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Wests Tigers gave themselves a timely boost with their surprise win over Newcastle ahead of their local derby against the undefeated Eels in KFC Monday Football.

Newcastle had form and emotion on their side on Sunday but the under-pressure Tigers spoiled halfback Mitchell Pearce's party with a 24-20 win. 

Rookie fullback Daine Laurie starred once again while fellow young gun Stefano Utoikamanu scored the first try of his career in the upset victory.

They will need all the confidence they can muster when they confront a Parramatta side that has swept all before it in 2021 and is sitting pretty in second place on points difference behind the Panthers.

Wests Tigers v Eels

The rundown

Team news

Wests Tigers: Coach Michael Maguire has named an unchanged squad for the local derby after a morale-boosting weekend saw the team not only pick up two points but also avoid the injury carnage that battered so many sides. 

The club's only absentees, Shawn Blore (wrist) and Billy Walters (knee), are both at least two weeks away from a return to action.

Joey Leilua and Alex Seyfarth were dropped from the squad 24 hours out from kick-off. Russell Packer and Michael Chee Kam were left out on game day.

The Tigers are chasing back-to-back wins for the first time since Round 7, 2020.

Eels: Ryan Matterson was named to return from a head knock but was omitted from the squad an hour out from kick-off.

Matterson's absence in the second-row has again been taken by Isaiah Papali'i with Keegan Hipgrave promoted from the reserves to the interchange.

Back-rower Bryce Cartwright was included among the reserves after recovering from a broken jaw suffered in a pre-season training accident but missed out on the game-day 17 and played in the NSW Cup curtain-raiser.

Jordan Rankin and Haze Dunster were omitted on Sunday.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Daine Laurie
    Fullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton Gutherson
  • Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David Nofoaluma
    Winger for Eels is number 2 Maika Sivo
  • Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Tommy Talau
    Centre for Eels is number 3 Tom Opacic
  • Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 James Roberts
    Centre for Eels is number 4 Marata Niukore
  • Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Asu Kepaoa
    Winger for Eels is number 5 Blake Ferguson
  • Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Adam Doueihi
    Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Dylan Brown
  • Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks
    Halfback for Eels is number 7 Mitchell Moses

Forwards

  • Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 Zane Musgrove
    Prop for Eels is number 8 Reagan Campbell-Gillard
  • Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Jacob Liddle
    Hooker for Eels is number 9 Reed Mahoney
  • Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 James Tamou
    Prop for Eels is number 10 Junior Paulo
  • 2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Luke Garner
    2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Shaun Lane
  • 2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua
    2nd Row for Eels is number 15 Isaiah Papali'i
  • Lock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Alex Twal
    Lock for Eels is number 13 Nathan Brown

Interchange

  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Moses Mbye
    Interchange for Eels is number 14 Oregon Kaufusi
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Thomas Mikaele
    Interchange for Eels is number 16 Will Smith
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Stefano Utoikamanu
    Interchange for Eels is number 17 Ray Stone
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Joe Ofahengaue
    Interchange for Eels is number 20 Keegan Hipgrave

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ashley Klein
  • Touch Judge: Dave Munro
  • Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
  • Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall

Last updated:

Key match-up 

David Nofoaluma v Maika Sivo: Two of the NRL's best flankers go head-to-head in a mouth-watering clash of skill and power.

Sivo has scored three tries in his past two outings, including a double in Parramatta's incredible win over the Storm, while Nofoaluma crossed in rounds one and three.

Sivo's Eels partner Blake Ferguson also bears mentioning after his double against Cronulla took his tally to three in three games after a difficult 2020.

Stat attack 

Offload masters Parramatta (No.1 in 2020 and again so far in 2021) have also got Wests Tigers well covered when it comes to making forward progress.

They lead the NRL with 5845 run metres already in 2021, more than 300 meters ahead of the next-best Panthers, while Wests Tigers languish in 15th place on the table more than 1500 metres adrift.

 

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