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This top-eight clash has both the Roosters and Wests Tigers feeling energised coming off wins last week, but perhaps Michael Maguire's side even more so since they scored 30 points compared with 20 to the Roosters.

The Tigers have also proved to be tough foes for the Roosters recently. They beat Trent Robinson's men 10-8 in round one last year and later in 2018 lost another close one 16-14 in round 13. 

But with Luke Keary back from concussion to steer the ship that could lay the favouritism tag well and truly in the Roosters nest. 

The Rundown

Team news

Roosters: Winger Matt Ikavalu (knee) is out, with Joseph Manu moving to the wing and Mitchell Aubusson from the bench into the centres. Ikavalu and Poasa Faamausili were the two players left out on match eve. Luke Keary returns to the No.6 role after missing the Anzac Day game with concussion, pushing Lachlan Lam back to the reserves. Victor Radley moves from lock to hooker to replace Jake Friend (biceps). Isaac Liu returns from a broken finger to slot in at lock. Lam and Sam Verrills were omitted an hour before kick-off. 

Wests Tigers: Benji Marshall was left out when the squad was culled 24 hours before kick-off. Ryan Matterson moves from the back row into the five-eighth position. In late changes an hour before kick-off, Luke Garner goes back to the bench and Elijah Taylor comes into the starting side. Russell Packer, who had been named to return after being dropped last week, has again been left out and his place on the bench taken by Jacob Liddle.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
    Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Moses Mbye
  • Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
    Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 Mahe Fonua
  • Centre for Roosters is number 3 Latrell Mitchell
    Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Robert Jennings
  • Centre for Roosters is number 17 Mitchell Aubusson
    Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Esan Marsters
  • Winger for Roosters is number 4 Joseph Manu
    Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Corey Thompson
  • Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Luke Keary
    Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 11 Ryan Matterson
  • Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Cooper Cronk
    Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks

Forwards

  • Prop for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
    Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 Ben Matulino
  • Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Victor Radley
    Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Robbie Farah
  • Prop for Roosters is number 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho
    Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 Alex Twal
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Boyd Cordner
    2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Chris McQueen
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Angus Crichton
    2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 14 Elijah Taylor
  • Lock for Roosters is number 13 Isaac Liu
    Lock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Josh Aloiai

Interchange

  • Interchange for Roosters is number 14 Nat Butcher
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Thomas Mikaele
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Zane Tetevano
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Matthew Eisenhuth
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Sitili Tupouniua
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Luke Garner
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 18 Lindsay Collins
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 19 Jacob Liddle

Match Officials

  • Referee: Matt Cecchin
  • Referee: Tim Roby

Last updated:

Key match-up

Cooper Cronk vs Luke Brooks. The old and the new. The 354-gamer who has been steering the Storm and Roosters around with aplomb for more than a decade vs the 114-gamer who has come of age as a mature team leader in 2019. Two great kicking games on show. Two men capable of lifting their team across the line of things get tight at the end.  

For the Roosters to win

The backline to work their magic yet again. James Tedesco has the most tackle breaks in the NRL (he's also scored five tries in seven games), Luke Keary the most try assists, and Latrell Mitchell the most goals and the most points. In defence the Roosters will need to watch the Wests Tigers left edge - centre Esan Marsters and his winger Mahe Fonua are proving a handful.   

For the Tigers to win

Keep shifting to either side as Robert Jennings and Corey Thompson on the right flank have already racked up three tries each. If in-form Luke Brooks and stand-in No.6 Ryan Matterson can give the speed men some slick service then the Tigers can rack up enough points to trouble the premiers.

Brett Kimmorley says

I liked the Wests Tigers playing Ryan Matterson at five-eighth last week. I think that style of football suits the side. With Luke Brooks and Robbie Farah running the show as the key playmakers, they don’t need three or four playmakers in that side. The Roosters are the benchmark, they should be favourites. They continue to show different styles of attack. Their defence hasn’t been great, but that’ll get fixed. Roosters by 8

Stat Attack

Largely off Luke Brooks' boot, the Wests Tigers are the third best in the NRL when it comes to kicks in play. The Roosters, surprsingly, lie in seventh spot despite the obvious talents of Keary and Cooper Cronk. 

And another thing ...

Moses Mbye is yet to score a try in 2019 and the only member of the Wests Tigers back five with a '0' next to his name. Perhaps against the competition leaders it would be the perfect way to break that drought.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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