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Warriors v Wests Tigers: Walsh gets nod at fullback; Simpkin in

The Warriors must overcome a rejuvenated Wests Tigers outfit if they are to snap their two-game losing streak and arrest a slide that has seen them drop out of the top eight.

Coach Nathan Brown lamented the defensive lapses that have seen the Warriors concede 38 points to Manly and 34 to Parramatta in successive losses, squandering an eight-point lead in the first contest and digging themselves too deep a hole in the second.

Once more, the major positive for Brown and his team was the form of Reece Walsh with the rookie again coming off the bench to provide much-needed spark - this time tallying a try and three line breaks.

Wests Tigers, in contrast, couldn't have been happier with their Magic Round efforts, Michael Maguire's much-maligned positional switch not only producing standout performances from Adam Doueihi and Moses Mbye but the new combination freeing up halfback Luke Brooks to run riot.

The rundown

Team news

Warriors: Young gun Reece Walsh has come in to the starting side at fullback after initially being named on the bench. Skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck moves to the wing to replace Ken Maumalo. 

Bunty Afoa and Eliesa Katoa move into the starting side with Kane Evans and Jack Murchie shifting to the bench.

Josh Curran is out for up to a month after he hyper-extended his right elbow in the loss to Parramatta while rookie centre Rocco Berry (head knock) is also out. Marcelo Montoya returns from a knee injury to take Berry's place.

Edward Kosi is the 18th man with Taniela Otukolo dropping off the reserves list on game day. Maumalo and Sean O'Sullivan were the two players to come out of the squad on Thursday.

Prop Ben Murdoch-Masila has scored three tries in his past four games.

Wests Tigers: Jake Simpkin replaces Jock Madden on the bench and Michael Chee Kam is the 18th man.

Adam Doueihi remains at centre and Moses Mbye at five-eighth, the positional switch which paid off handsomely at Suncorp.

Stefano Utoikamanu and Tom Amone were the first two players omitted 24 hours before kick-off.

Russell Packer will wait at least another week to return from a knee injury while James Roberts (shoulder) is pushing to be back in round 12.

David Nofoaluma will play his 150th NRL game while Wests Tigers have won five of their past seven games against the Warriors.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Warriors is number 17 Reece Walsh
    Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Daine Laurie
  • Winger for Warriors is number 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
    Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David Nofoaluma
  • Centre for Warriors is number 3 Adam Pompey
    Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Adam Doueihi
  • Centre for Warriors is number 4 Euan Aitken
    Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Joseph Leilua
  • Winger for Warriors is number 2 Marcelo Montoya
    Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Tommy Talau
  • Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Kodi Nikorima
    Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Moses Mbye
  • Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Chanel Harris-Tavita
    Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks

Forwards

  • Prop for Warriors is number 8 Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
    Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 James Tamou
  • Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
    Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Jacob Liddle
  • Prop for Warriors is number 16 Bunty Afoa
    Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 Alex Twal
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Ben Murdoch-Masila
    2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Luke Garner
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 18 Eliesa Katoa
    2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua
  • Lock for Warriors is number 13 Tohu Harris
    Lock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Joe Ofahengaue

Interchange

  • Interchange for Warriors is number 10 Kane Evans
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Shawn Blore
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 11 Jack Murchie
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Alex Seyfarth
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Jazz Tevaga
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Thomas Mikaele
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Leeson Ah Mau
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 19 Jake Simpkin

Reserves

  • Reserve for Warriors is number 21 Edward Kosi
    Reserve for Wests Tigers is number 18 Michael Chee Kam

Match Officials

  • Referee: Matt Noyen
  • Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
  • Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
  • Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall

Last updated:

Key match-up

Chanel Harris-Tavita v Luke Brooks: The young Warrior produced a try assist and 94 run metres against the Eels to back up his impressive two-try return from seven weeks out in the previous round against Manly.

There are high hopes for Harris-Tavita and the young half shows every indication of fulfilling them. The much-maligned Brooks silenced his many critics with a dazzling display against the Knights in Brisbane - tallying a try, try assist, 183 run metres, a line break and three tackle busts.

He will be desperate to back that up and keep the critics quiet.

Stat attack

Both of these sides love an offload with Wests Tigers (129) a surprise No.1 and the Warriors (113) one spot out of the top five, hot on the heels of dethroned offload champs Parramatta. It is a true team effort with the teams' best-ranked players Roger Tuivasa-Sheck No.7, David Nofoaluma at No.8 and Luciano Leilua at No.9.

 

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