4:00 PM (AEST) Sunday April 17 at Leichhardt Oval, Sydney
The Wests Tigers will welcome the Melbourne Storm to one of their traditional homes and happy hunting grounds, Leichhardt Oval. The game will prove to be a must-win for both sides who will be looking to snap a run of poor form over recent weeks.
Wests Tigers: James Tedesco; David Nofoaluma, Nathan Milone, Kevin Naiqama, Jordan Rankin; Mitchell Moses, Luke Brooks; Ava Seumanufagai, Robbie Farah, Tim Grant, Dene Halatau, Chris Lawrence, Sauaso Sue. Josh Aloiai, Curtis Sironen, Kyle Lovett, Jack Buchanan.
Melbourne: Cameron Munster; Young Tonumaipea, Tohu Harris, Ben Hampton, Marika Koroibete; Blake Green, Cooper Cronk; Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith, Jordan McLean, Kevin Proctor, Kenneath Bromwich, Dale Finucane. Tim Glasby, Felise Kaufusi, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Christian Welch.
The two sides have played each other 26 times. The Storm have won 16 games to the Tigers 10. Nine of the Tigers ten wins against the Storm have come at Leichhardt Oval, which includes a 34-16 win the last time they met. The Tigers though have never won back-to-back games against the Storm.
The Tigers started out with two wins and were full of confidence, before losing their last four straight games, including a miserable performance last week against Newcastle. The Storm won their first 3 straight games, but have lost 2 of their last 3, including a tough 18-12 loss to the Bulldogs on Monday night.
Tedesco v Munster: The quality of these two youngsters is well known and so too is their form. So highly regarded are they both that it is not too far-fetched to assume that they will become future Origin opponents. Both fullbacks are powerful runners of the ball, who are also very adept ball players. Tedesco is in the better form at the moment, but he will be made to work harder as he will be diffusing kicks from the experienced quality halves of Cronk and Green.
Current form has the Storm winning this, but the dominance the Tigers have at Leichhardt cannot be ignored. Both sides have had key losses leading into the game, The Tigers have lost captain and Origin prop Aaron Woods while the Storm have lost their Origin centre Will Chambers. The Storm will be expected win and they should, but this will be a close game.
Wests Tigers $2.10