Tigers Season Preview 2013

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Tigers Season Preview 2013

Post by weststigers4life » Sun 17 Feb, 2013 12:41 am

At A Glance

THE desire to avenge last year's failure is ringing loudly, but otherwise the volume has been turned right down at Concord this season. Declared outright premiership favourites 12 months ago, Wests Tigers are no longer the talk of the town following the most radical overhaul since the joint venture was formed in 2000. Gone is coach long-serving Tim Sheens and a number of support staff, including football manager Brian Hyder. Then came the stunning defections of club favourites Chris Heighington and Beau Ryan to Cronulla, on top of Gareth Ellis's premature return to England. Taking into account Bryce Gibbs and Andrew Fifita's departure the previous year, the changes represent the end of an era and the dawn on a new culture under rookie NRL coach Mick Potter Understandably, the adjustment has taken some time and still isn't complete ahead of tonight's trial against Parramatta at Campbelltown.

"It's been a lot quieter without those guys here," winger Lote Tuqiri observed. "We still miss them every now and again, but we've had to move on just as they have. There's not been as much nonsense around training, even though we've still got a few jokers left like Liam Fulton. There's not as much mucking around as we did before, but in time that will all come."

Under Potter - the coach who returned home eying a job in the coal mines after working without pay at insolvent Bradford for much of last season - Wests have embraced a more workmanlike persona. Equipped with attacking weapons such as Robbie Farah, Benji Marshall, Chris Lawrence and Tuqiri, Wests have routinely backed themselves to score simply score points than the opposition. But this summer the emphasis has been on stopping the points, thus putting less pressure on the usual suspects to conjure victory.

"We've certainly worked a bit more on our defence this year," Tuqiri said. "And there's been no leniency towards the older guys or the younger guys. Everyone gets the treated the same. We're known as an attacking machine, but our defensive game needs to improve and with the amount of work we've done I hope we'll be a lot better."

Potter has vowed not to "re-invent the wheel" with ball in hand, but wants the team's playmakers to be less individually minded.

"This has been a very well coached team for a long time," Potter said. "They lost something like six games by less than four points last year, and if they won a few of those them I'm not sitting here talking to you. They like to play their plays and with guys like Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall, why wouldn't you? I don't want to squash that. It's not only entertaining, but it also wins football matches. Sometimes they've over-cooked things and we just need to temper what we do. We need to keep all things in mind - the scoreboard, the clock, who's just come on the field and what's right for the team."

While Farah, Marshall and star recruit Braith Anasta will undoubtedly be the focus, their talents can't be exploited should the Tigers re-encounter shortages up front. As was the case last year, their engine room appears an experienced big man short of the ideal mix. Starting front row combination Aaron Woods and Keith Galloway could well spearhead NSW, but a serious injury to either will expose one of the competition's smaller packs against monster from Canterbury, Newcastle and the Roosters.

"Gareth Ellis will be a big loss because he was the leader of our pack," Tuqiri said. "So there's a real opportunity for some of the younger guys to step up, and we've got Aaron Woods and Keith Galloway, who I think are Origin material. I'm really looking forward to seeing what they can do."

- Josh Massoud

GAINS: Braith Anasta (Roosters), Eddy Pettybourne (Souths), Bodene Thompson (Titans), James Gavet (Bulldogs)

LOSSES: Chris Heighnington (Sharks), Beau Ryan (Sharks), Ray Cashmere (Retired), Tom Humble (Panthers), Junior Moors (Storm), Gareth Ellis (Huddersfield).

X-FACTOR: Marika Koroibete - Storming from the Fijian highlands with a four try haul in just his second NRL appearance, Koroibete was the most unlikely find of 2012. His imposing physique and explosive speed has gone to another level over the summer, ensuring the 20-year-old winger will be one of the competition's most talked-about players this year.

ROOKIE MONSTER: David Nofoaluma - Wingers don't normally determine matches, but that was they were the driving force behind the club's Under 20s premiership-winning campaign last year. On the opposite flank to Koroibete was former Australian Schoolboy Nofoaluma, with the pair frequently combining to haul their team out of trouble and finish attacking raids.

THE VERDICT: Premiership favourites this time last year, the Tigers haven't rated a mention among the prime contenders 12 months later. And that's to be expected, given the enormous cultural overhaul that's taken place at Concord with the departure of Chris Heignington, Beau Ryan and coach Tim Sheens. New mentor Mick Potter has a clean slate to stamp his authority, but he'll be sorely tested should starting props Aaron Woods and Keith Galloway not last the season.

SQUAD

Braith Anasta
Blake Ayshford
Matthew Bell
Adam Blair
Jack Buchanan
Ray Cashmere
Robbie Farah
Liam Fulton
Keith Galloway
James Gavet
Matt Groat
Masada Iosefa
Marika Koroibete
Chris Lawrence
Benji Marshall
Sean Meaney
Jacob Miller
Tim Moltzen
Ben Murdoch-Masila
Eddy Pettybourne
Pat Politoni
Joel Reddy
Alan Schirnack
Tim Simona
Curtis Sironen
James Tedesco
Bodene Thompson
Lote Tuqiri
Matt Utai
Aaron Woods
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/ ... 6559903596


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Peaches
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Post by Peaches » Sun 17 Feb, 2013 2:12 pm

Ray Cashmere is named there. I thought he was retired?
And good to see Al Schirnack is still around.

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Post by BenjiMagic96 » Sun 17 Feb, 2013 2:26 pm

Allan Towle wrote:Ray Cashmere is named there. I thought he was retired?
And good to see Al Schirnack is still around.

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They don't know what they are talking about, Patonlini and Cashmere are gone.
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Post by Peaches » Sun 17 Feb, 2013 2:31 pm

BenjiMagic96 wrote:
Allan Towle wrote:Ray Cashmere is named there. I thought he was retired?
And good to see Al Schirnack is still around.

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They don't know what they are talking about, Patonlini and Cashmere are gone.
Thought it may have been something like that. A pity because I love big Ray.

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Post by Year of the Tiger » Mon 18 Feb, 2013 7:54 pm

It's crazy everyone else also knows we need another prop and we couldn't source one. I know we picked up gavet but he is unproven and now injured. We need a mid season buy because I can't remember Galloway ever going injury free, let alone not missing a third of the season
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Post by BenjiMagic96 » Mon 18 Feb, 2013 7:58 pm

Year of the Tiger wrote:It's crazy everyone else also knows we need another prop and we couldn't source one. I know we picked up gavet but he is unproven and now injured. We need a mid season buy because I can't remember Galloway ever going injury free, let alone not missing a third of the season
I think we should be ok:

Matt Bell
Mosese Fotuiaka
Jack Buchanan
Aaron Woods
Keith Galloway
Eddy Pettyborune
Matt Groat
James Gavet
Ben-Murdoch Masila
Ava Seumanufagai


would like to sign Shane Shackleton too though
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Post by Year of the Tiger » Mon 18 Feb, 2013 8:02 pm

How many of those guys have a you tube vid I can watch? Not knit picking but how many are up to a starting spot if woods or gal are injured knowing that some of them are already on the bench, back rowers, rookies, average, or injured?
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Post by BenjiMagic96 » Mon 18 Feb, 2013 8:08 pm

Year of the Tiger wrote:How many of those guys have a you tube vid I can watch? Not knit picking but how many are up to a starting spot if woods or gal are injured knowing that some of them are already on the bench, back rowers, rookies, average, or injured?
Yep you are defiantly right, we really do need some more props lol
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