The Golden Point – Round 10

Round 10 marked an incredibly frustrating loss, that left most of us either incredibly angry or incredibly bitter. For most of us, the wounds of 2013 and 2014 are all too recent to forget when performances like that occur and suddenly we find ourselves wondering if anything has really changed. While we could sit here and tear the game to shreds and open the wounds it is important to review the game and see what really happened.

What We Liked

Early on in the year the Tigers were finding ways to win games despite less than spectacular games from Brooks and Moses. Being so young and inexperienced they are easy targets for blame and while Moses did miss a disappointing 9 tackles, their kicking game has improved substantially. Brooks had 361 kick metres, and Moses 222. That’s an improvement of 52m from Moses, and 175m from Brooks off Round 9.
In addition Moses had some runs that I thought were some of his best attacking phases all year. If Moses can take upon himself to run the ball a little more, I think our attack will benefit greatly from it.

I can’t finish this section without mentioning Tedesco. Man is that kid something special. This isn’t exactly news to us die hards, but his stats were impressive. 146 run metres (second only behind Woodsy), 1 Try Assist and 6 Tackle breaks. I can’t get enough of the kid and in my honest opinion, losing him to Origin would’ve dealt the Tigers a bigger blow than the absence of Robbie Farah in his current form.

What we didn’t like

There’s so many things we could look at here in terms of blame. While he did do a fair bit of tackling, Nofo was truly under-done and it showed in the first half. As the game went on he did improve, but his defensive lapse cost us the first try and made some errors at crucial times. However, he’s not the biggest factor in the loss for me.

Simply put, we lost the game in the forwards. I tweeted after the game on Sunday Night the Run Metres of all forwards, and was honestly disgusted to see that Woods was the only forward to crack over 90 metres. Siro was our second best starting forward with 67 metres but that’s pitiful. This for me is the difference between this game and the first 5 games of the season. Our forwards were standing up and laying down a platform. These players will need to find form and fast if our team is any chance of being anywhere near the Top 8 come Round 26.

The Glimmer of Hope

Most of us have our heads down at the moment after the string of losses but it’s not all bad news, fans. Six of our next seven games are at home and our opponents include a heavily depleted Cowboys, Reynolds and Inglis-less Rabbitohs, Titans, Panthers and Eels with our toughest game being R15 against the Eagles.

Let’s hope our boys can get some wins together and build some momentum.

Thoughts from the Bench

TravelPig – There are glimmers of hope but unless they all shine at once we cannot be a star. Inconsistency and getting it right on the day is what matters. I am not a fan of warming up on the ground, I believe it removes some of the intensity a team can bring when they run down the tunnel and hear the crowd for the first time at the game. But we have fewer injuries so JT knows best. Lack of concentration also looks like lack of desperation. I am not sure which but each week Tigers are good for 1 or 2 soft tries simply through misreads or goofy mistakes.

OneEyed – I’m struggling to stay positive after that Knights performance. It was the bad old days re-revisited. What’s it going to take for this team to play smart? JT is clearly an intelligent man, but the culture at our club is proving very difficult to change from the latter years of the Sheens era. Saturday’s game versus a severely depleted Cowboys team is simply a must-win. No excuses whatsoever. I’m really not a fan of these Origin-effected split rounds, but if it helps us get a much needed win I’ll take it this weekend.

TigerBrad – A wise man said something to me this week and it really hit home. I may be paraphrasing, but it went like this: “Only two seasons matter for Wests Tigers fans – 2005 and next season.” To me, it’s deja vu all over again. I hope I’m wrong, but 2015 has a familiar feel to it. No consistency in attack, forwards getting totally dominated and soft tries being scored against us. On another note, Chris Lawrence is embarrassing himself. He has to go.

Let’s hope our boys turn things around tonight.

Preview – Round 9 – Tigers at Roosters

 

RND 9 wests tigers game preview  AT  wests tigers game preview

 

Wrap-up

Talk about a rollercoaster couple of weeks. From the depressing depths after being beaten by the Raiders in Round 7, the Wests Tigers re-grouped and emphatically smashed the Bulldogs in Round 8.wests tigers game preview Then, keeping us riding on a high, Tim Simona re-signed for a further two years just prior to his representative game for Samoa, unfortunately to only sustain an ankle injury that will keep him sidelined for four weeks. It’s never smooth sailing in Tigertown, is it?

For me, the biggest feel-good factor over the past couple of weeks has been seeing the influence that Jason Taylor is exhibiting over the club. He’s clearly a very intelligent and articulate man. And for him to instill confidence in the young players after that disappointing loss to Canberra speaks volumes for how strong he’s bonded with the squad in a short amount of time.

On Sterlo last week, he also spoke about the game plans being followed at the moment. He admitted that Moses is not featuring that heavily at the moment, but Taylor says he has a very clear vision of where he wants Moses and the team to go. On that note, he’s very happy with Moses’ progress so far. Taylor clearly has the big picture in mind and, more importantly, he has a plan on how to get there. And he’s proven over the first 8 games that he has communicated that plan very clearly to the young and senior players alike – and all signs point to the fact that everyone has bought into it.

Know your enemy

Bloody Roosters. They’re our number 1 bogey team in the NRL. We haven’t won against them since 2011, and even if they are out of form we somehow seem to play them back into form. Despite our big win in Round 8 and the Roosters riding on a four match losing streak, we are at least $3.10 outsiders with the bookies. wests tigers game previewGuerra has been named to return this week from a broken jaw, and Mitch Aubusson also returns. But the real danger for mine will be Pearce and Maloney, mostly due to the fact they are in the box seat to press their claims for NSW Origin recalls given the poor form of the Canterbury incumbents (I won’t even dignify talk of Austin being in the frame for Origin at this stage of his career – when I hear talk like that I’m reminded of a New Zealander with one leg shorter than the other: “Not even bro”).

Despite their losing streak, the Roosters haven’t been playing badly. Their losing margins have only been 8, 4, 1, and 2 points. If they were going to break back into the winners circle, historically speaking they couldn’t ask for a better match up than the Wests Tigers. But this time will be different, right? This time they won’t get a free pass from us, right?

Player spotlight

He started from the bench last week as a second-rower, but given Tim Simona’s injury Chris Lawrence returns to the centres tomorrow.wests tigers game preview I thought Chris had a really good game in the forwards, but JT admitted it was only a temporary move while Galloway was out. And with Simona out for a month it’s unlikely we’ll see Chris in the forwards again anytime soon. Rumours surfaced during the week that Lawrence is being shopped around to free up some cap space. It’s hard to know whether this has any substance, but we know Chris hasn’t been as potent as his early years form since his hip injury. Regardless, we need Chris at his best this week. The Roosters backline is oozing with game breakers so his defence and communication with is winger will need to be spot on.

Fortune Teller

FTS: Jennings (@ $10.00) and Farah (@ $41.00) look like goers for me.
At The Line: Take the +8.5 line @ $1.90. This won’t be a blow out. Not this time.
Best exotic: 1st Half being the Highest Scoring Half @ $2.20.

@OneEyedTiger_

The Golden Point – Round 8

Round 8 saw our boys produce a great win against the admittedly under-staffed Bulldogs. We here at BWTF thought we’d have a deeper look now that the dust has settled. What did the game tell us about our team, what needs work, and a brief thought on the game ahead.

Opening Whistle
This week’s win was an important one for the team. Being such a young team, confidence will play a major role in how our season progresses. Off the back off two losses especially with the way in which we lost against the Raiders, a win was a lot more important than I think some of us may have been willing to admit.

What we liked
There’s a lot we could talk about here. Patty’s penalty goal & Kevvy’s awesome try assist are right up there, but this humble blogger thinks that we need to focus past the news headlines. The things I liked started before kick off, with JT making some tough calls regarding the squad composition. I’ve thought that Lawrence should probably have moved to the second row a good season or two ago and I wonder if JT is realising the same thing. Lawrence hit some good lines and while wasn’t ‘amazing’ I think with time he could become a solid fringe second row bench option.

On top of that, Moses and Brooks’ kicking game was much improved in previous weeks. I’ll also add that Faf has taken back more of the kicking in recent weeks, which has meant we’ve found more ground time but both the kids had better boots than what we’d seen all season. I can’t finish this segment without giving a deserved mention to Delouise Hoeter. The kid has taken his opportunity in both hands and didn’t let anyone down.

And what we loved? I’ll just leave this photo here.
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What we didn’t like
While I did enjoy the shift of Lawrence to the bench, I can’t help but feel that having a bench that contains both Halatau and Lawrence leaves us a little light on against some of the bigger teams in the competition. When Big Red comes back, I think our best team has Sue on the bench and either Halatau or Lawrence missing out. At least outside of representative season anyway. Halatau hasn’t been bad per se, but is very ‘fill the gaps’.

Being such a good performance this week means that this section of the blog was always going to be light on.

Next Round
We’ve got the bye this weekend I firstly hope for a weekend free of injury as our boys play various representative games. Past that, Round 9 sees us taking on the Roosters, currently $1.33 favourites with the bookies. They definitely deserve to be favourites but I can’t help but feel the bookies are making a mistake here. I think we’re a good chance of an upset.

Thoughts from the Bench

The game ball goes to JT. It’s a bit of a love fest, but he deserves it. JT’s comments about the inconsistencies of the NRL draw took the heat off a team that had just blown a 22-point lead and allowed them to focus on knocking off the Dogs. That move, combined with the Lawrence switch, continued JT’s rise among the coaching ranks. – TigerBrad

JT called them out during the post game presser as well, but Sue and Ava were fantastic. Each racked up a stack of valuable metres (146m and 116m respectively) for their time in the field. Despite his questionable hair style, Sue is having a monster season, putting pay to fears our forward pack was looking a bit thin year. – OneEyedTiger

King Richards sharp shooting will put teams who intentionally give penalties a wake up call.  Such teams are “trained” to give penalties in certain positions, and hence if Tigers can manufacture these situations and take two points each time, Tigers could see 6 – 8 points come from penalties.  Not bad outcome, especially if these are taken near the halfway line. – TravelPig

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