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It's a simple scenario facing both teams: the winner will keep their play-off hopes alive and the loser can start thinking about next year.

Both teams are just one win out of the top eight with three weeks remaining, but the points differential of the Sharks is significantly better than the team in black, gold and white.

The Sharks need to quickly forget about the frustration of losing a clearly winnable game against Newcastle last weekend while Wests Tigers need to cash in on the opportunity teams like the Sharks have presented them by losing matches in recent weeks.

The rundown

Team news

Wests Tigers: James Tamou (foot) was a late withdrawal last week and will not play.

James Roberts was attempting to play his first game since round 16 and was named on the interchange, but Michael Maguire has opted to give him another week of training before making his comeback.

Joe Ofahengaue will start at prop for Tamou while Billy Walters and Tom Amone were elevated to the interchange 24 hours out from kick-off.

Zac Cini is the 18th man with Jock Madded dropping off the reserves list on game day.

Wests Tigers are aiming for three consecutive wins for the first time since 2018.

Sharks: Matt Moylan will be a late inclusion following a further setback with a calf injury a fortnight ago. Sharks coach Josh Hannay said the veteran playmaker would be restricted to limited minutes but was in good spirits about getting back on the field.

He will move from the reserves to the interchange, Luke Metcalf has been promoted to start at five-eighth, with Connor Tracey shifting to centre and Mawene Hiroti dropping out of the squad altogether on Friday along with Will Chambers.

Ronaldo Mulitalo (HIA) and Teig Wilton (hamstring) will both play after overcoming injury concerns.

Kai O'Donnell is 18th man, with Jonaiah Lualua dropping out of the playing squad an hour before kick-off.

The Sharks have won six of their past seven games against the Tigers.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Moses Mbye
    Fullback for Sharks is number 1 William Kennedy
  • Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David Nofoaluma
    Winger for Sharks is number 2 Sione Katoa
  • Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Tommy Talau
    Centre for Sharks is number 4 Jesse Ramien
  • Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Michael Chee Kam
    Centre for Sharks is number 6 Connor Tracey
  • Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Ken Maumalo
    Winger for Sharks is number 5 Ronaldo Mulitalo
  • Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Adam Doueihi
    Five-Eighth for Sharks is number 14 Luke Metcalf
  • Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks
    Halfback for Sharks is number 7 Braydon Trindall

Forwards

  • Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 Stefano Utoikamanu
    Prop for Sharks is number 8 Toby Rudolf
  • Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Jake Simpkin
    Hooker for Sharks is number 9 Blayke Brailey
  • Prop for Wests Tigers is number 14 Joe Ofahengaue
    Prop for Sharks is number 10 Aaron Woods
  • 2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Shawn Blore
    2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora
  • 2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua
    2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Siosifa Talakai
  • Lock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Alex Twal
    Lock for Sharks is number 13 Jack Williams

Interchange

  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Kelma Tuilagi
    Interchange for Sharks is number 15 Braden Hamlin-Uele
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Tukimihia Simpkins
    Interchange for Sharks is number 16 Teig Wilton
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 18 Billy Walters
    Interchange for Sharks is number 17 Billy Magoulias
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 19 Tom Amone
    Interchange for Sharks is number 18 Matt Moylan

Reserves

  • Reserve for Wests Tigers is number 21 Zac Cini
    Reserve for Sharks is number 20 Kai O'Donnell

Match Officials

  • Referee: Gerard Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Dave Munro
  • Touch Judge: Belinda Sharpe
  • Senior Review Official: Grant Atkins

Last updated:

Key match-up

Stefano Utoikamanu v Aaron Woods. An interesting battle of youth up against experience. Woods was a much-loved player during his time at the Tigers and Utoikamanu is quickly becoming just that.

It's pretty easy to see why his current employers were so happy to sign him and his old ones (Parramatta) didn't want to see him go.

Stat attack

If the Sharks end up missing out on the finals, the number of missed tackles they've had this season will be viewed as one of the reasons why. Through 22 rounds, the team tally of 789 is the most in the NRL.

 

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