BY CURTIS WOODWARD
Wests Tigers vs Bulldogs @ Leichhardt
If Wests Tigers captain Aaron Woods thinks it’s bad playing in front of his own fans now imagine what it would be like next year when Mr. 2040 himself runs onto Leichhardt Oval in a Canterbury Bulldogs jersey? If the Wests Tigers marketing team is cheeky enough they could sell the match with the tagline, “Let’s ‘sell out’ Leichhardt” with a cut out of Woodsy’s head. Get it? You’ve also got Josh Reynolds playing for Wests Tigers against his old club but something tells us Bulldogs fans are going to be a little more respectful to ‘Grub’.
Wests Tigers vs Roosters @ Campbelltown
Remember the welcome Jason Taylor got when he returned to Orana Park as a North Sydney Bear in 1996? Wests Tigers fans out in Macarthur don’t have many nice things to say about the Sydney Roosters and they’d love nothing more than to give it to Camden junior James Tedesco in his new colours.
Sharks vs Broncos @ Southern Cross Group Stadium
Cronulla made Jack Bird a star (St George Illawarra might have a say in that) and the Broncos came along and stole him from under them. If Bird finds it weird running out in a Brisbane jersey next year, let’s see how he goes running out in front of the nutters at Shark Park!
Cowboys vs Knights @ 1300Smiles Stadium
The master versus the returning apprentice – Johnathan Thurston against Kalyn Ponga. There’s been plenty said by Ponga’s family about the way the Cowboys have treated Ponga off-field. There may not be a tougher road trip in the NRL and Ponga’s first visit as a Knight will see him up against a future Immortal.
Broncos vs Dragons @ Suncorp Stadium
The back-to-back grand final opponents from the early 1990’s will add another chapter to their storied rivalry when Broncos half Ben Hunt heads to Wollongong at the end of 2017. It will be interesting to see if Brisbane fans jeer Hunt on his first kick reception considering the torment that followed the 2015 Grand Final.
Hi Wayne Bennett, it's the Dragons here, you may remember us from 2010. Just wanted to see if we can borrow Ben Hunt for the next few weeks?— Dragons Supporters (@M_B_D_S) April 26, 2017
Warriors vs Wests Tigers @ Mount Smart Stadium
They have already snared Warriors favourite Ben Matulino but Wests Tigers’ trip across to Auckland could become even spicier if they also get Tui Lolohea.
Becomes very important the Tigers sign Matulino.— Random Footy Facts (@footyfacts37) April 20, 2017
Trading Woods for Matulino + cap space is a good result.
Panthers vs Eels @ Pepper Stadium
How hard is it to give Penrith a home game against Parramatta? Book it in!
Storm vs Cooper Cronk @ AAMI Park
There is a big question mark over whether Cronk will play on next season but if he does, one of his new side’s first road trips should be down to Victoria.
Wests Tigers vs Eels @ Leichhardt
Wow Wests Tigers will be busy next year. Young Mitch Moses will have his work cut out for him if the Eels are given an away game at Leichhardt. He should also expect plenty of traffic come his way from his former teammates.