Wests Tigers gave themselves a timely boost with their surprise win over Newcastle ahead of their local derby against the undefeated Eels in KFC Monday Football.
Newcastle had form and emotion on their side on Sunday but the under-pressure Tigers spoiled halfback Mitchell Pearce's party with a 24-20 win.
Rookie fullback Daine Laurie starred once again while fellow young gun Stefano Utoikamanu scored the first try of his career in the upset victory.
They will need all the confidence they can muster when they confront a Parramatta side that has swept all before it in 2021 and is sitting pretty in second place on points difference behind the Panthers.
Wests Tigers v Eels
Match: Wests Tigers v Eels
Round 4 -
Venue: Accor Stadium, Sydney
Wests Tigers: Coach Michael Maguire has named an unchanged squad for the local derby after a morale-boosting weekend saw the team not only pick up two points but also avoid the injury carnage that battered so many sides.
The club's only absentees, Shawn Blore (wrist) and Billy Walters (knee), are both at least two weeks away from a return to action.
Joey Leilua and Alex Seyfarth were dropped from the squad 24 hours out from kick-off. Russell Packer and Michael Chee Kam were left out on game day.
The Tigers are chasing back-to-back wins for the first time since Round 7, 2020.
Eels: Ryan Matterson was named to return from a head knock but was omitted from the squad an hour out from kick-off.
Matterson's absence in the second-row has again been taken by Isaiah Papali'i with Keegan Hipgrave promoted from the reserves to the interchange.
Back-rower Bryce Cartwright was included among the reserves after recovering from a broken jaw suffered in a pre-season training accident but missed out on the game-day 17 and played in the NSW Cup curtain-raiser.
Jordan Rankin and Haze Dunster were omitted on Sunday.
Match: Wests Tigers v Eels
Round 4 -
Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Daine LaurieFullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton Gutherson
Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David NofoalumaWinger for Eels is number 2 Maika Sivo
Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Tommy TalauCentre for Eels is number 3 Tom Opacic
Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 James RobertsCentre for Eels is number 4 Marata Niukore
Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Asu KepaoaWinger for Eels is number 5 Blake Ferguson
Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Adam DoueihiFive-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Dylan Brown
Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke BrooksHalfback for Eels is number 7 Mitchell Moses
Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 Zane MusgroveProp for Eels is number 8 Reagan Campbell-Gillard
Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Jacob LiddleHooker for Eels is number 9 Reed Mahoney
Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 James TamouProp for Eels is number 10 Junior Paulo
2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Luke Garner2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Shaun Lane
2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua2nd Row for Eels is number 15 Isaiah Papali'i
Lock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Alex TwalLock for Eels is number 13 Nathan Brown
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Moses MbyeInterchange for Eels is number 14 Oregon Kaufusi
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Thomas MikaeleInterchange for Eels is number 16 Will Smith
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Stefano UtoikamanuInterchange for Eels is number 17 Ray Stone
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Joe OfahengaueInterchange for Eels is number 20 Keegan Hipgrave
- Referee: Ashley Klein
- Touch Judge: Dave Munro
- Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
- Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall
David Nofoaluma v Maika Sivo: Two of the NRL's best flankers go head-to-head in a mouth-watering clash of skill and power.
Sivo has scored three tries in his past two outings, including a double in Parramatta's incredible win over the Storm, while Nofoaluma crossed in rounds one and three.
Sivo's Eels partner Blake Ferguson also bears mentioning after his double against Cronulla took his tally to three in three games after a difficult 2020.
Offload masters Parramatta (No.1 in 2020 and again so far in 2021) have also got Wests Tigers well covered when it comes to making forward progress.
They lead the NRL with 5845 run metres already in 2021, more than 300 meters ahead of the next-best Panthers, while Wests Tigers languish in 15th place on the table more than 1500 metres adrift.
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