Bulldogs v Wests Tigers: Pele ruled out; Bateman set for debut

Two sides who made plenty of headlines in the off-season for their recruitment sprees go head-to-head at Belmore Sports Ground in Round 3 after both coming off vastly different performances.

The Bulldogs caused an upset win over the Storm with new recruits Viliame Kikau and Reed Mahoney showing their worth at AAMI Park to help give Cameron Ciraldo his first win in charge of the blue and whites.

Wests Tigers only have themselves to blame for surrendering two matches at Leichhardt Oval in the past fortnight with their expansive style of play coached by Tim Sheens in the summer clearly not working in the early stages. 

An afternoon at Belmore, in front of a packed pro-Bulldogs crowd, is only going to add to the pressure on Sheens' side to turn the result around while Ciraldo's men will be looking to improve on their disappointing recent record at the venue. 

Team news
Bulldogs: Franklin Pele is out with Jayden Tanner coming onto the interchange. Josh Reynolds, coming back from a groin injury, remains in the reserves alongside Jackson Topine. There is a whisper Matt Burton is in doubt for the match but he remains in the 17 at this stage.

Wests Tigers: A huge boost for Tim Sheens' men with John Bateman called into the starting side for his club debut. He replaces Shawn Blore, who drops back to the bench. Fonua Pole (knee) is set to return while Adam Doueihi trained on Saturday and is tipped to take his place in the line-up after a foot issue last week.

Stat Attack

  • The Bulldogs have won only one of their past nine games at Belmore.
  • Wests Tigers will play at Belmore Sports Ground for the first time.
  • Bulldogs centre Jake Averillo has scored four tries in his past three games against Wests Tigers.
  • Prop David Klemmer is the only Tigers player who has played an NRL game at Belmore.
  • Bulldogs hooker Reed Mahoney has scored a try in three of his past four games against the Tigers.

Stats supplied by David Middleton, League Information Services, author of the official annual of the NRL.


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