Wooden spoon locked up, but there’s always next season

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There’s no way we are going to entertain some fantasy that Wests Tigers will beat Canberra by 40-50 points and avoid the wooden spoon.

Even if this minor miracle happened, the Gold Coast Titans would have to lose their final match to the New Zealand Warriors by 30-40 points a day earlier.

But as I said, let’s not fantasise because it won’t happen, and let’s be honest, this hopeless club deserves to finish last in 2022.

It has been the year from hell for the Wests Tigers, sacking a coach and a dozen other dramas in between.

Not everyone will agree, but at least the appointment of Tim Sheens, with Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah as assistant coaches, has given hope of better things around the corner.

Another positive move has been the decision to stop playing “home’’ games at Parramatta Stadium from next season.

There has not been an official announcement where those games will be played, but there are strong indications the joint venture is heading to South Western Sydney and Macarthur over the next few years.

Leichhardt Oval seems doomed in terms of upgrade funding, but hopefully something can be done to ensure that just like Belmore Oval it can host a couple of games a season.

Balmain and Leichhardt Oval are part of the DNA of the Wests Tigers and should be forever part of the club.

Back to the last game of the season, which will be played at Leichhardt Oval this Sunday, with a 4pm kick off.

The Raiders will be playing for a spot in the finals, so perhaps there will be some nerves our boys can exploit with a measured performance.

But no predictions, because if we have learned anything from this season is that it’s impossible to say how the joint venture will perform from week to week.

The game is also interim coach Brett Kimmorley’s last in that role, and no doubt he will need a break after that wild ride.

Kimmorley has just named a 22-man squad for Sunday’s Round 25 match.

There are a few changes for the team’s final game of the season, including the return of James Tamou (suspension) and who is retiring after that match.

Luke Garner has been named in the centres after missing last weekend’s 24-22 loss to the Dragons (concussion).

Winger Ken Maumalo, who was also injured against the Roosters (groin), returns to the side, as does Tyrone Peachey.

The team selected is:

1. Daine Laurie
2. Brent Naden
3   Starford To’a
4.  Luke Garner
5.  Ken Maumalo 
6.  Adam Doueihi 
7.  Jock Madden
8.  James Tamou (c)
9.  Jake Simpkin
10. Joe Ofahengaue
11. Thomas Freebairn
12. Kelma Tuilagi
13.  Fa’amanu Brown

14. Fonua Pole
15. Zane Musgrove
16. Tyrone Peachey
17. Austin Dias

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