Preview – Round 9 – Tigers at Roosters


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Talk about a rollercoaster couple of weeks. From the depressing depths after being beaten by the Raiders in Round 7, the Wests Tigers re-grouped and emphatically smashed the Bulldogs in Round 8.wests tigers game preview Then, keeping us riding on a high, Tim Simona re-signed for a further two years just prior to his representative game for Samoa, unfortunately to only sustain an ankle injury that will keep him sidelined for four weeks. It’s never smooth sailing in Tigertown, is it?

For me, the biggest feel-good factor over the past couple of weeks has been seeing the influence that Jason Taylor is exhibiting over the club. He’s clearly a very intelligent and articulate man. And for him to instill confidence in the young players after that disappointing loss to Canberra speaks volumes for how strong he’s bonded with the squad in a short amount of time.

On Sterlo last week, he also spoke about the game plans being followed at the moment. He admitted that Moses is not featuring that heavily at the moment, but Taylor says he has a very clear vision of where he wants Moses and the team to go. On that note, he’s very happy with Moses’ progress so far. Taylor clearly has the big picture in mind and, more importantly, he has a plan on how to get there. And he’s proven over the first 8 games that he has communicated that plan very clearly to the young and senior players alike – and all signs point to the fact that everyone has bought into it.

Know your enemy

Bloody Roosters. They’re our number 1 bogey team in the NRL. We haven’t won against them since 2011, and even if they are out of form we somehow seem to play them back into form. Despite our big win in Round 8 and the Roosters riding on a four match losing streak, we are at least $3.10 outsiders with the bookies. wests tigers game previewGuerra has been named to return this week from a broken jaw, and Mitch Aubusson also returns. But the real danger for mine will be Pearce and Maloney, mostly due to the fact they are in the box seat to press their claims for NSW Origin recalls given the poor form of the Canterbury incumbents (I won’t even dignify talk of Austin being in the frame for Origin at this stage of his career – when I hear talk like that I’m reminded of a New Zealander with one leg shorter than the other: “Not even bro”).

Despite their losing streak, the Roosters haven’t been playing badly. Their losing margins have only been 8, 4, 1, and 2 points. If they were going to break back into the winners circle, historically speaking they couldn’t ask for a better match up than the Wests Tigers. But this time will be different, right? This time they won’t get a free pass from us, right?

Player spotlight

He started from the bench last week as a second-rower, but given Tim Simona’s injury Chris Lawrence returns to the centres tomorrow.wests tigers game preview I thought Chris had a really good game in the forwards, but JT admitted it was only a temporary move while Galloway was out. And with Simona out for a month it’s unlikely we’ll see Chris in the forwards again anytime soon. Rumours surfaced during the week that Lawrence is being shopped around to free up some cap space. It’s hard to know whether this has any substance, but we know Chris hasn’t been as potent as his early years form since his hip injury. Regardless, we need Chris at his best this week. The Roosters backline is oozing with game breakers so his defence and communication with is winger will need to be spot on.

Fortune Teller

FTS: Jennings (@ $10.00) and Farah (@ $41.00) look like goers for me.
At The Line: Take the +8.5 line @ $1.90. This won’t be a blow out. Not this time.
Best exotic: 1st Half being the Highest Scoring Half @ $2.20.


Preview – Round 7 – Tigers vs Raiders


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Another case of close but no cigar. The Warriors got the rub of the green with some favourable officiating, but Wests Tigers were left lamenting periods of poor defence (28 missed tackles) and poor discipline (10 penalties conceded). wests tigers game previewTim Simona had a particularly strong game, bagging two tries, breaking four tackles, and racking up over 70 running metres. Woodsy again lead the team in runs and metres gained, but had a few uncharacteristic errors which cost us momentum at key moments. After six games, three wins is not terrible. Our loses were against the 2014 grand finalists and the Warriors at home, so that’s hardly a failure – especially considering the last two loses we were knife-edge results. But heading into our first home game at Leichhardt it almost feels like a must-win scenario against Sticky’s Raiders. And I have no doubt that will be case. We again will field an unchanged line-up for the forth week in a row. Is this real life?

Know your enemy

Canberra have two wins so far (Round 1 and Round 5), with a couple of narrow four- and two-point losses. Lock Fensom and hooker Hodgson have been named for the visitors but are in serious doubt and will have will until game day to make the cut.wests tigers game preview In terms of danger men, Jack Wighton is always a threat. He’s scored two tries so far and even collected a man-of-the-match award in the same game he was sin-binned – so, clearly he’s pretty good. And of course, there’s also former Wests Tiger Blake Austin to watch. We saw last year how dangerous he is taking on the line and will no doubt be primed for a big game.

Player spotlight

Which brings us to this week’s spotlight. I’ve gone with two players – Brooks and Moses. wests tigers game previewEveryone will be comparing “the one that got away” to the “one we have”. There’s no doubt that Austin and Moses are very different types of five-eighth. Austin takes on the line more, where as Moses’ strength is connecting passes with the back-rowers and centres. But it’s our kicking game that I’ll be most interested in seeing improvement. Both Moses and Brooks need to put more pressure on the back three. Forced drop-outs, finding gaps, finding touch – anything that prevents players like Wighton and Lee, from gaining cheap metres on tackle one.

Fortune Teller

Not bad last week. We got a first try scorer (@ $17.00) and our exotic bet (@ $2.30).

FTS: I feel like Rowdy is due. Take Lawrence @ $14.00 and Tedesco @ $9.50.
At The Line: We have a -7.5 line @ $1.90. That shouldn’t be problem.
Best exotic: Wests Tigers 13+ @ $2.40.


Preview – Round 6 – Tigers at Warriors


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What a way to mark your 100th NRL game! Pat Richards’ try and try-assists in the second half have been the talk of Tiger town all week.wests tigers game previewBut the impressive win was the result of a much improved overall team performance. An 85% completion rate showed that we controlled the game fairly well. A few poor options and terrible drops (I’m looking at you Chris Lawrence) did put the Wests Tigers under pressure, but at least the team was able to defend themselves out of trouble, keeping a clean sheet for the final 50 minutes. While there have been some fitness concerns over Farah and Halatau, both are expected to play, meaning we’ll have the bonus of running with the same 17 this week. The trip over the ditch is never easy. Wests have won 4 of the 9 games we’ve played at Mount Smart, and only 1 of the past 4 games against the Warriors.

Know your enemy

While Ben Matulino is leading the way up front for New Zealand and polling the most Dally M votes after 5 rounds (sharing the lead with our own Aaron Woods on seven votes), it’s the Beast on the left wing who remains the biggest danger for the Warriors.wests tigers game previewWhen Manu Vatuvei is on, he’s lethal. And celebrating his 200th NRL game at home we know he’ll be pumped for this one. He’s bagged three tries so far in 2015 and leads the team in attacking run metres. Sam Tomkins will be an obvious target for Brooks and Moses after his week in the papers. Not sure how you get home-sick for the north of England while living in Auckland, but each to their own I suppose.

Player spotlight

The Warriors have been favouring their right side in attack, so this week’s spotlight falls on Kevin Naiqama.wests tigers game previewNaiqama was signed to provide depth at the wing position, but given the news this week that David Nofoaluma will be sidelined until about Round 12, he’s got the NRL starting job for a while yet. And he’s well and truly earned it. Beating four defenders to muscle over for that try right on half time got us back in the match last Monday. While his defense has also been fairly solid, he’ll face his biggest test by far against Manu today. Shaun Johnson is sure to target his wing with cutout passes and attacking chip kicks.

Fortune Teller

We collected on the line (and H2H side bet) last week. Looking to do better this week …

FTS: The Warriors are vulnerable down their right side defense, so jump on Richards @ $14.00 and Simona @ $17.00. Good value.
At The Line: They’re giving us +7.5 @ $1.91. Jump on that.
Best exotic: Wests Tigers to score first try of the second half @ $2.30.


Preview – Round 5 – Tigers at Eels


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Golden point losses are just the worst. And having to wait 10 days for the next game is not much fun either.wests tigers game previewThere were plenty of positives over the first 60 minutes of last week’s loss to build on for this week. Kyle Lovett is showing he’s every bit a first grader, getting a late call-up into the starting line-up, playing for 72 minutes, leading the team tackle count with 46, making two tackle breaks and one line break. He also ran a great attacking line to hook up with Brooks to score his first NRL try. Lovett will get another opportunity in the starting line-up tomorrow with JT opting to bring Sue off the bench for greater impact. It’s a positive move in my opinion and will give us a more balanced bench rotation – which we’ll need as we face a very good forward pack in the Parramatta Eels.

Know your enemy

After destroying Manly in Round 1, the Eels suffered back-to-back losses before recording a gritty victory over Souths last week.wests tigers game previewThey sit just above Wests Tigers on the table on the cusp of the Top 8 thanks to a marginally better points differential. Their forward pack did a great job against Souths and on the back of that Chris Sandow was in dangerous form. As were outside backs Folau and Robinson who each bagged a double. With Woodsy and Halatau back, our forward pack looks stronger so I like our chances in matching the Eels up front. But Sandow is their biggest X-factor, especially when he’s playing with confidence. We need to pressure his kicking game for the full 80 and be wary of his long cut-out passes.

Player spotlight

My player spotlight this week is on Luke Brooks.wests tigers game previewAfter somewhat patchy periods over the first four games, Brooks did have an improved game overall last week. He took on the line a number of times and combined beautifully with Tedesco for two great tries. Unfortunately, a few wayward passes at the line and poor fifth tackle kicks when the game was in the balance in the final 20 minutes overshadowed his performance. Brooks seems to rise to big-game occasions, and it doesn’t get much bigger at this time of year than prime-time Easter Monday. Our games against the Eels often go down to the wire so Brooks’ composure and ability to control the momentum of the game will have a huge bearing on the outcome.

Fortune Teller

FTS: Take either of our wingers: Naiqama and Richards are both posted @ $10.00.
At The Line: The line opened at Wests Tigers +2.0 but has narrowed slightly to +1.5 @ $1.91. Whatever points they give us, take it. I’m backing an outright win, of course (@ $2.00).
Best exotic: Total match points over +42.5 @ 1.90.

– OneEyedTiger

Preview – Round 3 – Tigers at Rabbitohs


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The first half last week against the Dragons was all gravy. Racing to a 20-0 lead after 26 minutes, the scoreboard could have been anything come full time. James Tedesco had the Midis touch and the Campbelltown crowd were loving it.
wests tigers game previewWhen a third Pat Richards try went begging as Tim Simona’s pass sailed over the touch line, the intensity clearly dropped. What would follow for the remainder of the game was a somewhat flat attacking performance, but to their credit held the opposition to just a single try before half-time, and a duck-egg for the final 40.

So far we’ve had a really good second half in Round 1 and a really good first half in Round 2. We’ve got the wins, but the Titans and Dragons are not top tier opposition. Anything less than a solid 80 minute performance against Souths and we could be in for a towelling.

Know your enemy

Credit where due, Souths did really well last year in winning the title.
wests tigers game previewBut no team in the NRL era has ever gone back-to-back. And without Sam Burgess and Ben Te’o, that record didn’t look in danger at the beginning of the year. Not saying they wouldn’t be competitive, but I didn’t think they were any chance of back-to-back titles. Then they won the Auckland Nines, romped in the World Club Challenge, and started the 2015 season with two very impressive wins. Ok then, this team is clearly not done winning yet. And as last Sunday showed it’s going to take a complete performance to stop them.

When their big forwards get a roll on, Issac Luke will wreak havoc. Slowing down the play-the-ball will be essential. I expect JT to instruct our team to use the Roosters tactic of conceding penalties at the play-the-ball rather than allowing the opposition to gain momentum and score tries. Sutton played the full 80 minutes last week, but will miss the next month or so with a broken jaw.

The weakest link in the Rabbitohs line-up is easily Joel Reddy. Apart from scoring a good game-sealing try, the former Wests Tiger had a ‘mare – especially under the high ball. He’ll be an obvious target for Brooksy’s swirling bombs all afternoon.

Player spotlight

After sitting out last week due to a club-imposed suspension, this week’s spotlight is on our young reserve prop forward Matt Lodge.
wests tigers game previewHis powerful go-forward was missed last week when Woods, Galloway and Taupau were off the field. I really hope JT employs a different forward rotation strategy this week, but regardless every forward will need to bring their A-game on Sunday.

Lodge played 34 minutes in Round 1 but still managed to rack up 106 metres and 16 tackles. It was his leg drive and metres after contact that impressed me in the season opener. The Souths defense will be a different prospect today so I’m keen to see how he responds.

We ambushed the Rabbitohs almost 12 months ago when no-one gave us a chance. It was interesting to hear that Taylor hasn’t even looked at the tape of that game in preparation for this week. The 2015 Wests Tigers clearly want to do things differently to the past, but hopefully the end result this afternoon is identical.

Fortune Teller

Our FTS and At The Line bets cashed last week. Let’s go for more …
FTS: James Tedesco is the shortest price Wests Tigers player @ $15.00. Good value, that. And if you fancy an enemy scoring first, it’s hard to ignore Alex Johnston @ $7.50.
At The Line: The Wests Tigers have a +12.5 line @ $1.90. Take the points.
Best exotic: Wests Tigers first half total over 6.5 @ 2.10.

– OneEyedTiger

Preview – Round 2 – Tigers vs Dragons

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It wasn’t clinical, but for Round 1 it doesn’t need to be. Banking the two points for the win is all that matters. But jeez wasn’t it exciting!
wests tigers game previewA last-second Patty Richards field goal was another gem for his highlight reel. And for the BWTF contingent who assembled from north and south for the game, it was an unforgettable day and night on the Gold Coast!

Simple mistimed passes and drop balls cost us a couple of certain tries. If we scored from those opportunities then we’d have romped it in. No doubt we’ll see improvement in those aspects this week.

Taylor said he would improve the defensive structure, and based on what we saw he seems to be delivering on that promise so far. Woodsy made mention after the game of how comfortable he felt defending under the new structure. The scrambling defence was also very impressive, especially that one-on-one game saver by Siro after the intercept. It was a fairly strong performance by most of our forwards. Woods was immense, dominating almost every attacking stat category, while Galloway, Siro, Taupau, Lodge and Santi all had solid impact at various stages throughout. He didn’t get much recognition, but the stats show Sue had a really good defensive game with 34 tackles, 0 misses and 0 errors.

Know your enemy

In our first home game of 2015, we come up against the Dragons. They were deadset ordinary in their first round loss to the Storm last Monday, looking clueless in attack for most of the contest.
wests tigers game previewMarshall and Widdop had poor combinations in the halves – it almost seemed like they hadn’t trained together. The Dragons only try come from a bizarre piece of Benji improv where he ran around the back of the ruck on the 5th tackle and placed a fortunate kick into the back corner of the in-goal.

Benji Marshall will again be the key to St George-Illawarra scoring points. He kinda has to be given the lack of proven game-breakers in their squad. Already having to adjust to life without Brett Morris, they now need to deal with the absence of injured Josh Dugan as well. Captain Ben Creagh has also been ruled out for at least a month.

While the home side is a firm favourite with the bookies, the Dragons have won three of the past four games against the Wests Tigers and are undefeated in their two appearances at Campbelltown.

Player spotlight

No surprises that this week’s spotlight will be on Chris Lawrence. He was a late withdrawal last Saturday night and Kyle Lovett had an absolute blinder in his debut game as Lawrence’s replacement.
wests tigers game previewSimona shifted to the left and was instrumental in two of the three tries we scored down that edge. Hopefully Taylor keeps Simona on that side and plays Chrissy on the right. But either way, he’ll have a lot to prove in this game – not only in terms of his fitness.

The key to victory will be improving our handling. If we hold the majority of possession I’m confident we’ll have enough points in us. The Dragons gave up easy yards around the ruck last week, so I can’t wait to see some of that slick interchange of passes between Farah, Brooks and Tedesco exploit that on Monday. If we can bully Marshall and Widdop when they have the ball, I think we match-up pretty well across the park.

Fortune Teller

FTS: We didn’t attack much down the right, but the Dragons left edge of Nielsen and Nabuli looks vulnerable. Take Naiqama @ $9.50 or Tedesco @ 11.00 for first try scorer.
At The Line: The line opened at Wests Tigers -2.0 @ $1.88. I took them at -4.0 @ 1.90 during the week, but it’s now out to -5.5. I’m favouring us to win by at least a converted try, so I still think that’s a good line for now.
Best exotic: Both teams kicked a 40/20 last week. You can get $4.25 for a 40/20 being kicked tonight. Take that.

– OneEyedTiger

Preview – Round 1 – Tigers at Titans

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wests tigers game previewHere we go! The wait is finally over! Footy is back!

A string of disappointing finishes over the past three seasons will hopefully become distant memories as (another) “new era” of Wests Tigers begins – this time under a new GM, a new chairwoman leading a unified board, a new coach and new support staff.

Not that I’m counting any chickens. Two out of four wins in the Auckland 9s tournament and two out of two wins in trial games is a reasonable stat, but Jason Taylor hasn’t has had the luxury of working with the top squad for the full off-season, so we have to expect that to show over the first few rounds of the premiership.

But it’s hard not to be impressed with JT’s attitude and determination so far. He’s taken control and responsibility for team, putting in place new training regime, revamped injury prevention and recovery processes, new defensive structures and – as we have been informed – a recruitment strategy for 2016. The club actually looks like a professional outfit heading into 2015.

Know your enemy

wests tigers game previewEven before the recent cocaine chargers surfaced, the Titans weren’t favoured by many to be a serious challenger this year. Losing a handful of their best players for Round 1 has only hurt their chances that much more. Before the drug story broke, the Titans were slight 1.5 point favourites with the bookies. They are now 5-6 point underdogs and out to about $2.50 head-to-head.

Their biggest threat in the backline will probably come from William Zillman. He’s been named at fullback but will likely rotate with new centre Hoffman. Zillman is a skillful player and will need to be closely marked when the Titans have the ball. Upfront the Titans are looking a bit thin due to suspensions, but James is a quality player and together with Myles will play big minutes for the home team. If our forwards can shut those two down in particular we will dominate.

The Tigers have won the two of the past three games on the Coast. You’d have to like our chances of making that three from four come Saturday night.

Player spotlight

wests tigers game previewMy Round 1 player spotlight will be on Mitch Moses. He came into grade at fullback and filled in at both 5/8 and half throughout 2014. But now he’s the undisputed first choice 5/8, and despite his young age carries the weight of a lot of expectation on his shoulders.

He’ll be tested heavily in defence all game – as will Brooks. While their effectiveness in defence will be largely dependent on the help they get from their backrowers, in attack it’s all on them. In particular Moses who needs to get quality ball to our outside backs. This was a major failing last year and a source of constant frustration. A balanced attack on both sides of the ruck is not rocket-science. It’s up to Mitch to make that happen.

Fortune Teller

FTS: [us] Pat Richards @ $9.50; [them] Kevin Gordon @ $11.00.
At The Line: If you got in early with the Wests Tigers at any start you’d be laughing. Even giving up -5.5 @ $1.90 I still think we’re a safe bet.
Best exotic: Titans team total under 17.5 @ $1.99

– OneEyedTiger

BWTF 2015 Form Guide


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RACE 1 2015 TELSTRA NRL PREMIERSHIP Group 1                                                            24 games plus finals




Recent Form

(Last 6 Starts)

SportsBet Odds ‡


Top 4 Place

Top 8 Place



T. Robinson






J. Sutton

M. Maguire






F. Pritchard

D. Hassler






C. Parker

W. Bennett (n)






P. Wallace

I. Cleary






J. Thurston

P. Green






J. Lyon

G. Toovey






C. Smith

C. Bellamy






S. Mannering

M. Elliot






P. Gallen

S. Flanagan






K. Gidley

R. Stone (n)






R. Farah

J. Taylor (n)






T. Mannah

B. Arthur






B. Creagh

P. McGregor (n)






N. Myles

N. Henry (n)






J. Croker

R. Stuart






Trainer codes

Form codes

(a) – Apprentice (first year in NRL)

(*) – Grand Final winner

(P) – Preliminary Final loser (week 3)

(n) – New (first year at stable)

(+) – Grand Final runner up

(S) – Semi Final loser (week 2)

(X) – Disqualified

(Q) – Qualifying Final loser (week 1)


‡ Odds correct as of 3 January 2015




Expert Analysis

Last Year Result


wests tigers game preview

FEEL LIKE ROOSTER TONITE – Beaten favourite last year, but still respected by bookies and punters alike this time around. Was well paced in last year’s race, keeping in touch with the leaders down the back straight, then finding an inside running to take a narrow lead at the final turn, before being run down by the eventual winner on the home straight. Likely to follow similar tactics this race taking a forward position early and has the pedigree to remain a realistic threat for the win. Cannot ignore.



wests tigers game preview

RABBITING ON – Repaid loyal punters with a long-awaited and well-deserved break-through win last year, making every post a winner down the home straight. Despite that impressive form, a back-to-back win is unlikely this year. The hunger won’t be as strong and speed map indicates he could struggle to find a good position after the jump given his wide barrier draw. Still, he’s a strong horse and will comfortably beat more than half of the field, but punters should temper expectations. Possible Top 4, safely Top 8.



wests tigers game preview

BULLDOG NEW TRICKS – Surprised with a forward showing in last year’s race, either leading or running just off the leader for most of the distance. Looked vulnerable at the final turn but took advantage of tiring runners down the home straight to pinch second place. Looks to have improved his turn of speed for this trip and another strong finish in this feature race certainly won’t be a shock. Has two runner-up finishes in the past three races. Must respect chances.



wests tigers game preview

BUCKS ON BRONCO – Legendary trainer Bennett returns to the Brisbane-based stable, but this is not the same horse he worked with all those years ago. Have early markets over-valued this horse based on Bennett’s return? Form line from last 3 starts doesn’t justify a 4th-line favourite. Barrier draw is favourable (again!) so likely to be in the mix over the first half of this journey, but must question his finishing ability over the full distance. Top 8 chance.



wests tigers game preview

PANTHER PURRFECTION – The big improver in last year’s race and another strong showing is expected this time around. Was always in touch with the leading group last year and will be better for the run. Trained to the minute and looking like a genuine chance this year. Maps well from his drawn barrier and should have a good run home if he can stay out of trouble coming into the final turn. Odds are likely to shorten closer to jump, so take value while on offer. Winning chance.



wests tigers game preview

RIDE EM COWBOY – Ran disappointingly off the pace for most of last year’s race. Looked to be making a charge down the home straight before getting into an awkward position on the rail and getting boxed-in. Will need to rely on another strong finish this year as a wide barrier draw will prove tricky for this traditionally slow-starting colt. Jockey Thurston doesn’t have many more rides left, so will this be the year the planets align for this horse to break his maiden status? Has claims, with luck.



wests tigers game preview

SEE EAGLE EYE – Has been a consistently successful stayer for years, and defied his age in last year’s race to lead for most of the second half before getting run down in the home straight. However it’s much harder to trust him this time around. Doesn’t appear as powerful this prep and bookies are letting him drift on the tote. Has drawn an ok barrier and speed map shows he could settle just off the leaders, but will he have the legs to keep pace for the full distance? Top 8 at best.



wests tigers game preview

STORM WARNING – Age appears to be finally catching up with this horse. Ran strongly for most of the race last year, but didn’t make any impression down the home straight. Trainer Bellamy has made some gear changes for this race, but the bigger concern is jockey Smith who is battling with injury. Punters don’t appear to be interested in this horse despite the double-figure odds on offer. Run-on bias could help, but he’ll likely be fighting for minor placings at best. Better options exist.



wests tigers game preview

WOT ME WARRIOR BRO – Had every chance to squeeze into the Top 8 place last race but faded poorly down the home straight. Has drawn a favourable barrier for this race and again shapes as one of the better roughies. The key to the race will be on jockey Mannering’s ability to get a good position at the final turn: if he’s in touch with the leaders, he’ll be well in the mix; if he needs to make up too much ground, he’ll get left in the dust. Not without chances.



wests tigers game preview

SHARK ATTACK – This horse had an absolute shocker of a race last year. With trainer Flanagan suspended on doping charges, leaving the horse clearly underdone and jockey Gallen very much distracted. Scandal even followed off-the-track after the race with one of the horse’s connections involved in an unsavoury bathroom incident. Flanagan has returned for this prep and improvement is certain, but probably still over-valued in this class field. Improving, but Top 8 beyond him.



wests tigers game preview

KNIGHT TIME – After three trips the Bennett experiment failed to bear any fruit. And a 12th place in last year’s race is the equal worst finish over the past 6 starts (the last time the horse finished 12th was in Bennett’s first year with this horse). Responsibility for finding improvement now falls to trainer Stone. This horse maps well out of the gates for this race but unlikely to have the strength to be a contender down the home straight. Not this time.



wests tigers game preview

LIKE A TIGER – Got away to a promising start last year and looked good heading down the back straight. However jockey Farah drifted too wide and the young horse could not recover position. More tellingly, the horse again struggled badly with injury. Not happy with the horse’s prep, the owners parted company with trainer Potter. Under Taylor, this horse has loads of potential but we fear he could be too green to challenge for a minor place this time. Favourable draw will help chances. Probably short a run.



wests tigers game preview

EEL BE RIGHT – Improved from consecutive dead last finishes to a reasonable 10th last year. However the job will be tougher this time around with jockey Hayne parting company with the Sydney stable to head State-side and try his luck in the Kentucky Derby. The ride now falls to Mannah who has experience but, in fairness, probably not the skill of the former jockey. Will be interesting to see how the horse responds to the change. Difficult to map his pace in this one. Take guide from market.



wests tigers game preview

DRAGON’S FLARE – Took a forward position last year in the run up to the first turn before falling off the pace and settling behind mid-field for the remainder of the distance. This horse hasn’t finished in the placings for the past three starts and by the end of this race that record is likely to extend to a fourth year. Looks to have lost a fair amount of pace this prep and it’s difficult to see him threatening the leading runners at any stage during this race. Look elsewhere.



wests tigers game preview

TITANIC CLASH – Jumped well last year and stayed in contact with the leading group until the top of the back straight. The horse then ran out of puff and limped home in 14th place. Punters should expect a fairly similar pattern this year. The horse has a decent barrier draw and could well be on-pace for the first half of the journey if he can find a position, but will lack strength to go the full distance. Has also lost jockey Bird for this ride after owners removed him following an off-track drinking incident. Not keen.



wests tigers game preview

RAIDER OF THE TILL – Avoided last place in last year’s race due to the woeful performance of Shark Attack, but bookies have seen nothing this prep to expect much improvement, opening this horse at triple-figure odds. Barrier draw is ok but that’s probably the only positive when analysing his chances. Jockey Croker gets this ride after Campese was given the flick by owners. Trainer Stuart again will have his work cut out for him – and his poor racing record speaks for itself. Looks outclassed again.







First Four

(after 24 games)







Last Place


Best Value Bet


Win @ $10.00

Final Two

(after finals)





wests tigers game preview 2015 brisbane wests tigers Fans.    wests tigers game preview

2013 – Round 7 – Tigers vs Broncos


wests tigers game previewThe Broncos are shooting for three straight wins, while we battle to avoid four straight defeats. Bad luck and a constant stream of injuries are making for a frustrating season so far. We almost did everything we needed to do to beat the Dragons a fortnight ago. Butchering two certain tries and squandering possession while on the attack on two other occasions, only to lose to a Jamie Soward field goal, is still taking some getting over.

Is Mick Potter making our guys run under ladders and smash mirrors at training? I really can’t fathom our injury toll otherwise. We are now on to our fourth set of halves and it’s only our seventh game.

Against Melbourne and St George our attack looked most effective when focused around the ruck with short passes. And that’s our best chance again tonight. Our outside backs though hold the key to keeping us in the game. Brisbane have pace to burn throughout their backline if given space, so good line speed and committed one-on-one defence from Lawrence and Ayshford in particular is needed.

I’m hopeful that the Wests Tigers can surprise the Broncos tonight. Maybe J-Ho’s time bomb hamstring will once again explode. Maybe Sam Thugiday will get sent off for a high tackle. Maybe Scott Turnstyle Prince will miss every tackle he attempts.  However it happens, our backs are against the wall and we need to find a way to stop the slide. Let the fightback begin!



2013 – Round 6 – Tigers vs Dragons


wests tigers game previewLike most fans, I was impressed with the effort and intensity of the Wests Tigers for the majority of the match last week. First half stats of 16/18 (89%) completion rate, 7 missed tackles and 3 errors were great improvements on previous weeks. Second half penalties and errors cost us the game in the end, but I believe we would have beaten most other teams that night. To be a genuine finals contender, the challenge for our team, especially our forwards, will be backing up and replicating that first half effort for the full 80 – week-in, week-out. Starting with today’s massive Heritage Round clash against the Dragons.

Injuries and suspension have forced a couple of key changes. Potter’s biggest decision, the selection of Sironen to replace Marshall, was telling in a number of ways. Firstly, it shows Potter is clearly happy with the team structure at the moment – especially with Anasta being the preferred first receiver – so he’s opted for minimal changes (unlike the musical chairs that would have occurred if Moltzen was moved into the halves). Braith’s involvement, kicking game and defence was much improved in the #7 last week. Curtis’ selection also speaks volumes for how hard he has worked to recover from his shoulder injury, with only three stints in U20s enough to impress the coaches and confirm he’s fully fit and ready for a return to the top grade. It’s also fairly obvious where this leaves Miller in the halves pecking order for the immediate future.

The Dragons have scored consecutive wins over the Sharks and Knights in the past two weeks following a 0-3 start. Both teams will be desperate to get to 3-3 and remain in touch with the top 8 before the rep season begins. Even without Thompson and, more than likely Fulton, I rate our forward pack to dominate today. Buchanan will be fired up for a big performance against his former club and another strong showing by Woods will make it difficult for Kangaroo selectors to overlook him when they announce the Test team later this evening.

St George-Illawarra have conceded the most metres per game in the league so far, and with our size on the edge of the ruck we should have the necessary strike power to win. The Dragons are the team we always love to beat, and on the occasion of the 50 year anniversary of the famous Wests v Saints 1963 Grand Final at the SCG, victory will be extra sweet. On account of the bookies over-estimating the impact that Benji’s absence will have, it’s a great chance for responsible punters to earn a bit of extra spending money as well.

Fortune Teller

FTS: Lawrence
LTS: Tedesco
HT/FT: Tigers/Tigers
Margin: Tigers 1-12