NRL Round 12 – Match 2 Preview: Wests Tigers v New Zealand Warriors

Friday night’s second match is another beauty as the Wests Tigers, recently earning a spot in the top eight, host the New Zealand Warriors at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

The Tigers performed sensationally last week when they overcome the rainy conditions to defeat the Knights 23 – 6. It was an important win for Wests, finally breaking their dismal four loss losing streak.

Will the recent win and the home ground advantage be enough this week to keep them in the top eight?

The Warriors too enjoyed a good victory in Round 11 when they held off the red hot Rabbitohs 26 – 24. It was New Zealand’s second consecutive win over in Auckland, but they are travelling away from home this week.

Tigers are the hot favourites currently at $1.45 with, with bookies and many of the punters confident that last week marked their return to form.

New Zealand has suffered a big blow with Michael Luck ruled out of the clash, the No. 13 found to have an infected hand. The forward injured the webbing between his fingers in their win against South Sydney last week, but after getting stitched up after the match an infection has since developed leaving him unable to play.

Luck joins injured prop Sam Rapira on the sidelines, leaving the Warriors looking a little weakened.

The loss of Luck and the Warriors poor record away from home is why they are the $2.80 underdogs with and if they lose tonight they could find themselves slipping out of their number seven spot on the ladder.

We are sticking with the favourites, sure the Tigers have the confidence after last week’s win to hold off the Warriors here. New Zealand are just too inconsistent away from home, and with Benji Marshall starting to show some of that great kicking game again, they should be able to stay in finals contention for another week.

Current Head-to-Head Odds: Tigers $1.45 – Warriors $2.80

Round 12 Tigers Team:

1. Beau Ryan 2. Lote Tuqiri 3. Geoff Daniela 4. Chris Lawrence 5. Daniel Fitzhenry 6. Benji Marshall 7. Robert Lui 8. Bryce Gibbs 9. Robbie Farah 10. Todd Payten 11. Mark Flanagan 12. Gareth Ellis 13. Chris Heighington

Bench: 14. Andrew Fifita 15. Junior Moors 16. Simon Dwyer 17. Mitch Brown

Reserve: 18. Josh Davis

Round 12 Warriors Team:

1. Lance Hohaia 2. Kevin Locke 3. Brent Tate 4. Jerome Ropati 5. Bill Tupou 6. James Maloney 7. Brett Seymour 8. Jesse Royal 9. Aaron Heremaia 10. Russell Packer 11. Simon Mannering (c) 12. Ukuma Ta’ai 13. Michael Luck

Bench: 14. Ian Henderson 15. Ben Matulino 16. Jeremy Latimore 17. Lewis Brown

Reserve: 18. Joel Moon