Benji Marshall says stopping the New Zealand Warriors' rampaging outside backs remains the key to Sunday's NRL clash at Campbelltown Stadium, and admits that's easier said than done.
The Wests Tigers are on high alert for the Warriors' strike power after their 40-6 steamrolling of Canterbury last weekend.
After poring over video of the thrashing in Auckland, Marshall said it became apparent fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and his three-quarter line of David Fusitu'a, Ken Maumalo, Peta Hiku and Solomone Kata pose a formidable threat.
In 2015, Tuivasa-Sheck changed the game when he became the first player to run for 5000m in an NRL season, and coach Stephen Kearney appears to have built a potent backline around his skipper.
"They're all bigger than everyone's forward pack, they're all strong carriers of the football," Marshall said.
"One thing with the Warriors is they get their sets off to a good start.
"When you're trying to pin them down their end, when you've got those blokes doing the first few carries, if you're not on with your contact, they'll run through you."
According to Fox Sports Stats, Kata was the only member of the Warriors' outside backs not reach the 100m mark against the Bulldogs. He made 99m.
Tuivasa-Sheck (160m), Fusitua (134m), Hiku (165m) and Maumalo (199m) all passed the mark with ease.
Usually, if a side boasts a gun fullback or winger, sides can kick to the opposite side of the field to keep it out of their hands.
But given Tuivasa-Sheck (96kg) is the only member of the Warriors' outside backs to tip the scales at less than 100kgs, they field strong ball carriers across the park.
"You can't kick away from them, there's no denying that's where their strength is," Marshall said.
"Their forward pack, they don't really have to turn around and run backwards. They wait for their backs to get to them. That helps a lot."
The kicking game of Marshall and Luke Brooks in wet and miserable conditions was central to the Tigers' first-up 20-6 win last weekend over Manly.
And Marshall said it would take more than that to stifle Tuivasa-Sheck and co.
The Tigers will be bolstered at the back by the return of fullback and skipper Moses Mbye, with Mahe Fonua likely to make way in their backline.
Warriors hooker Issac Luke (shoulder) got through the side's captain's run on Saturday but will be assessed on Sunday morning.
STATS THAT MATTER
* Warriors half Adam Keighran last week scored the equal second-most points on debut in the Origin era (from 1980 onwards) with 16 against Canterbury.
* The Tigers have won 10 of 16 home games against the Warriors, including each of the past three.
Australian Associated Press