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Finals dream hangs in the balance for Wests Tigers

For the first time in a couple of months Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire has named an unchanged team two weeks in a row.

The round 15 clash against the Sydney Roosters at Leichhardt Oval this Saturday will feature the same 17 players who scraped home off the back of a last minute field goal from Luke Brooks.

However there’s talk key forwards Alex Twal and Thomas Mikaele could return from injury even though both have been named in the reserves.

Neither Twal or Mikaele played in Sunday’s season saving 29-28 win over the Bulldogs, with their potential return a positive boost for the home side heading in to Saturday’s game.

The only downer for Wests Tigers this week was the announcement from Chris Lawrence that he would be hanging up the boots at the end of the 2020 season.

The Campbelltown born and bred star played in his 250th game for the club recently, becoming only the first player to do so consecutively in the history of the Wests Tigers.

Benji Marshall, who reached the milestone in the same game as Lawrence, and Robbie Farah, got to 250 in their second incarnations at the joint merger.

But the tributes to Lawrence, deserving as they are, must wait for now because a win against the injury plagued Roosters could revive hopes of a finals appearance – the first since 2011 for Wests Tigers.

It’s a long shot but a winning streak of four or five would go a long way to reward long suffering fans.

It all starts on Saturday at Leichhardt.

Wests Tigers were convincing 48-0 winners in their last appearance there, walloping the hapless Brisbane Broncos in round 10.

Saturday’s fixture will be the club’s final home game at the suburban venue this year, and it’s not clear yet if a game will be played at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

WESTS TIGERS TEAM ROUND 15

1. Adam Doueihi
2. David Nofoaluma
3. Joseph Leilua
4. Moses Mbye (captain)
5. Tommy Talau
6. Luke Brooks
7. Benji Marshall (captain)
8. Josh Aloiai
9. Jacob Liddle
10. Russell Packer
11. Luke Garner
12. Luciano Leilua
13. Matt Eisenhuth

INTERCHANGE:
14. Sam McIntyre
15. Elijah Taylor
16. Josh Reynolds
17. Alex Seyfarth

RESERVES:
18. Alex Twal
19. Thomas Mikaele
20. Chris Lawrence
21. Asu “AJ” Kepaoa

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