The Tigers will love to bring down the Sharks next season, with a host of ex-Wests players having been snapped up by Cronulla in recent years. Credit: NRL Photos Copyright: NRL Photos
Tigers v Sharks
If they hadn't done so already, upset Tigers fans should direct their anger over their lack of finals action over the past two years at Cronulla, who boast no less than six former Tigers this season. The sight of Kangaroos prop Andrew Fifita should be reason alone for the Leichhardt faithful to stick it to the Sharks this year, if anything just to let their own club know how much they erred in letting one of the premier props in the game out of their grasp.
Cronulla swept the Tigers in both matches last year, so turning that around is a good place to begin for the rebuilding club. Interestingly, the Tigers have won 15 of their 23 matches against the Sharks, their highest winning percentage against any other team in the NRL.
Tigers v Rabbitohs
If there's one result that needs to be tattooed on the inside of every Tigers' player's forehead, it's their 54-10 humiliation at the hands of South Sydney in Round 10 last season. Not only was it the night a benched Benji Marshall just might've been tipped over the edge, but the Tigers simply rolled over within the first 20 minutes, an effort almost too embarrassing for them to remember.
Fans might step into ANZ Stadium this year with some trepidation as Potter throws his plethora of kids into a violent wave of cardinal and myrtle, but it'll be the perfect barometer to measure how far they actually are from returning to the game's elite. As for the record, South Sydney have won their past five in this match-up, and eight of their past 10. In six of those eight victories, the Rabbitohs scored at least 29 points.
Tigers v Broncos
If the Rabbitohs game is the barometer, then the Tigers' date with the Broncos is the big test. And by that we mean a test on whether hoodoos exist or not. Since their merger in 1999 Wests Tigers have played Brisbane in 22 games, winning just four.
It's been lean picking for the Concord-based club against the Queensland heavyweights, who they haven't beaten since 2010. The Broncos have indeed won eight of their past nine against the Tigers, including scoring a brace of victories in 2013. Needless to say, it's a statistic the club would want rectified sooner rather than later.
Check back on NRL.com on Wednesday for details of your team's schedule with the release of the 2014 NRL Draw.