5.30pm (AEST), Saturday, April 11
Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
The Warriors have proven as erratic as ever in 2015 and have fallen in a hole with subpar losses to Brisbane and Melbourne in the last fortnight. The exciting Tigers are on an upswing despite winning only one of their last three, but a trip across the Tasman represents a big test.
Savaged by backline injuries along with a season-ending knee reconstruction for the luckless Ben Henry, the Warriors have named an unchanged side besides the return of Albert Vete on the bench for Dominique Peyroux, who was not used last week and will fulfil 18th man duties. The Tigers will field the same side that downed Parramatta on Monday.
The Warriors hold a narrow 12-11 advantage in 23 matches between the clubs since 2000, including a 5-4 record against the Tigers at Mt Smart. The 12 meetings at all New Zealand venues have been split six apiece. The Warriors thumped the Tigers 42-18 in Wellington in Round 4 last season.
The Warriors crashed to a 24-16 loss to the Broncos in their 20th anniversary match in Round 4, falling behind 16-0 by halftime and bungling a chance to snatch a win in the latter stages. On Easter Monday, they were pumped 30-14 by the Storm. Dreadful ball security, poor execution and backline discontinuity plagued both performances. After an honourable loss to Souths and a heartbreaking golden point defeat to Canterbury in which they surrendered an 18-point lead, the Tigers notched their third win of the season by subduing Parramatta 22-6. The Tigers trailed 6-4 for a prolonged period of a dour encounter, before three pieces of Pat Richards magic in the final 11 minutes secured an emphatic win.
While there were a few passes that missed their mark, Shaun Johnson’s display against the Storm was his most confident and encouraging of the year so far after a slow start to 2015 by the Golden Boot winner. He took the line on more and made one sizzling break in an ominous sign for upcoming opponents. Like Johnson, Tigers halfback Luke Brooks is yet to find the key to controlling games week to week but has produced several flashes of brilliance this year and his combination with James Tedesco, in particular, is one of the NRL’s most dangerous weapons; Johnson’s form is being hindered by the absence of right-side partner-in-crime Sam Tomkins.
Stats That Matter
The Warriors are 16-10 overall and against the start at home since the start of 2013, including 12-4 (9-7 ATS) as home favourite. That record improves again to 6-2 overall and ATS as home favourites on Saturday, winning and covering in the last five straight. The Tigers are 2-6 overall and against the line as away outsiders on Saturday, which is reflected in an abysmal 6-19 record (7-18 ATS) as away underdog on all days. The Warriors are 4-2 (overall and ATS) when carrying a two-match losing streak into a home game. Five of the last six Warriors-Tigers games have featured winning margins of 10 or less; five of the last seven clashes have produced 42-plus points.
The Warriors have been awful over the last fortnight but, as always, a world-beating performance is never far away for the NRL’s most notoriously up-and-down side. The Tigers have developed a hard edge and genuine consistency in 2015 – they are yet to produce a genuinely poor performance so far. The $2.80 available for an away upset is almost too good to pass up, but the Tigers’ dreadful away record is reason enough to baulk at the juicy price. The Warriors’ backline injuries means a big win for the hosts is unlikely, so consider the Tigers with the generous start, while an over result is always on the cards when these attack-happy sides face off. A Tigers/Warriors ($7.50) or Warriors/Tigers ($9.00) result could be worth a nudge in what shapes as a rollercoaster encounter.
How It’s Shaping Up
Warriors by 1
Tigers +6.5 ($1.91)
Other Recommended Bets
Over 41.5 ($1.90)
2015 NRL Round 6 Betting Preview for Warriors vs Wests Tigers thanks to William Hill Australia.
Warriors vs Wests Tigers Comparison Betting Odds
Below we have 2015 NRL Round 6 comparison betting odds from leading Australian and International online sportsbooks for the game.