New signings set to star; Wests Tigers will be very different in 2023, I promise
The new look Wests Tigers begin their 2023 NRL campaign next Sunday against the Gold Coast Titans at the eighth wonder of the world, Leichhardt Oval.
The Tigers will look to build on the momentum gathered from their trial game against the Raiders. A 36-4 thumping of the capital’s team gave Tigers fans something to be encouraged about heading into the season, especially considering the new star studded line up they have built after a thorough exploration of the transfer market during the off season.
Tim Sheens has visibly changed the way the Tigers are going to play their football this year, with an attacking mindset and an expansion of play inside their own half early in sets. International star David Klemmer will play the role of a ball-playing forward in order to create space for his halves, ultimately giving them more time to spread the ball and execute set plays.
The Tigers produced a dominant performance against the Raiders, fronting up well to stop any attack the Green Machine tried to execute and turning defence into attack to score many of their tries. Another positive that Sheens and his coaching staff will take out of the Tigers’ performance, was that without many of their stars and expected starting players, including halfback Luke Brooks, experienced campaigner Joe Ofahengaue, England international John Bateman and their 2023 captain, Api Koroisau, the win was still achieved.
The arrival of Bateman is a big boost for the club a week out from the season opener. A tour of the facilities has been completed and he will join the rest of the squad for training on Monday. Bateman adds strength to an already powerful forward pack that the Tigers have built for 2023. The pack includes two-time premiership winner Koroisau and grand finalist Isaiah Papali’i, who are arguably the two marquee signings for the Tigers heading into the season.
While Bateman has arrived at the club, Sheens has made it clear that he will not rush him into the starting squad and ensure he is ready to play before cutting him loose.
The Tigers begin their season with two home games against the Titans and Knights before heading to Belmore to face off against the Bulldogs. They are all winnable games and would certainly get their 2023 NRL campaign off to the start they need.
Wests Tigers Round 1 Predicted Line up
1. Daine Laurie
2. David Nofoaluma
3. Tommy Talau
4. Brent Naden
5. Junior Tupou
6. Adam Doueihi
7. Luke Brooks
8. Stefano Utoikamanu
9. Api Koroisau
10. David Klemmer
11. Isaiah Papali’i
12. Shawn Blore
13. Joe Ofahengaue
14. Jake Simpkin
15. Alex Twal
16. Fonua Pole
17. Alex Seyfarth