Wests Tigers were much improved in 2018, winning 12 games to finish as the best of the eight teams that missed finals.
The club has experienced a few significant changes since then, most notably with former Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire replacing Ivan Cleary at the helm.
Can the Pie-gers edge their way into the top eight this time around? Let’s have a look at the latest odds for NRL 2019.
About the Wests Tigers
|Home grounds:||Campbelltown Stadium, Leichhardt Oval, Bankwest Stadium|
|Premierships:||One – 2005|
|2018 ladder finish:||Ninth (12-12)|
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Updated Wests Tigers futures odds
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|2019 Premiership||Make Finals||Wooden Spoon||Dally M Odds|
|Feb||$26||$2.60||$9||L Brooks $26|
|Mar||$31||$2.80||$10||L Brooks $23|
|Apr||$26||$2.03||$34||L Brooks $34|
Best Wests Tigers bets for NRL 2019
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- The Tigers showed plenty of grunt and discipline throughout the 2018 season, but they lacked the all-round class of the eight teams that finished above them. Don’t expect a lot to change this year.
- Although Wests finished ninth last season, they wound up a full three games adrift of the eighth-placed NZ Warriors. That said, they were also six points and percentage short of fifth place. The Tigers are a decent outside bet again to make the eight, but they will have to play well to keep out the likes of Canberra, Newcastle and North Queensland.
- Wests started among the favourites for the wooden spoon in 2018, only to finish on the fringe of the eight. There is no harm in putting down a few bob if you really don’t rate them, but one suspects there will be far worse teams than the Tigers running around this year.
2019 Wests Tigers draw
|1||Manly Sea Eagles||Leichhardt Oval||Saturday, March 16||5:30pm|
|2||New Zealand Warriors||Campbelltown Stadium||Sunday, March 24||6:10pm|
|3||Canterbury Bulldogs||Campbelltown Stadium||Sunday, March 31||4:05pm|
|4||Penrith Panthers||Panthers Stadium||Friday, April 5||7:55pm|
|5||Brisbane Broncos||Suncorp Stadium||Thursday, April 11||7:50pm|
|6||Parramatta Eels||Bankwest Stadium||Monday, April 22||4pm|
|7||Gold Coast Titans||Scully Park||Saturday, April 27||5:30pm|
|8||Sydney Roosters||Sydney Cricket Ground||Saturday, May 4||7:35pm|
|9||Penrith Panthers||Suncorp Stadium||Friday, May 10||6pm|
|10||Melbourne Storm||AAMI Park||Thursday, May 16||7:50pm|
|11||South Sydney Rabbitohs||ANZ Stadium||Saturday, May 25||7:35pm|
|13||Canberra Raiders||Bankwest Stadium||Friday, June 7||7:55pm|
|14||North Queensland Cowboys||1300SMILES Stadium||Friday, June 14||7:55pm|
|15||South Sydney Rabbitohs||Bankwest Stadium||Thursday, June 27||7:50pm|
|16||Sydney Roosters||Bankwest Stadium||Friday, July 5||7:55pm|
|17||Parramatta Eels||Bankwest Stadium||Sunday, July 14||4:05pm|
|18||Canberra Raiders||GIO Stadium||Saturday, July 20||5:30pm|
|19||Newcastle Knights||McDonald Jones Stadium||Friday, July 26||6pm|
|20||North Queensland Cowboys||Leichhardt Oval||Thursday, August 1||7:50pm|
|21||Canterbury Bulldogs||ANZ Stadium||Saturday, August 10||7:35pm|
|22||Manly Sea Eagles||Lottoland||Thursday, August 15||7:50pm|
|23||Newcastle Knights||Campbelltown Stadium||Saturday, August 24||5:30pm|
|24||St George Illawarra Dragons||Sydney Cricket Ground||Sunday, September 1||4:05pm|
|25||Cronulla Sharks||Leichhardt Oval||Sunday, September 8||2pm|
Wests players to watch in 2019
The Tigers risked plenty in luring Reynolds from Canterbury on a four-year contract and it is yet to pay off. The experienced five-eighth played only five games in 2018 and, at 29 years of age, is now fighting for his career.
Mbye defected from the Bulldogs midway through 2018 and now holds the captain’s armband at Leichhardt. His versatility is renowned, but it is in the halves where the former Bulldogs will look to make his mark with the Tigers.
Despite a breakout 2018 in the number six, Brooks will have to step back to five-eighth if the new skipper is to play in his preferred position. The rapport between he and Mbye will be central to the Tigers’ fortunes this year.
Wests Tigers records and stats
- Most games: 256* – Robbie Farah
Most career points: 1131* – Benji Marshall
Most career tries: 83* – Chris Lawrence
Most points in a season: 308 – Brett Hodgson (2005)
Most tries in a season: 21 – Taniela Tuiaka (2009)
- Most wins in a season: 15 (2010, 2011)
Fewest wins in a season: Seven (2002, 2003, 2013, 2017)
Most consecutive wins: Nine (2011)
Most consecutive losses: Seven (2013, 2017)
Biggest winning margin: 54-2 (vs. Bulldogs, 2005)
Biggest losing margin: 0-64 (vs. Storm, 2001)
- There were 22 first-grade teams when the Super League and the ARL merged at the end of the 1997 season. In a bid to keep the fixture list manageable, the newly formed NRL announced it would scale back the division to 14 teams by 2000. As some of those places were reserved for new interstate franchises, several of Sydney’s traditional teams were forced to sacrifice their heritage for the sake of survival.
Balmain and Western Suburbs were two of NSW Rugby League’s nine foundation clubs. The Tigers were a powerhouse of Sydney first-grade footy, winning 11 premierships between 1908 and 1969. Wests won all of their four flags before the 1960s. Both clubs were starved of success by the time the ’90s rolled around, which made them prime candidates for exclusion from a national comp.
It soon became apparent that a merger was the only way to go. The Tigers fielded offers from several teams, including the Parramatta Eels and the now-defunct Gold Coast Chargers. Meanwhile, clubs such as Penrith and Canterbury viewed the Magpies as an easy way to boost their supporter bases in Sydney’s western suburbs. Both Balmain and Wests recognised those proposals for what they were: predatory buyouts.
Instead, the two clubs pooled their resources to create a genuine joint-venture partnership. Wests Tigers debuted in 2000 and broke the twin curses of Balmain and Western Suburbs in 2005, when they blasted their way from the bottom of the ladder to the flag in one of the most memorable premiership campaigns in rugby league history.
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