The mini-revival that produced three wins in four games against the Panthers, Dragons and Cowboys now seems a distant memory for the Tigers, who have lost four on the trot and conceded 150 points in the process.
The Sharks, meanwhile, have put a Round 15 horror show against the Storm behind them to run up big scores over the Bulldogs and Dragons to sit third on the ladder with nine games to play.
Six of those matches are against teams currently outside the top eight so the Sharks have every opportunity to secure a top-four finish and a double chance in the finals.
In two meetings last year the Sharks racked up a combined score of 66-16 against the Tigers so Tim Sheens will be under no illusions as to the task facing his men on Thursday.
Wests Tigers: Prop Alex Twal's ban for dangerous contact offence brings Aitasi James onto the bench. Veterans David Nofoaluma and Brent Naden have both been sidelined by shoulder injuries and are replaced by Tommy Talau and Asu Kepaoa. No changes in Wednesday's 24-hour update.
Sharks: Cameron McInnes moves into the starting side at lock for the suspended Dale Finucane with Jesse Colquhoun the new face on the bench. Toby Rudolf returned from a foot injury in NSW Cup for Newtown on Saturday and comes back in for fellow big man Braden Hamlin-Uele, who suffered a rib injury against the Dragons. No changes in Wednesday's 24-hour update.
- Ronaldo Mulitalo and Will Kennedy have 28 tries between them after 18 rounds. In 2022 they combined for 24 tries in the whole season.
- The Sharks lead the NRL in line breaks with 98. The Tigers have come up with 63 line breaks to rank 14th.
- Wests Tigers have scored six points and conceded 102 in their past two games.
- The Sharks have won nine of their past 10 games against Wests Tigers.
- Wests Tigers have won only seven of 22 games at CommBank Stadium.
- The Sharks have won eight from nine against teams in the bottom half of the ladder.
- Tigers winger David Nofoaluma has scored seven tries in his past five games at CommBank Stadium.
Stats supplied by David Middleton, League Information Services, author of the official annual of the NRL.
Story first published on NRL.com