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Taylor’s Tigers face biggest test against South Sydney

Wests Tigers

James Tedesco will be a key player for Wests Tigers when they take on the premiers, South Sydney, at ANZ Stadium this Sunday at 4pm.

Coach Jason Taylor has named an unchanged lineup in the Wests Tigers team that will take on the premiers, South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

Not that it has made much difference to the bookies, with Souths installed as raging hot favourites to win the 4pm clash, which will be televised live on Channel 9.

Despite their perfect start to the 2015 NRL season, the Wests Tigers are the rank outsiders, with some betting agencies offering close to $5 for a black and gold victory in the round three clash.

None of that will worry Taylor, whose main aim is to gradually convert his team’s style of play from completely ad lib to a mixture of structured and off the cuff.

But the main focus of the coach seems to have been on tightening the defensive capacity of the Tigers, who leaked a lot of points last year.

They only conceded the one try on Monday night against St George Illawarra, but South Sydney will be a much bigger test.

Much, much bigger.

In fact, they won’t come any bigger this season, the challenge of stopping the likes of Greg Inglis.

In the same match last season Wests were able to ambush the Bunnies, beating them well with aggressive, in your face defence and attack which rattled their forwards, including Sam Burgess.

Souths won’t fall for that trick again, but Taylor, whose last job as a first grade coach before coming to the Tigers was at South Sydney, may have a trick or two up his sleeve.

He owes Souths at least that for cutting him loose almost six years ago.

The only change he has made is in selecting Matthew Lodge ahead of Jack Buchanan on the bench.

Rookie backrower Lamar Liolevave forms part of an extended 5-man interchange bench, with one to drop off before game time.

 Wests Tigers NRL – Round 3 v South Sydney:

1.      James Tedesco

2.      Kevin Naiqama

3.      Tim Simona

4.      Chris Lawrence

5.      Pat Richards

6.      Mitchell Moses

7.      Luke Brooks

8.      Aaron Woods

9.      Robbie Farah (C)

10.  Keith Galloway

11.  Curtis Sironen

12.  Sauaso Sue

13.  Martin Taupau

Interchange:

14.  Dene Halatau

15.  Ava Seumanufagai

16.  Matthew Lodge

17.  Brenden Santi

18.  Lamar Liolevave

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