NRL 2021 season preview: Wests Tigers

The Tigers will approach 2021 with the hope not to miss finals for the 10th straight season but the lack of experience in work against them?

Daine Laurie. Picture: Wests Tigers

What to expect

It’s a new era for Wests Tigers. They begin their campaign under Michael Maguire who is tasked again this season to try and break the Tiger’s nine-year final drought.

With 14 list changes made, including the departures of Benji Marshall and Chris Lawrence, will either make the task at hand more difficult, or give some of the sides new players a chance to step up.

The signings are promising. Joining the Tigers is James Tamou, Joe Ofahengaue and James Roberts.

However, the three are the only players traded in with much top-level experience.

A signing in young Daine Laurie, will look to get more of a chance at the Tigers. Previously at Penrith it didn’t look like Laurie would have managed much game time.

The Tigers attack was problematic last year and is set to remain so again after losing Harry Grant. Averaging the third-fewest metres gain per carry, finding more penetration is crucial.

Wins are definitely possible for the Tigers. But if the club performs in a similar fashion to last year, they’ll struggle to secure wins against top-of-the-ladder sides.

And wins to those clubs hovering around or below them will be there most hope.

At this stage, a spot just outside of the eight seems most reasonable, and doable, for the Tigers in 2021.

They have their days where the look like a promising side, but unfortunately for now, those days are just not frequent enough.

Key matchup

The first six rounds are a shocker for the Tigers. Of the six games, they are to play five finalists of the 2020 finals series (Eels, Knights, Rabbitohs, Raiders and Roosters).

The round six clash against the Rabbitohs will be exciting for fans of both sides. Benji Marshall will take on his old side for the first time.

With what is going to be a new look side, this becomes a daunting challenge for Wests Tigers.

Not only will they lack experience of playing a season together.

They will lack the composure and knowledge of playing against the top sides.

Squad

Shawn Blore, Luke Brooks, Michael Chee Kam, Zac Cini, Adam Doueihi, Lule Garner, Asu Kepaoa, Daine Laurie, Joey Leilua, Luciano Leilua, Jacob Liddle, Jock Madden, Moses Mbye, Thomas Mikaele, Zane Musgrove, David Nofoaluma, Joe Ofahengaue, Russell Packer, James Roberts, Alex Seyfarth, Jake Simpkin, Tukimihia Simpkins, Tommy Talau, James Tamou, Alex Twal, Stefano Utoikamanu, Billy Walters.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*