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Wests Tigers head back to Queensland to face the Broncos

After last week’s emotional rollercoaster, the Wests Tigers have knuckled down to their next challenge, playing the Broncos in Brisbane this Saturday night.

Nobody would have a clue how the players will bounce back psychologically after cruelly being robbed of victory in the last second of play in Townsville thanks to the incompetence of the referee in the NRL bunker.

Hopefully no matter how gutted they are the players can look back with pride in their performance against the team running second on the ladder and perform accordingly.

Prior to the game Wests Tigers experienced some positive news, so rare this season – a new club record with 20,906 members now on board.

But the high didn’t last long: on Monday morning the club was lodging an official complaint to the NRL over the bunker decision that cost them victory over the Cowboys.

The home side were awarded a match-winning penalty with just one second remaining on the clock for an “escort infringement’’ against Wests Tigers centre Asu Kepaoa, pictured below.

And unless our eyes were deceiving us, the clock ticked over to “0:00” before mysteriously returning to “0:01’’.

Like just about every Wests Tigers fan, we were gutted and angry at the same time when the Cowboys kicked the “penalty’’ to win 27-26.

For what it’s worth, the NRL have since admitted the bunker ref made a mistake.

But one thing the NRL cannot take away from the team is their effort, one of their best this season.

Indeed, it would be very hard to single anyone out as the best player for the Wests Tigers; this was a real team effort.

It is hard to see them reproduce it in Brisbane this Saturday, but it would be nice for them to be able to sing the team song around 9pm on Saturday night.

Wests Tigers have named a 22-man squad for the Round 20 match at Suncorp Stadium.

Luke Garner has been ruled out after suffering a neck and shoulder injury against the Cowboys, with Alex Seyfarth moving into the second row. Austin Dias, who was 18th-man in Townsville, comes onto the bench and Brent Naden will play his 50th NRL game.

ROUND 20: BRISBANE BRONCOS V WESTS TIGERS:
1. Daine Laurie
2. Brent Naden
3. Starford To’a
4. Asu Kepaoa
5. Ken Maumalo
6.  Adam Doueihi
7.  Luke Brooks
8.  James Tamou
9.  Fa’amanu Brown
10. Joe Ofahengaue
11. Alex Seyfarth
12. Kelma Tuilagi
13. Jackson Hastings

14. Fonua Pole
15. Zane Musgrove
16. Austin Dias
17. Tyrone Peachey
18. Jock Madden
19. Junior Tupou
20. Brandon Tumeth
21. James Roberts
22. Tom Freebairn

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