Round 1 Preview: Wests Tigers vs Sydney Roosters

Wests Tigers vs Sydney Roosters.
Saturday March 10.
ANZ Stadium.
4:30pm (NSW), 3:30pm (QLD) 6:30pm (NZ)
Wests Tigers: 1. Tuimoala Lolohea 2. Corey Thompson 3. Esan Marsters 4. Kevin Naiqama 5. Malakai Wetene-Zelezniak 6. Josh Reynolds 7. Luke Brooks 8. Russell Packer 9. Pita Godinet 10. Ben Matulino 11. Chris Lawrence (C) 12. Robbie Rochow 13. Elijah Taylor

Interchange: 14. Benji Marshall, 15. Alex Twal, 16. Michael Chee-Kam, 17. Matt Eisenhuth

Reserves: 18. Matt McIlwrick, 19. David Nofoaluma, 20. Tim Grant, 21. Taane Milne Sydney Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Latrell Mitchell 4. Joseph Manu 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Mitchell Cornish 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Jake Friend (C) 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 11. Boyd Cordner (C) 12. Mitchell Aubusson 13. Isaac Liu
Interchange: 14. Dylan Napa, 15. Zane Tetevano, 16. Ryan Matterson, 17. Victor Radley

Reserves: 18. Reece Robinson, 19. Luke Keary, 20. Nat Butcher, 21. Lindsay Collins Didn’t take us long to get the highly anticipated matchup between James Tedesco and his old club. And boy am I excited for this! The Wests Tigers vs Sydney Roosters, a game that has a lot of hype around it for many reasons! And here’s why! We have a newly built Tigers team taking on a firm premiership favourite! The Tigers recruiting has made season predictions very hard to make! The recruited in many areas that needed to be improved, such as forward pack aggression with the additions of Russell Packer, Ben Matulino and Robbie Rochow, not to mention the man running out in that #6 jersey for the Tigers! Josh Reynolds has a lot of pressure on him now, the question is, can he handle it? And can he bring the best out of Luke Brooks? However, will the loss of James Tedesco be as big as an impact as many predict? We will find out this Saturday night as he dons the try colours for the first time! A new and improved Roosters team not only boasting the addition of James Tedesco, but also Cooper Cronk! Can Cronk stand up for his Roosters with the big loss of Luke Keary? And will we see the 2017 James Tedesco come out of the blocks hard?! Key Matchups: Luke Brooks vs Cooper Cronk. The once hailed next Andrew Johns is yet to reach the hype of his pre NRL expectations! The young half enjoyed his best year yet in 2017, but can we see him lift from that, and take on arguably one of the best halfbacks to ever play the game? Or will we see the masterclass performance of Cooper Cronk shine well above all? Will a new club bring Cooper to have a sluggish start? Or will the superstar half play like as if he was wearing that purple jersey? Tuimoala Lolohea vs James Tedesco. The new face at the Roosters. The one once loved by all Tigers fans. Will we see James Tedesco live up to his big money contract? Teddy was by far the world’s best fullback while wearing the black, white and gold, but will that form carry over to his new club? Or will the lack of required need and other superstars around him take away from his game? Or will it be his replacement at the Tigers that takes the stage on Saturday night?! The young fullback was an instant Star the second he wore that #1 for the Tigers! He finished 2017 in stellar form, helping his Tigers win a few back end of the season games and cement his spot as the Tigers young gun #1! Battle Of The Forwards. And finally, we have the battle of the engine rooms! The Tigers were busy over the off season stacking their forward pack with much needed aggression and passion! The Roosters however have always been a big pack, and a pack many teams have struggled with in recent years! They are experienced with the right amount of youth added in! Whatever the case, it’ll be an exciting battle of the two forward packs! Prediction: I think we will see the Tigers perform much better than expected, but I still believe the Roosters will be to good for the Tigers! The new combinations will take a little longer to click for the Tigers! Roosters by 8. -Stonecold


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