Blake Ferguson has shaken off a blunder-filled first half to lead a depleted Sydney Roosters to a heart-stopping 16-14 NRL defeat of the Wests Tigers.
The Sydney Roosters and Wests Tigers meet for the second time in 2018, this time with James Tedesco absent due to State of Origin. Join The Roar from 4:10pm (AEST) for live scores and coverage.
It has prompted Trent Robinson to make a number of changes, however the Tricolours have been dealt a good hand of cards with Daniel Tupou and Ryan Matterson making timely returns.
Blake Ferguson will be tested at fullback, with Matt Ikuvalu to make his debut on the wing, and Victor Radley promoted to the starting side in the back row.
Easts are coming off an inspiring 34-14 win over the Titans in Gosford, led by Tedesco. Despite being without their star fullback, halves Luke Keary and Cooper Cronk can influence the outcome should their forwards lay a platform through the middle.
The Tigers are unaffected by Origin, with the only change from last week’s team that defeated the Bulldogs 14-10 seeing Jacob Liddle out, with Elijah Taylor coming in at hooker, bringing Tim Grant onto the bench.
Expect Ivan Cleary’s men to pull out all stops in a gritty defensive effort. The Tigers will require a big effort from key forwards Russell Packer and Ben Matulino, while they will be relying on Josh Reynolds to inject some spark late in the game.
The Roosters have dominated fixtures between the two Sydney clubs since 2000, with 22 victories from 31 outings, while the Tigers have won only nine games.
The sides met in Round 1, with the Tigers putting on an impressive defensive display to secure an upset 10-8 win.
Wests Tigers by 10.
Join The Roar from 4:10pm (AEST) for score updates and debate in our live blog.
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