named Tohu Harris, Shaun Johnson and Solomone Kata in his side after they all recovered from their respective injuries. Mason Lino and Anthony Gelling drop to the reserves with Jazz Tevaga missing out with a shoulder injury.
  • The Warriors will be hurting after last week’s emphatic defeat but will be buoyed by the return of three key men as well as a return to Mt Smart, where they have lost just one of their four games so far this season.

TIGERS

Head Coach: Ivan Cleary

Starting 13: Thompson, Nofoaluma, Marsters, Naiqama, Fonua, Marshall, Brooks, Eisenhuth, Godinet, Matulino, Lawrence, Rochow, Taylor – Interchanges: Twal, Aloiai, Chee-Kam, Sue – Reserves: Grant, McIlwrick, Watene-Zelezniak, Gamble

Unavailable: Russell Packer, Josh Reynolds

  • Wests Tigers lost their second consecutive game as they went down to Parramatta last week. The Tigers couldn’t find the two points they needed in the final 11 minutes to tie the game up with the Eels hanging on to a 24-22 scoreline.
  • Elijah Taylor returns after failing to pass the concussion protocols last week. He starts at lock with Matt Eisenhuth returning to prop and Sauaso Sue dropping to the bench. Alex Twal also returns to the bench with Jacob Liddle and Tim Grant dropped.
  • Wests jointly lead the NRL with Newcastle in terms of completed sets but fell below this season’s standards last week. They are averaging an 80% completion rate this year but only completed 27 of their 36 sets for 75% last week as errors have started to creep into their performances.

THE PREDICTION

The Warriors return to Mt Smart this week in search of immediate redemption after their hammering against the Storm last time out. The Warriors can welcome back some key men and will need them to bounce back after conceding 50 points last week. Wests lost their second game in a row by the same margin of two points as they were defeated by Parramatta. The Tigers need to get back to how they were playing at the start of the season with high completion rates helping them to victory but that will be tough to achieve in New Zealand with the Warriors solid on home soil. With a much stronger team named this week, they can get back on track with a win here.

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