Local juniors pumped for Leichhardt return
Wests Tigers players say they always look forward to any chance to run out onto Leichhardt Oval but are expecting an extra lift on Monday night given the match will be Leichhardt junior Aaron Woods's first game there as club captain.
There's no shortage of local juniors in the Tigers ranks – Luke Brooks and Kyle Lovett are among the Leichhardt juniors while Mitch Moses is a fellow Balmain junior through Ryde's Holy Cross Rhinos.
Moses – who made his debut at Leichhardt Oval – told NRL.com any chance to play at the venue was special.
"I'm excited; hopefully we get a big crowd there on Monday night," Moses said.
"It was a pretty big crowd at Campbelltown last weekend which really helped us at the end of the game so hopefully we can get that at Leichhardt and the hill's packed.
"Woodsy will be living it up out there so hopefully we get a big crowd on that hill and hopefully they're really loud."
Lovett also backed his skipper in for another big game at his home ground.
"Every time I get told I'm playing there I get really happy and I can't wait to get out there. It's home for me and a lot of the boys," Lovett told NRL.com.
"We also love playing at Campbelltown, we had a great crowd there last weekend so if we can get all the fans out to this one as well it helps a lot getting those first two home games straight off the bat.
"It will be Woodsy's first actual game as captain at Leichhardt and he got the win last week as his first appearance as captain.
"If he can do it again this week at Leichhardt he'll be loving it at his Leichhardt home ground. He loves playing there so he'll be stoked leading the boys out."
Curtis Sironen – another local junior and Holy Cross alumni – said the first Leichhardt match of the year was always an event.
"It will be good, it's our first game there and hopefully we can get a big crowd," Sironen said.
"The crowd was also really good out at Campbelltown, the atmosphere was different, all the things the club are trying to do to attract fans and all that sort of stuff so hopefully we can get the same sort of reaction Monday night at Leichhardt. I know the boys are pretty excited to get out there."
Sironen admitted to being "dirty" on himself for a couple of second-half errors that let the Warriors back into the Round 1 contest, making him extra relieved to have got away with a win.
"I think that first half was really positive but a couple of silly mistakes second half, I had two of them myself which I was pretty dirty on let them back in the game," he said.
"I think we can still take a positive out that we still got away with the win even though the momentum swung pretty heavy we hung in there which was good."
Sironen also backed former teammate Marty Taupau for a big game in his first match at the ground since leaving the club.
"He'll be fired up I'm sure, big Marty, he'll be going down there to run over a few blokes. We're just going to worry about ourselves, obviously we're going to have to cover guys like him, they've got a host of really good international players that we're going to have to watch out for."