Following another uninspiring performance, Wests Tigers head coach Ivan Cleary has made several changes to the team to take on the Canberra Raiders at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Sunday.
The Tigers were blown off the park last Sunday by the Sharks, who scored four tries in a second half blitz to win the round 14 match 24-16.
After going into the break leading 10-2 and the Sharks lacking energy, the Tigers should have gone on with it, but lapses in concentration cost them dearly.
It was the second defeat in a row for the Tigers, who now find themselves two points out of the top eight and with time running out as the competition edges towards the business end of the season.
Cleary has moved Corey Thompson to fullback to replace Tui Lolohea, who did not have his best game on Sunday against the Sharks.
Malakai Watene-Zelezniak comes in on the wing to fill Thompson’s spot for the round 15 clash at Campbelltown Sports Stadium. This will be the second match to be played at the venue this season, with the Wests Tigers controversially beaten by the Broncos there in round two during golden point.
Josh Reynolds will start in the halves alongside Luke Brooks, with Russell Packer to captain the side against Canberra.
Robbie Rochow returns to the second-row, with Matt McIlwrick named on the bench.
But Elijah Taylor, the makeshift hooker preferred by Cleary most of the season, has retained his starting spot.
Taylor had a very good first half against the Sharks, making a couple of good dummy half runs, but his influence waned in the second stanza.
What the Wests Tigers need are players who can spark them and a specialist hooker would be top of the list.
Wests Tigers NRL team
1. Corey Thompson
2. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak
3. Esan Marsters
4. Mahe Fonua
5. Kevin Naiqama
6. Josh Reynolds
7. Luke Brooks
8. Russell Packer (Capt)
9. Elijah Taylor
10. Ben Matulino
11. Chris Lawrence
12. Robbie Rochow
13. Matt Eisenhuth
14. Alex Twal
15. Matt McIlwrick
16. Josh Aloiai
17. Tim Grant
18. Michael Chee Kam
19. Tyson Gamble
20. Sauaso Sue
21. Chris McQueen