Willow's match report and player review

Post Reply
User avatar
willow
Member
Member
Posts: 33020
Joined: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 9:28 pm
Location: The Village

Willow's match report and player review

Post by willow » Sun 16 May, 2010 6:06 pm

Round 10 of the Telstra NRL premiership saw the Wests Tigers take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs at the historical SCG. Both sides were coming into the match fresh off the bye and looking to break back into the winners circle. The Tigers were desperate to snap a 3 game losing streak and entered today’s match minus prop Keith Galloway who had surgery on his hand earlier in the week to repair torn ligaments. Galloway was replaced up front by Todd Payten which saw Liam Fulton move into the second row and Junior Moors added to the bench. Simon Dwyer was 18th man for the Tigers. The Tigers hoever did welcome back halfback Robert Lui who returned from an ankle injury suffered in round 2 against the Sydney Roosters, and this would hopefully give the Tigers an improved direction in attack which had been disappointing of late.

For the Tigers to win this game, a much improved performance in ball control and discipline would be required as they had been guilty of far too much dropped ball and silly penalties in recent weeks which had put too much strain on the Tigers defence. A similar performance today against the sizeable Souths pack would spell certain doom. So just how did today’s match unfold?

1st half:

Souths kicked off to start the match and got away to a near perfect start by kicking the ball dead which forced the Tigers into a line drop out. John Sutton broke the Tigers early as they came up with some very poor defence and nearly paid the price however Sutton lost the ball just short of the Tigers line. The Tigers further compounded their situation by kicking out on the full through Benji Marshall. Sam Burgess went close to scoring however lost the ball forward letting the Tigers off the hook. So far though the Tigers were looking anything but confident. They managed to get through the next set though however allowed Souths out of their own end through a penalty. Souths coughed up the ball a couple of tackles later though.

The Tigers were given a penalty in the 6th minute as Chris Sandow was penalised for an infringement bringing the ball out of Souths danger zone. A follow up penalty right in front of the posts saw the Tigers take the tap however Bryce Gibbs lost the ball on the first tackle letting Souths off the hook. A mistake from Robbie Farah in the 8th minute saw Isaac Luke swoop on the ball and hold off a chasing Chris Lawrence and Benji Marshall to score out wide. Replays showed some doubt with Luke touching the ball first and a no-try rule went the Tigers way. Another lost ball from the Tigers in the 10th minute saw Souths go on the attack inside the Tigers half however the Tigers defence held. Souths opened the scoring in the 12th minute through Nathan Merritt as Sam Burgess ran onto a very flat pass which some thought was forward. It was poor defence from the Tigers in the middle of the ruck. Luke converted to give Souths a 6-0 lead.

Souths turned the ball over from the re-start which gave the Tigers a good attacking chance provided they could hang onto the ball. The Tigers attack looked very disorganised though and Robbie Farah was caught with the ball on the last tackle. Tigers half Rob Lui came up with a good solo run in the 17th minute however once again the Tigers attack failed to crack Souths. The Tigers were awarded a penalty in the 18th minute as Lote Tuqiri had the ball stripped in a 2 man tackle after making a good run. Another penalty to the Tigers in the 19th minute gave them great attacking position once again. The Tigers finally opened their account through Rob Lui who took on the Souths line and burst through to score next to the posts. It came off the back of a strong run from Chris Heighington. Benji converted the try to level the match at 6-6 after 21 minutes.

Some renewed defence from the Tigers came undone all of a sudden as a poor Souths pass found Ben Lowe who threw a dummy which the Tigers fell for and they scored out wide through man mountain Dave Taylor. Isaac Luke extended Souths lead to 12-6 after 25 minutes. A break by Nathan Merritt saw Souths go right on the attack again however they lost 30 metres on the next play and the Tigers held on grimly. A poor Souths pass saw Mark Flanagan swoop on it only to have the ball stripped by Sandow in the same play in the 28th minute. Chris Sandow then scored for Souths as John Sutton poked through a hole to offload. The Tigers defence just wasn’t up to the task which was disappointing. Luke converted the try to leave the Tigers trailing 18-6 and looking in all sorts of trouble.

Some enterprising play from the Tigers in the 34th minute saw Daniel Fitzhenry break Souths up the middle which Benji Marshall followed up with a cross field kick for Blake Ayshford however the ball was comfortably fielded by Souths. The Tigers kicking game continued to let them down with bombs going straight up and down and putting no real pressure on Souths. A relieving penalty to the Tigers in the 37th minute saw them come away from their own line. A good run from Blake Ayshford with defenders hanging off him saw him try and pass the ball only to lose the ball letting Souths off the hook. The Tigers went to halftime down 18-6 and with a lot of work to do if they were to come back and win. Once again poor handling let the Tigers down along with some poor defence around the ruck on occasion. Best for the Tigers in the first half were Rob Lui, Chris Heighington, Gareth Ellis and Beau Ryan but really, the side lacked intensity and cohesion overall.

2nd half:

The Tigers kicked off and held Souths defensively while Sam Burgess suffered a leg injury in hitting the ball up. The Tigers though, knocked the ball on through Lote Tuqiri in bringing the ball out of their own end. Once again, it was a disappointing start to the half for the Tigers. Souths scored in the 42 minute as Beau Champion put himself between Chris Lawrence and Benji Marshall to plant the ball down for the softest of tries. Luke missed the conversion however Souths now led 22-6 and looked comfortable while the Tigers were left with two players left on the interchange bench as Liam Fulton and Blake Ayshford were injured. It got worse for the Tigers as they let a bomb bounce and paid the penalty as Beau Champion scored his second try for the afternoon. Luke converted to give Souths a 28-6 lead after 46 minutes.

Souths made very easy metres from the re-start as they bent the Tigers back. Souths scored their third try in 8 minutes as Benji Marshall threw a losse pass which was knocked on by Chris Lawrence and Nathan Merritt raced away to score in the corner. Luke converted from the sideline to give Souths a 34-6 lead. Souths nearly scored again in the 52nd minute however Gareth Ellis fielded a chip kick but was dragged in-goal as the Tigers were forced to make a line drop out. The Tigers defence for some unknown reason held this time. Benji Marshall landed a 40/20 in the 55th minute however it drew no response from the players or Sheens who was sitting on the sideline. Chris Lawrence was forced into touch on the first tackle which summed up their attitude and gameplan for the day.

A penalty to the Tigers in the 56th minute saw them go back on the attack through Benji Marshall. Daniel Fitzhenry came up with a possible try in the 57th minute as he pounced on a grubber from Farah but did not ground the ball properly. A Benji Marshall grubber kick in the 60th minute was knocked on by Wesser giving the Tigers a decent attacking opportunity. Junior Moors crossed for the Tigers however knocked the ball forward off a Souths player. Souths went further in front in the 63rd minute as Colin Best crossed untouched from a cross field kick as Daniel Fitzhenry was caught in no- mans land. Luke converted the try to extend the lead to 40-6 with 15 minutes remaining.

Souths again crossed for the easiest of tries in the 69th minute as the Tigers flirted with danger coming off their own line in shifting the ball wide. Nathan Merritt was on the spot to pick the loose ball up and score under the posts. Luke converted to extend the lead to 46-6 with 10 minutes remaining. Souths hit 50 from the next set as they cut the Tigers to shreds. The Tigers were nothing short of embarrassing as no effort or pride was shown at all by the players. Luke missed the conversion to leave the score at 50-6. Chris Lawrence scored a consolation try in the 78th minute as he picked up a loose Souths pass. Marshall’s conversion was just waved away as Souths ran out 50-10 winners as the Tigers produced their worst display in probably 3 years.

Onto the players (stats likely to be updated):

1. Beau Ryan - One of only a couple of Tigers who had a go today. Ryan defended well as he was called on to make several tackles on runaway Souths players and had a better day under the high ball. No room to do anything in attack though. 141 metres in attack, 8 tackles, 1 error.

2. Lote Tuqiri - Had his worst game in Tigers colours today as he received no ball and was outplayed easily by Merritt. 47 metres in attack, 3 tackles, 3 missed tackle and 2 errors.

3. Blake Ayshford - Left the field injured in the second half and did not return. Up until then he received very little ball. 59 metres in attack, 8 tackles, 1 error.

4. Chris Lawrence - Scored a late try but really he was disappointing today and outplayed by Champion. Missed a few tackles and came up with a couple of poor errors. Definitely won't be playing SOO. 115 metres in attack, 1 try, 15 tackles, 4 missed tackles, 2 errors.

5. Daniel Fitzhenry - Had one good run from dummyhalf in the first half, otherwise he was quiet and ineffective once again. 72 metres in attack, 3 tackles, 3 missed tackles, 1 error.

6. Benji Marshall - Donate your paycheck to charity. When the Tigers needed someone to step up and lead, you weren't there. Did nothing in attack and failed to trouble Souths. Came up with a 40/20 only for Lawrence to be pushed into touch on the next play. Defensively he came up with some poor misses too. 13 metres in attack, 9 tackles, 4 missed tackles, 2 errors.

7. Robert Lui - Along with Ryan, Lui was the only back to have a go IMO. Came up with a strong individual run in the first half and backed it up by scoring a try on his own. Obviously rusty from not having played in awhile and defensively had some problems, but he was far from the worst Tiger on-field today. 67 metres in attack, 1 try, 1 linebreak, 7 tackle breaks, 19 tackles, 6 missed tackles, 1 error.

8. Bryce Gibbs - Another one of the few to have a go today but he was easily contained by Souths pack. Defended well. 98 metres in attack, 36 tackles, 1 error.

9. Robbie Farah - Hand back your paycheck too. Really offered nothing in the way of creativity and attack and it was an ordinary effort indeed. Not as bad as his game against the Roosters in round 1, but not far behind. 55 metres in attack, 30 tackles.

11. Todd Payten - Zero impact today. Poor performance. 37 metres in attack, 23 tackles, 2 missed tackles, 1 error.

12. Gareth Ellis - Disappointingly quiet in attack with the Tigers continually dropping the ball. Defended strongly but that's about it. 41 metres in attack, 32 tackles, 3 missed tackles, 2 errors.

15. Liam Fulton - Left the field injured in the first half and did not return. Was not doing anything special out there but the Tigers missed his defence around the ruck. 28 metres in attack, 12 tackles, 2 missed tackles.

13. Chris Heighington - One of the few players who had a go today. Ran hard when he had the ball and defended ok with a few misses but he was one of the Tigers best today. 86 metres in attack, 4 tackle breaks, 38 tackles, 5 missed tackles, 1 error.

14. Andrew Fifita - Zero impact today as the forward pack was owned. The learning curve continues for this young prop. 20 metres in attack, 16 tackles, 2 missed tackles.

16. Mark Flanagan - Tried hard but just lacks the size to have a real impact in the forwards as today showed against Souths monster pack. Defended well. 45 metres in attack, 28 tackles, 2 missed tackles, 1 error.

17. Mitch Brown - Actually got a run today in the second half when Blake Ayshford left the field. Didn't do much unfortunately but was safe while out there. 30 metres in attack, 8 tackles.

18. Junior Moors - No impact today. Disappointing. 29 metres in attack, 19 tackles, 1 error.


Team Analysis:

Attack - It has simply disappeared, moved to another continent, been exterminated by a deadly disease...I don't know but the Tigers in recent weeks look a worse attacking outfit than the Cronulla Sharks. Farah, Marshall, Lawrence, Tuqiri...Names like this should have teams worried when it comes to defending against them. Instead the Tigers backline, or rather team as whole, could not catch a cold or hit water if they fell out of a boat. It is disappointing and not acceptable for paying fans who support the team.

Defence - Today it was atrocious. The players did not turn up and only a handful of players looked to have a go in defence. Gibbs, Heighno and Flanagan were all busy in the middle in defence and Ryan was ok at the back but there were no big hits and no urgency shown today. Worst defensive effort I have seen in probably 3 years to be honest.

Kicking game - It is the worst in the competition without doubt. Bombs that go straight up and down, long kicks which are swallowed by the fullback and cross field kicks which are about as accurate as a blind man at a shooting range.

Team stats (Souths in brackets):

Try assists: 0 (7)
Offloads: 5 (14)
Line breaks: 1 (9)
Line break assists: 0 (5)
Tackles made: 309 (248)
1 on 1 tackles: 23 (19)
Missed tackles: 43 (30)
Tackle breaks: 31 (47)
Total metres gained: 968 (1658)
Possession: 44% (56%)
Completion rate: 24/38 - 63% (27/43 - 63%)
Errors: 16 (20)
Penalties conceded: 2 (7)


Today's effort, or lackthereof from the Tigers was simply pathetic and not up to first grade standard. Farah and Sheens apologised to the fans in the post match media conference, but you know what, saying sorry does not fix humpty dumpty. From the kickoff there was a clear lack of intensity and purpose in anything the Tigers did. The attacking structure was atrocious and the defence was a thin line of rabble. It was probably the worst game I have seen from the Tigers in the last 3 years.

I will go on record here and say that the Tigers cannot make the 8 from here. Now while I am upset and disappointed with today's loss as much as anyone, I will give my reasons as to why I think the Tigers are gone for this season.

1. Mental strength and application - Quite simply, this team lacks the mental strength and application to play for 80 minutes and compete with the good teams. After a promising start to the season, the Tigers have seriously failed to compete for 80 minutes over the last 4 games and I don't see what they can possibly do to turn things around. There is a clear lack of leadership being shown by Farah and Marshall and the team look clueless at times and directionless in attack.

2. Impact - The Tigers are lacking impact in the starting team and off the bench. Andrew Fifita was the one Tiger off the bench offering anything above hitting it up and hoping for the best. Once again, size and strength look to be hurting the Tigers. Carrying two lightweight workhorses in Fulton and Flanagan is fine if they are surounded by big units such as the Souths forward pack, but the Tigers do no boast such size or strength and they are too easily dominated by the opposition.

3. Kicking game - The Tigers have the worst kicking game in the compeition. It offers next to nothing in attack and fails to build pressure against the opposition. The top teams have good general kicking games, the Tigers is laughable I hate to say.

The Tigers take on an injury depleted Newcastle Knights team next Friday night, so it's a short turnaround. On current form though, Newcastle should win this comfortably, they have size and speed across the park and I think the Tigers will again struggle to contain them, even without Gidley and a couple of injured forwards.

Right now all I can do is hope that the Tigers can somehow turn around this terrible form slump, but I honestly don't know what they can do to turn it around. They really do look devoid of ideas and heart.
Attachments
westsouth1-600x400.jpg
westsouth1-600x400.jpg (63.96 KiB) Viewed 1012 times
tigers7-600x400.jpg
tigers7-600x400.jpg (74.71 KiB) Viewed 1012 times
tigers1-600x400.jpg
tigers1-600x400.jpg (74.24 KiB) Viewed 1012 times


User avatar
Tigersmurf
Member
Member
Posts: 1878
Joined: Tue 20 Oct, 2009 8:40 pm

Post by Tigersmurf » Sun 16 May, 2010 6:20 pm

I agree with your summation Willow.

I was reading posts last Tuesday stating that our pack and bench were too small, and we were really found out today. I think Fifita tried, but they were ready for him and always had two or three forwards hitting him before he could get any steam up.

We have no patience, we mount no pressure, we have no sting in defence, we cannot catch a footy on the full. Basic skills of the game which we clearly lack.

Our team is not that bad on paper. How come St George and Melbourne can put a team on the field that is hungry and committed whilst we run on with no intensity.

Boys, go back and watch a game of Tigers vs Penrith back in 1989 with a full hill. The pack hit hard and never gave up. The atmosphere was electric and the fans knew that every week their team would have a go.

I was proud that we rarely got flogged once Sheens took over, but they don't appear to have any respect for him anymore. Hit up the middle, earn the right to attack. Give your back some room.

Really poor!

User avatar
Paris Cobbs
Member
Member
Posts: 915
Joined: Mon 13 Jul, 2009 3:39 pm
Location: Paris, France.

Post by Paris Cobbs » Sun 16 May, 2010 8:46 pm

Thanks Willow, a valid summation, sadly.

Today we looked like we have lost all confidence in attack. Don't forget that we all praised the defence vs the Dogs and Penrith, and we played some fabulous attacking football against Penrith as well. The last two matches, our attack seems disorganised and inept. I think this SOO business has eroded Robbie's confidence - especially when he is being told that he is TOO creative for SOO.

The worst thing about today was that they didn't seem to be talking to each other at all. Something is up. And luck and the bounce of the ball has deserted us altogether.
Cheering for the mighty Wests Tigers, all the way from France.

User avatar
willow
Member
Member
Posts: 33020
Joined: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 9:28 pm
Location: The Village

Post by willow » Sun 16 May, 2010 8:48 pm

Player and team stats updated. Still very ugly though.

Chadman's Ghost
Member
Member
Posts: 546
Joined: Wed 15 Jul, 2009 2:21 pm

Post by Chadman's Ghost » Mon 17 May, 2010 8:38 am

All sounded about right except that you were a bit soft yourself on one report.

"5. Daniel Fitzhenry - Had one good run from dummyhalf in the first half, otherwise he was quiet and ineffective once again. 72 metres in attack, 3 tackles, 3 missed tackles, 1 error."

Let's not forget that he pulled out of the challenge for the kick on Colin Best's try. The ONLY way Fitzy could stop that from being a try is by attacking the ball- but as soon as Best got into the picture you see Daniel prop, stop & wave his arms around in what can only be described as a woeful attempt at a tackle. It was a pea hearted play- he should have put his body on the line & gone for the ball. Had it been Beau Ryan doing that effort- we'd have heard about 'lack of effort' across this board. To watch him sit down & shake his head as if in disbelief after the try was enough for me to get up, and look for something to hit.

While we are at it- the Talanoa try- Fitzy comes in off his wing, looks to take nobody, props, turns around & watches Talanoa dive past him to score. Then we see Daniel wave his arms around as if complaining he'd done all he could do to stop that try & that his inside defenders had let him down. It's the exact same Daniel Fitzhenry I watched back-off Mark Gasnier a few years back...back-off so far in fact that he went outside the field of play as Gasnier simply strolled into the corner to score. He shies away from contact, in a contact sport. His effort, while not on his own, was disgraceful- and should not be played down by calling him 'quiet & ineffective'.


User avatar
willow
Member
Member
Posts: 33020
Joined: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 9:28 pm
Location: The Village

Post by willow » Mon 17 May, 2010 9:26 am

Chadman's Ghost wrote:All sounded about right except that you were a bit soft yourself on one report.

"5. Daniel Fitzhenry - Had one good run from dummyhalf in the first half, otherwise he was quiet and ineffective once again. 72 metres in attack, 3 tackles, 3 missed tackles, 1 error."

Let's not forget that he pulled out of the challenge for the kick on Colin Best's try. The ONLY way Fitzy could stop that from being a try is by attacking the ball- but as soon as Best got into the picture you see Daniel prop, stop & wave his arms around in what can only be described as a woeful attempt at a tackle. It was a pea hearted play- he should have put his body on the line & gone for the ball. Had it been Beau Ryan doing that effort- we'd have heard about 'lack of effort' across this board. To watch him sit down & shake his head as if in disbelief after the try was enough for me to get up, and look for something to hit.

While we are at it- the Talanoa try- Fitzy comes in off his wing, looks to take nobody, props, turns around & watches Talanoa dive past him to score. Then we see Daniel wave his arms around as if complaining he'd done all he could do to stop that try & that his inside defenders had let him down. It's the exact same Daniel Fitzhenry I watched back-off Mark Gasnier a few years back...back-off so far in fact that he went outside the field of play as Gasnier simply strolled into the corner to score. He shies away from contact, in a contact sport. His effort, while not on his own, was disgraceful- and should not be played down by calling him 'quiet & ineffective'.

Fitzy would not be in my 17 each week Chadman, make no mistake about it. Yep, he was bog ordinary yesterday but no amount of abuse or criticism levelled at him will change that and he will probably be in the 17 again next week with Ayshford now injured. It's not ideal and not what I want but it's obvious Sheens seems adamant on not giving guys like Pritchard, Akeripa and Davis a go.

User avatar
smeghead
Site Moderator
Site Moderator
Posts: 9454
Joined: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 11:56 pm

Post by smeghead » Mon 17 May, 2010 9:37 am

Thought Ayshford was having a great defensive game until he came of yesterday. His front on ball and all tackle on Dave Taylor should have inspired the team but I think they were doing something else at the time and didn't notice
Image

User avatar
willow
Member
Member
Posts: 33020
Joined: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 9:28 pm
Location: The Village

Post by willow » Mon 17 May, 2010 10:23 am

smeghead wrote:Thought Ayshford was having a great defensive game until he came of yesterday. His front on ball and all tackle on Dave Taylor should have inspired the team but I think they were doing something else at the time and didn't notice
Whatever they were doing, it wasn't much. Felt sorry for Heighno once again as he left the field at fulltime with blood coming from an eye cut.

Tiger_heart
Member
Member
Posts: 636
Joined: Sun 12 Jul, 2009 1:28 pm

Post by Tiger_heart » Mon 17 May, 2010 10:25 am

Hard to disagree, I must admit the pain was tangible from looking at the screen! Willow, I notice you leave coach & management out of your reports, is it time to start to make exceptions? You are now on record as writing we can't make the 8's, surely if that is the case (as it appears it will be) then there are responsibilities on and OFF the field?

Good reporting, though, as always.

User avatar
willow
Member
Member
Posts: 33020
Joined: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 9:28 pm
Location: The Village

Post by willow » Mon 17 May, 2010 11:14 am

Tiger_heart wrote:Hard to disagree, I must admit the pain was tangible from looking at the screen! Willow, I notice you leave coach & management out of your reports, is it time to start to make exceptions? You are now on record as writing we can't make the 8's, surely if that is the case (as it appears it will be) then there are responsibilities on and OFF the field?

Good reporting, though, as always.
It's an idea, but I don't know how the team is coached and what they do during the week at Concord. I doubt they are executing Sheens gameplan though.

User avatar
smeghead
Site Moderator
Site Moderator
Posts: 9454
Joined: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 11:56 pm

Post by smeghead » Mon 17 May, 2010 11:24 am

The warm up was the closest the Tigers came to playing to any direct running gameplan.

For me the day was summed up by Gnome Simmons standing in a field bathed with sunshine under a rain poncho. Thats the mind you want running the attacking drills for your side.

Every single part of our team that he has been put in charge of has suffered
Image

User avatar
hybrid_tiger
Member
Member
Posts: 4564
Joined: Sat 11 Jul, 2009 10:49 am
Location: Latchem Robinson Stand

Post by hybrid_tiger » Mon 17 May, 2010 1:12 pm

I also noticed Fitzhenry was helping Royce lay out the witches hats?

Perhaps that's why he's in the side every week?

User avatar
Paris Cobbs
Member
Member
Posts: 915
Joined: Mon 13 Jul, 2009 3:39 pm
Location: Paris, France.

Post by Paris Cobbs » Mon 17 May, 2010 6:00 pm

Of course, we can still make the play-offs. We are effectively 5 from 10 because of the bye. That's a neutral position from which we can readily build. We just need a win. Easy, you'd think, as long as we don't fight amongst ourselves.
Cheering for the mighty Wests Tigers, all the way from France.

Post Reply