Wests Tigers

All blog posts relating to the Wests Tigers

Wests Tigers 2017 Preview

  • Signings & Losses
  • Player Rankings
  • Strongest 17
  • Close Results Record
  • The Professor’s Prediction
  • Your Prediction

Signings & Losses

Signings: Jamal Idris (Off Contract – C), Matt McIlwrick (Cronulla – HK)

Just two signings of some merit for the 2017 season. Jamal Idris has seen enough of the world and has decided he wants to resurrect his rugby league career. Idris joins his 4th NRL club and has struggled to make the impact first witnessed at the Bulldogs which saw him earn NSW & Australia honors. The Professor is unsure where Taylor has him fitting into squad – center or second row – and will need to see his trial form before making any judgment. McIlwrick will battle it out with Ballin and Liddle for a regular spot in the 17.

Losses: Robbie Farah (South Sydney – HK), Josh Addo-Carr (Melbourne – W), Manaia Cherrington (Cronulla – HK), Dene Halatau (Retired – SR), Curtis Sironen (Manly – SR)

Two of the Tigers greatest stalwarts leave the club – Farah and Halatau – having brought the club premiership glory. Farah leaves in controversial circumstances having not played to JT’s game plan leading to the NSW representative’s relegation to NSW Cup. Halatau has been battling injuries towards the back of his career and his form had greatly suffered. Both true legends of the club who are gone but not forgotten. Sironen, Addo-Carr, and Cherrington are players of great potential who just couldn’t find their way at the Tigers. Look for them to accelerate their development at their new clubs. Taylor has let go of some great talent and depth from his squad and if results don’t come quickly the writing will be on the wall.


Player Rankings

Player Age 2016 Position 2016 Games Played 2016 Position Rank
Kevin Naiqama 28 C 23 15
Tim Simona 26 C 21 27
Jamal Idris 27 C DNP DNP
Ryland Jacobs 21 C DNP DNP
Watson Heleta 22 C DNP DNP
James Tedesco 24 FB 17 2
Justin Hunt 29 FB 1 28
Mitchell Moses 23 FE 23 2
Jack Littlejohn 26 FE 3 27
Luke Brooks 23 HB 21 7
Jacob Liddle 21 HK 1 34
Matt McIlwrick 26 HK 2 44
Matt Ballin 33 HK 2 45
Elijah Taylor 27 LK 17 16
Aaron Woods 26 P 19 3
Ava Seumanufagai 26 P 24 22
Tim Grant 29 P 22 26
Sauaso Sue 25 P 21 31
JJ Felise 21 P 8 72
Matt Eisenhuth 25 P DNP DNP
Rod Griffin 30 P DNP DNP
Taniela Paseka 20 P DNP DNP
Wesley Molo 23 P DNP DNP
Jordan Grant 23 P DNP DNP
Chris Lawrence 29 SR 22 24
Kyle Lovett 24 SR 22 36
Michael Chee-Kam 25 SR 5 53
Josh Aloiai 22 SR 24 57
Joel Edwards 29 SR 8 66
Bayley Sironen 21 SR DNP DNP
Esan Marsters 21 SR DNP DNP
Junior Tatola 21 SR DNP DNP
David Nofoaluma 24 W 23 9
Jordan Rankin 26 W 22 44


Strongest 17

1. James Tedesco
2. David Nofoaluma
3. Jamal Idris
4. Tim Simona
5. Kevin Naiqama
6. Mitchell Moses
7. Luke Brooks
8. Aaron Woods
9. Matt Ballin
10. Tim Grant
11. Kyle Lovett
12. Chris Lawrence
13. Elijah Taylor

14. Jacob Liddle
15. Ava Seumanufagai
16. Sauaso Sue
17. Josh Aloiai

Close Results Record

Wins: 1

Losses: 3

The Professor’s Prediction

The Tigers are a side with plenty of young talent showing great potential and with the majority of the squad (20 players in fact) coming off contract they will be willing to show their best. Tedesco, Moses, Brooks and Woods need to leave the contract talks to their managers and just focus on their own game if the Tigers are to make an impact in the NRL.

Wests have some great attacking strike weapons and won’t struggle to score points, it is more so the forwards and defence that worries The Professor. The Tigers conceded 607 points in 2016, the 2nd worst in the NRL, and still managed to finish 9th on the ladder. The fringe defence is clearly the issue with small halves and second-rowers which will continually be targeted in 2017. If the Tigers are any chance of making the 8 this is the one part of their game they must improve.

With much the same side as 2016, the joint venture club will benefit from the loss of Farah with Jason Taylor finally having the side he wants. Taylor is fighting to save his job, his squad is fighting for a playing contract and the Tigers will be fighting for a position in the finals but once again they will fall just short.

Verdict – 11th

Your Prediction