Wests Tigers won’t care that so called rugby league experts on TV and radio concentrated on how bad Newcastle were last Saturday.
An objective analysis from anyone who has seen their last few games would suggest that the Wests Tigers were just too good in the 46-4 demolition of the Knights.
This was a performance that was always coming from Michael Maguire’s team – it was just a matter of time.
That’s how I saw it, in any case, especially after interviewing the head coach 24 hours earlier.
The win places Wests Tigers just one point out of the top eight and keeps their finals hopes alive with two matches to go.
The most important thing is that they have hit form just at the right time.
It does not guarantee they will make the finals, but it puts them in a good position to have a red hot go.
Maguire has just named an unchanged 20-man squad for the must-win clash against the St George-Illawarra Dragons this Sunday at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground.
Josh Reynolds has again been named in the number nine jersey.
Reynolds was involved in a late change last week that saw the playmaker come off the bench with Benji Marshall on dummy half duty up until then – a move that was very successful for Wests Tigers on the night.
The inclusion of Reynolds means Matt Eisenhuth drops back to the bench
alongside Elijah Taylor, Alex Twal and Michael Chee Kam, while young guns Tommy
Talau and Sam McIntyre join Chris McQueen as part of the extended 20-man squad.
With Moses Mbye (hip flexor) still not available, Benji Marshall will captain the side for the sixth time this year in what will be his 240th game for Wests Tigers.
Paul Momirovski and Esan Marsters remain in the centres with Mbye unavailable, with Robert Jennings and David Nofoaluma on the wings.
“Nofa’’ bagged a hat trick against the hapless Knights, while Benji Marshall was back to his brilliant best, notching up at least three scintillating try assists.
Chris Lawrence was another to put in a top notch performance for the Wests Tigers.
Sunday’s game will be the first time Wests Tigers have faced the Dragons at the Sydney Cricket Ground in over six years, with their last matchup coming in Round 24 of the 2013 season where Wests Tigers won 34-18.
Wests Tigers v St George:
1. Corey Thompson
2. Robert Jennings
3. Paul Momirovski
4. Esan Marsters
5. David Nofoaluma
6. Benji Marshall (capt.)
7. Luke Brooks
8. Thomas Mikaele
9. Josh Reynolds
10. Oliver Clark
11. Luke Garner
12. Chris Lawrence
13. Ryan Matterson
14. Matt Eisenhuth
15. Elijah Taylor
16. Alex Twal
17. Michael Chee Kam
18. Tommy Talau
19. Chris McQueen
20. Sam McIntyre