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Wests Tigers will be loving life sitting in sixth position, three slots higher than the dreaded ninth which has plagued them in recent seasons, while the Panthers are riding high in second spot.

No shortage of mouth-watering clashes at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday night when Josh Aloiai and Luciano Leilua battle for forward supremacy with James Tamou and James Fisher-Harris to lay a platform for wily hookers Harry Grant and Api Koroisau to run amok.

The Panthers have been all class in the past fortnight with wins over Melbourne and the Rabbitohs while Michael Maguire's men have also put two together, racking up 70 points against the Cowboys and Bulldogs on the back of slick finishing by Tommy Talau and David Nofoaluma.

The Rundown

Team news

Wests Tigers: Unchanged after last week's big win over Canterbury. Benji Marshall and Chris Lawrence dropped off the extended bench on game day and Billy Walters and Russell Packer were the two players left out 24 hours before the match. Wests Tigers have scored 62 points in two games at Bankwest Stadium in 2020.

Panthers: Brent Naden replaces Dean Whare at centre with Tyrone May bumping Matt Burton off the bench. Josh Mansour (knee) returns on the wing. Mitch Kenny and Spencer Leniu were the two players omitted 24 hours before kick-off. The Panthers have won five of their past six games against the Tigers.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Adam Doueihi
    Fullback for Panthers is number 1 Dylan Edwards
  • Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David Nofoaluma
    Winger for Panthers is number 2 Josh Mansour
  • Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Joseph Leilua
    Centre for Panthers is number 4 Stephen Crichton
  • Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Moses Mbye
    Centre for Panthers is number 19 Brent Naden
  • Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Tommy Talau
    Winger for Panthers is number 5 Brian To'o
  • Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Josh Reynolds
    Five-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Jarome Luai
  • Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks
    Halfback for Panthers is number 7 Nathan Cleary

Forwards

  • Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 Josh Aloiai
    Prop for Panthers is number 8 James Tamou
  • Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Harry Grant
    Hooker for Panthers is number 9 Apisai Koroisau
  • Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 Oliver Clark
    Prop for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
  • 2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Luke Garner
    2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Viliame Kikau
  • 2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua
    2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Liam Martin
  • Lock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Matthew Eisenhuth
    Lock for Panthers is number 13 Isaah Yeo

Interchange

  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Elijah Taylor
    Interchange for Panthers is number 15 Zane Tetevano
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Thomas Mikaele
    Interchange for Panthers is number 16 Moses Leota
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Sam McIntyre
    Interchange for Panthers is number 17 Billy Burns
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Michael Chee-Kam
    Interchange for Panthers is number 21 Tyrone May

Key match-up

Nathan Cleary v Luke Brooks. Panthers playmaker Cleary famously booted a sideline conversion and then nailed a field goal to sink the Tigers last season. And he made the headlines last week for his starring role in beating South Sydney despite cellulitis. For the Tigers, Brooks has been playing a steady role alongside Josh Reynolds as the team picks up steam.

Stat attack

Wests Tigers winger David Nofoaluma is enjoying a great start to 2020. He leads the NRL in tackle breaks (46) and is fourth in the league for run metres. He has also scored eight tries (equal second best in the NRL).