Api rushed back to Wests Tigers starting side for Knights clash

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Benji Marshall has been forced by injury and suspension to make a handful of changes to the Wests Tigers for this Saturday’s round 10 clash with Newcastle.

The first year coach will almost certainly be getting a little frustrated that the last time his team won was in round four against Parramatta.

Since then there have been five defeats on the trot, with last Saturday’s 22-14 loss to the Bulldogs probably the one that hurt the most because it’s the one that got away.

Wests Tigers played reasonably well in the first 40 minutes and went to the sheds at half time leading 14-6.

But the second half was a completely different affair, with the Dogs suffocating the Tigers with some brutal defence.

The Tigers did not score a point in the second half, while the home side posted 16 to pocket the two premiership points.

There’s no doubt Wests missed their inspirational leader, Api Koroisau, who was injured.

Marshall has rushed Api Koroisau back into the side for the Knights clash, while his replacement last week, Jake Simpkin was named on the bench.

Jayden Sullivan returns to the side at halfback replacing Aidan Sezer (suspension), after spending the past three weeks in the NSW Cup with Wests Magpies.

Starford To’a has been named in the centres after returning from an ankle injury in the NSW Cup last weekend, with Brent Naden shifting to the wing.

The other change sees Isiaah Papali’i move from the second row to lock, with John Bateman reverting to his role as an edge forward.

It will be the second time Wests Tigers have played the Knights at Scully Park and the club’s fifth trip to Tamworth in seven seasons.

Round 10, Wests Tigers v Newcastle Knights, 3pm, Saturday, May 11, Scully Park, Tamworth


1. Jahream Bula

2. Charlie Staines

3. Starford To’a

4. Justin Olam

5. Brent Naden 

6. Lachlan Galvin

7. Jayden Sullivan

8. Stefano Utoikamanu

9. Apisai Koroisau (c)

10. David Klemmer

11. Samuela Fainu

12. John Bateman

13. Isaiah Papali’i


14. Jake Simpkin

15. Alex Twal

16. Alex Seyfarth

17. Fonua Pole

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