Wests Tigers have won five of their past six games against the New Zealand Warriors, including the last four played between the two sides in Australia.
But there’s no doubt Friday’s round 12 clash against the Warriors at the Sydney cricket ground looms as a danger game for Michael Maguire’s team.
While they put in a praiseworthy performance in going down narrowly to the Eels last Friday, Wests Tigers have always had trouble motivating themselves for games against lower placed teams.
Maybe with several players returning from injury this time will be different for the Wests Tigers, in what is without doubt a must win game.
Especially if they want to get away from their dreaded ninth spot on the ladder, where they find themselves after the loss to Parramatta.
Forwards Alex Twal, Thomas Mikaele and Luke Garner have been named by Maguire for Friday’s game.
And while Robert Jennings (hamstring) and Josh Reynolds (suspension) are also eligible for selection they have been named in the reserves.
Twal starts for his first game in over a month in place of Russell Packer, who is suspended once again.
If Packer could get the lack of discipline out of his game he would be a real boost to the team’s bid to make the finals in 2020.
Rising star Luke Garner replaces Michael Chee Kam, who continues the necessary protocols from a serious head knock suffered last week.
The Samoan international is steadily improving and recovering well according to the club.
Shawn Blore retains his spot on the bench after an impressive debut – not least his mature response to ridiculous intimidation from Eels forward Nathan Brown – a former Tiger.
Friday’s game will be Wests Tigers’ first home game at the Sydney Cricket Ground since 2013.
WESTS TIGERS TEAM:
1. Adam Doueihi
2. David Nofoaluma
3. Chris Lawrence
4. Moses Mbye (captain)
5. Tommy Talau
6. Billy Walters
7. Benji Marshall (captain.)
8. Josh Aloiai
9. Harry Grant
10. Oliver Clark
11. Luke Garner
12. Luciano Leilua
13. Alex Twal
14. Sam McIntyre
15. Thomas Mikaele
16. Luke Brooks
17. Shawn Blore
18. Josh Reynolds
19. Chris McQueen
20. Alex Seyfarth
21. Robert Jennings