Saturday night a supercharged showdown at the Sydney Football Stadium has the Sydney Roosters ready to face off against the Wests Tigers in the second finals qualifier of the year.
Despite going down in a close three-point loss to the Titans last week, the Tigers managed to finish third on the ladder after previously winning three on the trot ensuring they get the home ground advantage here.
But the Roosters also consider the SFS home, so both are a very real chance to win this one.
Sydney have had a brilliant turn around in the past 12 months rising up the ladder to finish sixth this year after falling to take out the Wooden Spoon in 2009.
It is the first time since Round 8 that these two will play each other, the Roosters sneaking in with a close win back then in a low scoring match, which was their second win over the Wests Tigers this year.
No team has ever claimed a hat-trick of wins over the Tigers in the same season, can the Roosters be the first?
With the venue holding little importance, this is possibly the hardest of the qualifiers to tip as reflected in the odds, Sportsbet paying $1.91 for both teams.
Worryingly the Chooks only just got the better of the Cowboys last week. They may have won by 10 but didn’t dominate the way they should have and will need to really lift in their mid-field defence if they want to win this.
The Tigers have an impressive ability to score hard and fast in the final quarter and come back from a deficit, so the Roosters need a good head start otherwise they will get mauled by the big cats.
Wests may just have the edge here, but it depends what Tricolours squad shows up. If it’s the one from last week then the Chooks are out, but if Dally M winner Todd Carney is on fire then so will the rest of the Roosters.
Watch for the fight of the five-eighths with Carney and Marshall, two of the game’s most exciting playmakers, facing off.
Footy Tip of the Match – Roosters to win by 1 – 6 points at $6.50 through Sportsbet
Current Head-to-Head Odds:
Tigers $1.91 – Roosters $1.91 Ladbrokes.com.au
NRLleague Footy Tip of the Match:
Looking at the number of points scored over the past three weeks, these two are very evenly matched with the Roosters scoring just two points more. That’s why we are tipping a close result here and are backing the Chooks to win by 1 – 6 points at $6.50 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Finals Week 1 Tigers Team:
1. Mitch Brown 2. Lote Tuqiri 3. Blake Ayshford 4. Geoff Daniela 5. Bau Ryan 6. Benji Marshall 7. Robert Lui 8. Todd Payten 9. Robbie Farah 10. Keith Galloway 11. Simon Dwyer 12. Gareth Ellis 13. Chris Heighington
Bench: 14. Andrew Fifita 15. Willie Mataka 16. Mark Flanagan 17. Daniel Fitzhenry
Finals Week 1 Roosters Team:
1. Anthony Minichiello 2. Phil Graham 3. Joseph Leilua 4. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 5. Sam Perrett 6. Todd Carney 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Jason Ryles 9. Jake Friend 10. Nate Myles 11. Frank-Paul Nuuausala 12. Mitchell Aubusson 13. Braith Anasta
Bench: 14. Martin Kennedy 15. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 16. Mose Masoe 17. Nick Kouparitsas
Reserve: 18. Lopini Paea