Based in the mid-western suburbs of Sydney, the Wests Tigers is a joint-venture rugby league club that was founded in 2000 when two existing teams, the Balmain Tigers and the Western Suburbs Magpies, merged into one stronger footy club.
As a joint-venture club the Wests Tigers have won just one premiership in 2005, but historically the two teams that merged enjoyed a combined total of 15 premiership wins between them.
Wests Tigers Information
- Established: 2000
- Home Grounds: Campbelltown Stadium, Leichhardt Oval, Sydney Football Stadium & SCG
- Colours: Black & Orange
- Mascot: Stripes the Tiger
- Number of Premierships Won: 1 (2005)
- Number of Minor Premierships Won: 0
The Wests Tigers as a joint club have a short history of just a decade, but the two teams that existed before and merged to create the Tigers have a long and detailed past dating back to 1908.
Prior to becoming a joint-venture club in 2000, the Balmain Tigers and the Western Suburbs Magpies were both formed in 1908 as part of the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL), which was the leading rugby league competition in Australia prior to the formation of the Australian Rugby League (ARL) and then the National Rugby League (NRL).
The Balmain Tigers were one of the NSWRL’s most successful clubs going on to win 11 premierships prior to 1970. Not quite as big a force in the NSWRL competition, the Western Suburbs team still won four premierships.
In 1998 when rugby league in Australia unified with rivals ARL and Super League combining into the NRL comp we know and love today, the number of clubs had to be cut back and the NRL offered lucrative funding for any clubs willing to merge into one.
The Balmain and Western Suburbs teams took advantage of this agreement in 2000, with Balmain contributing the most players following the dismal 1999 season the Western Suburbs club had just gone through.
Their inaugural season was moderately successful, but 2001 saw the club suffer a number of on and off-field controversies including their coach Wayne Pearce quitting and his replacement Terry Lamb being appointed, and the infamous John Hopoate incident.
The Wests Tigers’ current coach Tim Sheens was selected in 2003 following Sheens sacking from the North Queensland Cowboys.
Two years later in 2005 premiership success finally came to the Wests Tigers when they made the Grand Final showdown that season going on to defeat the North Queensland Cowboys 30 – 16. Because 2005 was also the first year the Wests Tigers had made the NRL finals, they go down in history as one of the only clubs to win the premiership in their first finals appearance.
The Wests Tigers continue to seek their second premiership having signed quality players including Benji Marshall, Lote Tuqiri and captain Robbie Farah, however they haven’t been able to make the finals since they won the premiership shield in 2005, finishing 9th or worse on the ladder each year thereafter.
Emblem, Colours & Jerseys
The Wests Tigers emblem features a vicious looking Tiger head and paws, claws out, in orange jumping out of a traditional black Wests ‘V’. It is a powerful logo that instils fear in their rivals and they are one of the only clubs who haven’t changed their original emblem.
Black and orange are the Wests Tigers colours, chosen because they are the two colours of their fierce and famous animal mascot, the Tiger. These two colours are also a combination of the original colours of the Balmain (orange and black) and Western Suburbs (black and white) clubs.
The Wests Tigers have a home and away jersey as do all NRL clubs. The home jersey is predominantly black with orange strips around the cuff of the sleeve, and orange and white stripes down the sides. Their away jersey is the same design, but the colours are reversed with orange replacing black as the primary colour. In 2009 the Wests Tigers also introduced a special 10th anniversary jersey that was white with a striking orange V around the chest.
Because the Wests Tigers are a joint-venture club encompassing a number of suburbs, they have three main home grounds at Campbelltown Stadium the original home ground of Western Suburbs, Leichhardt Oval the original home ground of Balmain, and the Sydney Football Stadium. They also play one home game a year at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). Each venue has a different capacity crowd, the biggest two being 45,500 at Sydney Football Stadium and 47,000 at the SCG.
There are also multiple leagues clubs for the team, the Balmain Leagues Club at Rozell and the Western Suburbs clubs at Ashfield in the city and Campbelltown out west. The team undertakes training at Concord Oval, also used for the club’s administration.
Wests Tigers’ memberships are available to purchase for those dedicated supporters who want to get in on the action, receive special offers and show their support. Nothing compares to the exclusive experience a Wests Tiger’s membership offers, besides winning money off your SportsBet wagers!
The Wests Tigers mascot is Stripes the Tiger. Stripes is a laid back tiger who loves his team and their fans like they were his own family. Promoting sportsmanship and fair play, he is a 280kg gentle giant of a second rower with tremendous spirit, just like the Wests Tigers players.
Best Bet To Make
The Wests Tigers have made the NRL finals just once in their 10 years in the competition and so bets like Make the Top 8 should be avoided. The one time they did make the finals they went on to take out the premiership however, so towards the end of the season if they are still at the top of the ladder and do make the top eight, betting on them to play in the Grand Final through SportsBet could be a good chance to make some money!
With a team that usually contributes very few players to the annual State of Origin showdown, mid-season is a great time to back the Wests Tigers as they thrive through the rep footy season while representative-riddled teams often fall off board.
One of the best bets to make on the Wests Tigers is for them to score the first try in a match at SportsBet, as they have a good record of being the first to get in a four-pointer.