Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
3 days ago
Tigers aim to keep end of season revival alive against stuttering Cjowboys
Friday night aims as a huge game for both of these sides, for very different reasons. The Tigers have Newcastle hot on their heels in the battle for the wooden spoon but have shown drastic improvement since the arrival of Ivan Cleary as head coach. Their expansive style of football has been joyful to watch for Tigers fans and they will be hoping it continues for a long time in Tiger Town. They line up with the same side as last week apart from Elijah Taylor being ruled out through injury. Young gun Bayley Sironen is an outside chance to make his debut from the bench.
The injury toll at North Queensland is worsening with Lachlan Coote the latest to fall victim as the Cowboys final tilt comes crashing to a halt. They have been struggling to compete with some of the best players having to sit out. That said they still have quality and will be relying on players such as Jason Taumalolo and Antonio Winterstein to right the ship as they look to keep their finals hopes alive. A win would consolidate their position but a loss could be catastrophic for the Cowboys.
Last meeting: Round 6 2017 - Cowboys 16 Wests Tigers 26
Who to watch: The Tigers will again be hoping for a good performance from one of their young brigade as they search for the two points. Matt Eisenhuth has been superb since being drafted into the first grade set up. A former Panther that had cut his teeth in the Tigers reserve grade team has been superb defensively getting through lots of work in the middle of the field. He is nio slouch with ball in hand either and has showed how valuable he is in getting the Tigers out of trouble from his own end. His season stats show how valuable he has been to the joint venture side with an average of 34 tackles and 114 metres a game. A young player that has a bright future for the Tigers.
The Cowboys need some class on Friday and it will come from their main man Michael Morgan. Morgan has been superb since the injury of Jonathan Thurston and has taken the weight of attacking duties upon his shoulders. He will need to steer his side around the park on Friday and use his running game to trouble the edge defenders of the Tigers.
His short kicking game will also be pivotal any success the side has, with the season on the line, look for a stellar performance from the Cowboys.
My tip: Look for the Tigers to again entertain their home faithful with a win on Friday night. Think that the Cowboys are missing too much cattle and the tough environment of Campbelltown will be too much for them. Tigers by 2.
1. James Tedesco 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Esan Marsters 11. Michael Chee-Kam 5. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak 6. Tuimoala Lolohea 17. Jack Littlejohn 8. Aaron Woods 9. Matt McIlwrick 10. Tim Grant 18. Joel Edwards 12. Josh Aloiai 13. Matthew Eisenhuth 14. Alex Twal 15. Sauaso Sue 16. Bayley Sironen 18. Ava Seumanufagai
19. Lachlan Coote 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Javid Bowen 4. Kane Linnett 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Michael Morgan 14. John Asiata 9. Jake Granville 10. Scott Bolton 18. Gavin Cooper 12. Ethan Lowe 13. Jason Taumalolo 1. Ben Hampton 8. Corey Jensen 11. Coen Hess 17. Shaun Fensom