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Corey Thompson has quickly become the Wests Tigers X-factor

Corey Thompson

New deal: Corey Thompson scores his first try for the Wests Tigers in their upset round one win over the Roosters. He scored two against the Eels on Easter Monday in a scintillating performance in attack and defence.

In round two the Wests Tigers travelled to Melbourne where they upset the premiers 10-8.

But can they do it again when they clash with Storm once again as a part of a double header at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland this Saturday?

The Tigers have rarely beaten the Storm, let alone twice in the one season, so it would be quite a feat if they can prevail in the round five match up.

And while Wests Tigers head coach Ivan Cleary has named the same 17 that defeated the Parramatta Eels for the Stay Kind Cup at ANZ Stadium on Easter Monday, one name stands out: Corey Thompson.

Fans and experts alike are scratching their heads trying to work out why this talented back had to go and play in the English Super League for two years.

He has been outstanding so far for the Tigers and indeed was quite brilliant for them on Easter Monday against the Eels.

In a few short weeks this unheralded back has become the Wests Tigers X-factor.

A new deal that will see Thompson remain with Wests Tigers until at least the end of the 2019 NRL season came as no surprise to anybody in rugby league who has watched him play so far.

“It was a pretty easy decision, I’ve loved my time here so far,” said Thompson after the deal was announced 24 hours after the triumph over the Eels.

“Ivan gave me the opportunity to come back here and prove myself and I think I’ve had a great month of footy to start the year off.

“Ever since day one I’ve learnt so much off Ivan and all the other boys.

“I’m playing with confidence at the moment and that’s down to the coaching staff and what they’ve taught all of us.

“I feel like I’ve been here for a couple of years now with how well I’m settled into this club,” Thompson said.

Cleary said that Thompson’s new deal was a reward for his hard work.

“Corey has been impressive in how he’s committed himself to training and his efforts on the field since joining the club,” the coach said.

Russell Packer will captain the side against the Storm at Mt Smart Stadium.

The match will start at 3pm.

WESTS TIGERS NRL TEAM V MELBOURNE STORM:

  1. Tuimoala Lolohea
    2. Corey Thompson
    3. Esan Marsters
    4. Kevin Naiqama
    5. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak
    6. Benji Marshall
    7. Luke Brooks
    8. Russell Packer (c)
    9. Pita Godinet
    10. Ben Matulino
    11. Chris Lawrence
    12. Robbie Rochow
    13. Matt Eisenhuth

Interchange:
14. Jacob Liddle
15. Alex Twal
16. Michael Chee Kam
17. Josh Aloiai

Reserves:
18. Tyson Gamble
19. Tim Grant
20. David Nofoaluma
21. Sauaso Sue

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