It was certainly a game of two halves, but in the end the Tigers came away with an eight-point win over the Warriors.
I did expect the Tigers to be better than everyone had said and they were just that in the first half.
The Warriors though, to their credit stormed back to give the Tigers an almighty scare. They would have had a share of the lead if they could have landed an extra conversion.
The Tigers had few negatives in the first half but in the second kept turning the ball over which let the Warriors in.
For the Tigers it was Tedesco, Moses and Naiqama starring. For the Warriors it was Johnson who sparked them, with Kata also solid.
While originally Andrew McFadden was under pressure both coaches are now probably nervy moving forward this season.
The Warriors will be disappointed with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Issac Luke. They failed to have the impact they had at their former clubs and that will be a worry for McFadden.
Jason Taylor will be happy to be a first up winner with Ballin, Brooks and Farah still to return.
While the last try was dubious I don’t need to read about it in the paper tomorrow. The best side won in a great game of footy and that should be all that matters.
The Roar’s NRL MVP votes
3 – Mitchell Moses – much improved and dominant in the first half. He provide two tries and it could’ve been 3. Really surprised at his improvement over the summer.
2 – Shaun Johnson – was the catalyst for a Warriors fightback, laying on two tries and scoring his own.
1 – James Tedesco – was everywhere he needed to be and constantly threatened. Got two tries for his trouble
Wests Tigers 34
New Zealand Warriors 26
The Wests Tigers and New Zealand Warriors will be eager to get their 2016 campaigns underway in a winning fashion at Campbelltown Stadium this evening. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 5:15pm (AEDT).
Little separates these sides head-to-head with the Warriors winning clashes 13-12. However the Warriors have conceded 50 points on their last two visits to Campbelltown.
The Tigers are up against it early on, long odds at home without Robbie Farah to get their campaign off to a winning start. Meanwhile the Warriors will test their new spine out, eager to land their first Round 1 win since 2009.
Robbie Farah isn’t the only casualty in Tiger town with new recruit Matt Ballin also out for the start of the season, Manaia Cherrington will be handed the hooking role after debuting last season. Luke Brooks is also out for the Tigers due to suspension and will be replaced by Jack Littlejohn.
The Warriors are all but full strength for this round 1 clash. Jeff Robson, Issac Luke and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will all take their place with Shaun Johnson in a new look Warriors spine. The most notable omission for them is Konrad Hurrell with Solomone Kata and Blake Ayshford the centre pairing.
The Tigers will need a massive game from James Tedesco if they are to win and will need to limit the Warriors’ opportunities. Johnson and Tuivasa-Sheck are a dangerous combination, give them too many chances on their line and they will pay for it. If there are points in the Tigers they will come from Mitchell Moses and Tedesco.
The Warriors have some serious expectations on them this season. Travelling to a hot Campbelltown stadium is a more daunting task than many are taking into account. The Warriors aren’t going to gel instantly and are often the most frustrating team when tipping.
If the Tigers can get the crowd behind them and win the battle of the forwards early this could prove tough for the Warriors. I don’t think the Tigers have the firepower in them but it should be closer than expected with the Warriors always shaky to start the season and often unable to deliver on their expectations, the Auckland Nines the most recent example.
Warriors by just 2.
Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 5:15pm (AEDT).