NRL PreviewWests Tigers v New Zealand Warriors
Sunday, September 3, 6:30pm (AEST) at Leichhardt Oval, Sydney

The Tigers and Warriors will be looking to finish their disappointing seasons on a good note at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday night. The Tigers have had a disruptive season, with the sacking of Jason Taylor and the contract sagas surrounding Mitchell Moses, James Tedesco and Aaron Woods. Ivan Cleary has made a big difference to the club and the signs look brighter for 2018. Meanwhile, the Warriors are once again the perennial underachievers of the NRL and it’s hard to know where they go from here. They should be doing much better, with the roster they have assembled. Shaun Johnson has been named for the Warriors after making his comeback from a knee injury against the Sea Eagles last week. There have been reports that he hasn’t trained during the week, so it’s worth keeping an eye on late team news. Former Warrior Tuimoala Lolohea will be determined for a big match in front of his former coach Stephen Kearney and remind him of what he let go. The Tigers will be missing Matt McIlwrick and Michael Chee-Kam through suspension, while both Luke Brooks and Elijah Taylor have been named, but could be late withdrawals.
HistoryThe Tigers have won three straight against the Warriors and did the double over the Auckland-based side in 2016.  The teams have played five straight matches that have topped 40 points.
FormWests Tigers sit second last on the ladder with a 6-17 record. They enter this off back-to-back losses against Top 8 teams. They have not conceded more than 28 points in their last 10, a reasonable effort for a team that did so four times in the first 14 rounds. New Zealand have dropped eight straight games and have fallen to 13th on the ladder. They have conceded at least 22 points in all eight of those. They enter this off a 22-21 golden point home loss to Manly. They have not won away from Mt Smart this year.
Stats That Matter– Wests Tigers are 12-11 ATS with a 16-7 under record while New Zealand are 8-15 ATS with a 13-10 over record.
– The Tigers have won three straight against the Warriors and have posted at least 34 points in each of them.
– The teams have played five straight matches that have topped 40 points.
– New Zealand are 10-31 ATS in the final six rounds of the year since 2012.
– The Warriors are 21-35 ATS away from Mt Smart since 2014 while they have covered just 3 of their last 13.
– The Warriors have covered just 3 of their last 16 night games while the Tigers have covered 11 of their last 16 night games.
– The Tigers have covered 6 of their last 8 at Leichhardt.
Final ThoughtsThis is a match that could be dictated by whether the halfbacks play for their respective sides. Luke Brooks has been named to return from a hamstring injury, while Shaun Johnson has also been named in his second match back from a knee injury. The Wolf recommends keeping an eye on team news as it wouldn’t surprise him if either player pulls out before game day. The Tigers are building nicely towards 2018 and will want to leave their Leichhardt fortress on a good note. The Warriors simply can’t be trusted away from Mt Smart.
How It’s Shaping UpWests by 6
Best Bet
Wests 1-12 ($3.10)

Other Recommended Bets
Over 44.5 ($1.88)

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