The Bulldogs have been handed a tough challenge in round three – to fight for their first victory of the season, along with attempting to knock one of the most experienced teams in the competition from their pedestal.
The youth in the Bulldogs outfit continues to show in 2019 after suffering two beltings by the Warriors and the Eels in the openings rounds of the competition.
On the other hand, the Tigers gained plenty of confidence from two impressive victories over the Sea Eagles and Warriors, which was led by experienced duo Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall.
Canterbury showed promising signs in the first 20 minutes of their round two 36-16 loss to the Eels, scoring the opening two tries, but if they wish to give the Tigers a run for their money an 80-minute performance will be required.
Match: Wests Tigers v Bulldogs
Round 3 -
Venue: Campbelltown Stadium, Sydney
Wests Tigers: The Tigers are 1-17. No injury worries for coach Michael Maguire, who retained the same team that took care of the Warriors last Sunday.
Bulldogs: Rhyse Martin will start for the Bulldogs with Adam Elliott moving back to the bench. Martin's inclusion is among sweeping changes for the Bulldogs, as coach Dean Pay looks for a winning formula. Fullback Nick Meaney, backrower Corey Harawira Naera and winger Jayden Okunbor have all been promoted to start. Will Hopoate has moved to the centres, while Chris Smith and Ofahiki Ogden are the new faces on the bench. Winger Christian Chrichton was dropped, while Marcelo Montoya and Sauaso Sue have been demoted to the reserves. Raymond Faitala-Mariner and Jack Cogger were omitted on Saturday.
Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Moses MbyeFullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Nick Meaney
Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 Mahe FonuaWinger for Bulldogs is number 2 Jayden Okunbor
Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Robert JenningsCentre for Bulldogs is number 3 Kerrod Holland
Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Esan MarstersCentre for Bulldogs is number 4 Will Hopoate
Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Corey ThompsonWinger for Bulldogs is number 5 Reimis Smith
Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Benji MarshallFive-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Kieran Foran
Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke BrooksHalfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Lachlan Lewis
Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 Ben MatulinoProp for Bulldogs is number 8 Aiden Tolman
Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Robbie FarahHooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Jeremy Marshall-King
Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 Alex TwalProp for Bulldogs is number 10 Dylan Napa
2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Ryan Matterson2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Josh Jackson
2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luke Garner2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Corey Harawira-Naera
Lock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Elijah TaylorLock for Bulldogs is number 16 Rhyse Martin
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Russell PackerInterchange for Bulldogs is number 13 Adam Elliott
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Thomas MikaeleInterchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Michael Lichaa
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Josh AloiaiInterchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Ofahiki Ogden
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Michael Chee-KamInterchange for Bulldogs is number 17 Chris Smith
Dylan Napa v Russell Packer. The Wests Tigers pack have laid a solid platform for their playmakers Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah to create try-scoring opportunities in the opening round two rounds of the competition. If Canterbury hope to obtain any competition points on Sunday then their big boys, led by Dylan Napa alongside Aiden Tolman and Josh Jackson must step it up another level to ensure the side don’t get bulldozed off the park by opposing spearhead Russell Packer and his fellow big boppers Ben Matulino and Alex Twal.
For the Tigers to win
The Wests Tigers need to simply keep doing what they’re doing. Patience has been the key to their success over the first two rounds – building as the game goes on and grinding the opposition down to create opportunities for themselves.
For the Bulldogs to win
If the Bulldogs have any hope of getting one up on the Wests Tigers they will need to continue to build as the game progresses – an 80-minute performance will be crucial. Their attack improved last week against the Eels with Lachlan Lewis and Kieran Foran creating try-scoring opportunities but their defence certainly needs some work.
Brett Kimmorley says ...
Wests Tigers have a really strong forward pack. We know Michael Maguire is a tough coach and they’ve had a good pre-season. They also got some attacking skill now. The key for them is Luke Brooks. Robbie Farah has also been playing out of his skin. The Dogs showed last week through pride after being the worst team in round one that they can play hard for 40 minutes. But then the floodgates opened. Once they were under a bit of pressure they made some poor mental choices. They seem to be lacking a leader when the game is on the line. Wests Tigers by 14
Wests Tigers Stat Attack
It's easy as 1, 2, 3 for Robbie Farah. In leading his team to victory over the Warriors last week, the veteran hooker made one line break, created two more and ended up with three try assists.
Bulldogs Stat Attack
It’s just two rounds into the competition and the Bulldogs have already conceded 76 points. They proved last week against the Eels that they have no issue scoring tries – getting over the line three times, but more attention needs to be put on their defence and how they can work as a unit to hold teams out.
And another thing …
If the Bulldogs suffer their third loss in a row it will be their worst start they’ve had to the season since 1996, when they didn’t claim their first victory of the season until round four.