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Winless Maguire drops BJ, Ofahengaue on the bench

Joey Leilua has paid the price for a poor performance against the Roosters, as well as a general lack of discipline.

The enigmatic centre has been dropped from the starting Wests Tigers side that will travel to Newcastle to take on the Knights this coming Sunday.

His place will be taken by James Roberts, who returns after a one week break to deal with a minor injury.

However head coach Michael Maguire hasn’t exactly gone for the wrecking ball after his team put in a diabolical performance in going down 40-6 to the Sydney Roosters at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

But he has rushed back Zane Musgrove to the starting side, in place of new recruit Joe Ofahengaue, who has yet to make an impact since moving south from the Brisbane Broncos.

It will be Musgrove’s first match in 2021, as he was serving a two match suspension from his participation in the All Stars match.

After a week off, centre James Roberts returns for the Wests Tigers when they take on the Knights at Newcastle on Sunday.

He will partner fellow prop and Wests Tigers captain James Tamou, another recruit who has not set the world on fire since arriving at the Wests Tigers from Penrith.

To be fair to the forward pack, they have done a diligent job against both Canberra and the Roosters, with the defensive cracks mostly appearing out wide.

On Sunday it was the left side, where the Leilua brothers, BJ and Luciano, just did not gel as a defensive unit and the Roosters ran riot.

Overall, basic errors across the park were the main cause of the heavy defeat.

A disappointed Maguire didn’t say much about the size of the defeat, but surely he would be seriously concerned that the Wests Tigers are leaking an average of 26 points every time they lose.

Like any other sport, rugby league is a numbers game, and when it comes to the Wests Tigers they don’t lie: it’s almost impossible to win games if you’re conceding 26 points yourself.

WESTS TIGERS TEAM LIST: ROUND 3
 
1. Daine Laurie
2. David Nofoaluma
3. Tommy Talau
4. James Roberts
5. AJ Kepaoa
6. Adam Doueihi
7. Luke Brooks
8. Zane Musgrove
9. Jacob Liddle
10. James Tamou (captain)
11. Luciano Leilua
12. Luke Garner
13. Alex Twal

INTERCHANGE:
14. Joe Ofahengaue
15. Thomas Mikaele
16. Stefano Utoikamanu
17. Moses Mbye

RESERVES:
18. Michael Chee Kam
19. Joseph Leilua
20. Russell Packer
21. Alex Seyfarth

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