Wests Tigers are aiming to begin the season with consecutive wins for the third straight season when they host Penrith on Sunday afternoon.
Jason Taylor’s men couldn’t have been more impressive last week in racking up a 34-18 scoreline against Souths Sydney. Remember, last season they started with back-to-back wins also before the wheels started to fall off.
They definitely won’t have an easy time of it here against the Panthers who will be looking for some bounce back following their embarrassing 42-10 loss to the Dragons at Kogarah.
WESTS TIGERS went into Round 1 with a few niggling injury concerns over their halves as well as fullback James Tedesco. The trio didn’t show any signs of that as they continually broke the Bunnies defence and put on some razzle dazzle in the process.
Going to Campbelltown will play into the Tigers hands here as they have won their past nine opening matches as the home side, including the last four at Campbelltown.
The team topped 1800 running metres against the Rabbits and they will need a similar performance here to get over the top of the Panthers.
Many will be wondering what happened to PENRITH last week.
They went into the game against the Dragons as hot favourites but were overwhelmed by the Red V and definitely didn’t play like a side many are touting as premiership contenders.
Their big men were dominated which put pressure on Nathan Clearly and the outside backs. Was it just a one-off?
The Tigers have won eight of the past 11 matches, however, since 2014 it’s been the Panthers that have had the upper hand with three victories from four matches.
Even though Penrith have the edge in recent times their record at Campbelltown is poor with four straight losses, however, the last time they played there was in 2013.
It seems as though home ground advantage is the key for the Tigers though as they have trumped the Panthers in five of the past seven games where they have played in front of their home fans.
The Tigers were ultra impressive last week and showed they can be a force in 2017.
Playing in front of what should be a packed Campbelltown Stadium definitely gives them the advantage here from what we saw in the opening round.
Penrith are a far better side than they showed last week and slow starts to the season has been in their DNA of late. Last season they also dropped two straight to start the campaign.
The worrying thing for them was that they conceded 42 points against a side that was one of the worst in attack in 2016. Road games also weren’t the Panthers forte so starting this campaign with back-to-back road games probably wasn’t in the script for them.
Expect them to bounce back and show far more against the Tigers in this, after all, their last three wins against the Tigers have been by an average of 23 points. A Panthers 13+ Win is paying $4.25 with Unibet.
MATCH WINNER TIP: WESTS TIGERS
FIRST TRYSCORER: DAVID NOFOALUMA – he has scored three tries in four matches against the Panthers and has 11 tries in 11 matches at Campbelltown
MARGIN BETTING: WESTS TIGERS 1-12
Other tip: JAMES TEDESCO TO SCORE A TRY