Saturday’s only NRL Round 1 match is between Wests Tigers and New Zealand Warriors. The opening bounce is set to commence at 17:35 local time with the game to be played at Campbelltown Stadium. The away team New Zealand Warriors are the favourites for the match. View our preview and teams for the game between Wests Tigers and New Zealand Warriors.
When: 17:35 | Saturday 05/03/2016
Where: Campbelltown Stadium
Tip: New Zealand Warriors at $1.40
Value BET: First Try Scorer – Tuimoala Lolohea $11.00
1 James Tedesco
2 David Nofoaluma
3 Tim Simona
4 Kevin Naiqama
5 Jordan Rankin
6 Mitchell Moses
7 Jack Littlejohn
8 Aaron Woods (c)
9 Manaia Cherrington
10 Tim Grant
11 Curtis Sironen
12 Chris Lawrence
13 Sauaso Sue
14 Kyle Lovett
15 Josh Aloiai
16 Ava Seumanufagai
17 Jack Buchanan
18 Michael Chee Kam
1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
2 Tuimoala Lolohea
3 Blake Ayshford
4 Solomone Kata
5 Manu Vatuvei
6 Shaun Johnson
7 Jeff Robson
8 Jacob Lillyman
9 Issac Luke
10 Ben Matulino
11 Ben Henry
12 Ryan Hoffman (c)
13 Simon Mannering
14 Nathaniel Roache
15 Sam Lisone
16 James Gavet
17 Bodene Thompson
18 Jonathan Wright
20 Albert Vete.
Warriors legend Stacey Jones has urged the club not to panic and sack coach Andrew McFadden if his NRL team fail to meet lofty pre-season expectations.
McFadden is under intense pressure to produce early success in Auckland with a star-studded roster, bolstered by New Zealand internationals Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Issac Luke joining Shaun Johnson.
Jones admits anticipation of a premiership tilt is furiously building at home.
“There’s a lot of expectation back home, and rightly so,” Jones told AAP.
“The club has under-performed on the field the last few years and there’s too many good footy players there to suggest that we shouldn’t be in the playoffs at the end of the season.”
The additions of Tuivasa-Sheck and Luke are likely to take pressure off the mercurial Johnson, however Jones warns it could take some time for the new combinations to click.
“Yes, they may have played in internationals for the Kiwis together, but the week in, week out of the NRL is different. They’ve got to adjust their games to play together,” he said.
A full-strength Warriors outfit suffered a 36-point loss to St George-Illawarra in their final pre-season trial, prompting many to predict McFadden wouldn’t survive another heavy defeat.
And Jones, who played 261 games for the club from 1995-2009, conceded the third-year coach was in the hot seat, but he also had the backing of the entire staff.
“We have under-performed in the last couple of years, but the rest of our coaches have a lot of confidence in Andrew McFadden,” he said.
Crucially, the Kiwi legend pleaded for the former Canberra halfback to be given time.
“Everyone needs a strong start but, if it doesn’t happen, I’m sure he’ll turn it around,” Jones said.
“The Cowboys lost 3-4 games in a row last year and then went on to do good things.
“I just hope if it doesn’t gel straight away, that there can be some patience there, because there’s too many good players and we’ve got a very good head coach leading the way.”
Jones, in the second year as the club’s NSW Cup mentor and also guided their 2014 under-20s premiership success, shied away from desiring a shot at coaching first grade.
“This is a good limit for me as far as coaching goes,” he said.
“Dealing with a group of NRL players, under-20s, and local players who work all day, I’m just here to provide a good environment. This is good for me and I have no desire to coach in the NRL.”
*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change