The Tigers suffered their third loss in the past month when handed a comprehensive 40 – 8 hiding by Manly at Brookvale last week. The only the win the Tigers can boast since round 13 is a one point win over the Raiders.
It was the third loss by 13+ the Tigers have suffered and saw them stay at 20 competition points, the same total as Brisbane, Manly, Dragons and Parramatta.
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Last week’s game was the start of a very tough period for the Tigers in terms of the draw.
After facing the co-competition leaders this week, the Tigers are set to take on an improving Dragons outfit, Melbourne, then the Cowboys in Townsville followed by the Roosters and Canterbury again.
The Tigers have only scored more than ten points once in their past six losses and there’s no better defence in the game than that of the Bulldogs.
The Tigers will be boosted by the return of centre Tim Simona and forward Bodene Thompson but fancy the Tigers will need much more to be successful over a very tough Bulldogs sides.
The Dogs, as the Dogs do, grinded out a 6 – 4 win over the Storm in Melbourne last week. It followed an unexpected win over Manly when they were without several of their Origin stars.
It continues the Bulldogs return to form after what had been, due to Origin commitments and injuries, a tough period which saw them lose three in a row.
Adding further fuel to Canterbury’s fire will be the return of centre Josh Morris. Josh Reynolds is still out after his Origin indiscretion and Josh Jackson, who fulfilled the five-eighth role in good style last week, remains in the no. 6 jersey.
The Dogs play a hard and uncompromising style, given their opponents limited opportunities in attack.
With the Tigers struggling in this department of late, they’ll find this match a difficult one to win.
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HEAD TO HEAD
Last time the Tigers defeated the Bulldogs was back in 2010 – five matches ago now.
It’s hard to see just where the Tigers can find the improvement needed to counter the Bulldogs but, as outsiders they did cause an upset over Parramatta and South Sydney at this venue earlier in the year.
The Dogs however love playing at ANZ and are a far more consistent side than the aforementioned teams.
This will be a good clash up front but the Dogs will have to many guns in their backline for the Tigers and win well.
TIGERS: Mitchell Moses, Keith Lulia, Tim Simona, Chris Lawrence, Pat Richards, Blake Austin, Luke Brooks, Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah, Keith Galloway, Curtis Sironen, Bodene Thompson, Adam Blair. Interchange: Ava Seumanufagai, Martin Taupau, Dene Halatau, James Gavet, Sauaso Sue.
BULLDOGS: Mitch Brown, Corey Thompson, Josh Morris, Timoteo Lafai, Krisnan Inu, Josh Jackson, Trent Hodkinson, Sam Kasiano, Michael Ennis, James Graham, Dale Finucane, Tony Williams, Greg Eastwood. Interchange: Reni Maitua, Pat O’Hanlon, Tim Browne, Lloyd Perrett, Drury Low, Damien Cook.