Two of the most expansive teams in the VB NSW Cup meet for the final time in 2015, with the Canterbury Bulldogs’ finals spot guaranteed and the Wests Tigers having nothing to play for.
However, when a team has nothing to play for, that is when they can be at their most dangerous according to Bulldogs coach Andy Patmore.
“[The Wests Tigers] play very open and fast in all of their grades, they’re always dangerous when they’re allowed to run free and play a bit of ad-lib football,” Patmore says.
“They’ve got nothing to lose and certainly we’ll enjoy the occasion, our boys have just got to be up and ready for a good performance.”
Due to the finals position being guaranteed for the Bulldogs, the focus of the match will certainly be on the performance rather than the result.
“[We are looking for] consistency, we’ve been win, loss, win, loss, so we’ve got to make sure that we put in a good performance," Patmore says.
“The win would be great but it’s about the performance. We were very poor against Manly, we were good against Wyong, great against [Illawarra] last week, but we were poor the week before against Norths.”
Despite possessing many attacking weapons, scoring points has been an issue for the Wests Tigers in season 2015.
Defence is a huge factor in finals football, and the Bulldogs will need to be switched on if they are to win the game and take some confidence into the finals.
“Our defence is very good. We’ve worked hard at that so I’m more worried about [Wests Tigers] not scoring than winning the game, but hopefully those two come together.”
Tyrone Phillips has contributed to the Bulldogs’ impressive point-scoring tally this year as the competition’s leading try-scorer, and the Wests Tigers hope to deny him touching down for what is now a customary try.
Whichever team is switched on defensively will come away with the win, and the Bulldogs will definitely be wary of a side that has nothing to play for.
Canterbury v Wests Tigers
Belmore Sports Ground, Friday 28th August
Referee: Daniel Olford Touch Judges: Jimmy Oliveira, Matt Damaso
BULLDOGS: 1 LINDON MCGRADY 2 TYRONE PHILLIPS 3 CHASE STANLEY 4 LEVI DODD 5 JARROD MCINALLY 6 MATT FRAWLEY 7 JALINE GRAHAM 8 ANTONIO KAUFUSI 9 BRAD CLARK 10 HERMAN ESE’ESE 11 GEORGE TSIKRIKAS 12 ADAM ELLIOTT 13 JASON SCHIRNACK 14 ALEX SORGE 15 PAT O’HANLON 16 JACOB LOKO 17 MAKAHESI MAKATOA 19 TAUTALATASI TASI COACH ANDREW PATMORE
TIGERS: 1 KURTIS ROWE 2 DELOUISE HOETER 3 NATHAN MILONE 4 KEITH LULIA 5 CHANCE PENI 6 PENANI MANUMALEALII 7 JOSH DRINKWATER 8 JORDAN GRANT 9 JOEL LUANI 10 JACK BUCHANAN 11 LAMAR LIOLEVAVE 12 ASIPELI FINE 13 BRENDEN SANTI 14 MICHAEL BULLOCK 15 HALA MASILA 16 DANE COSKERIE 17 ANDY FIAGATUSA COACH PAUL FLETCHER
This article first appeared on NSWRL.com.au