Willow's match report and player review

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Willow's match report and player review

Post by willow » Fri 02 Jul, 2010 10:43 pm

Round 17 of the Telstra NRL premiership saw the Wests Tigers travel away for the second week in a row, this time up to Brisbane to take on the Broncos, minus their origin stars, but in good form nonetheless and looking to sneak up on the Tigers who were sitting in 3rd place. The Tigers didn’t enter this match without problems of their own, after going down to St Geoge Illawarra last week, it was apparent that the Tigers missed a genuine halfback, or at least a ball player who can handle halfback. Benji Marshall was retained at halfback for this match with regular centre Chris Lawrence his new partner in the halves. Daniel Fitzhenry shifted to the wing for the injured Beau Ryan while the Tigers packed a different looking bench with the return of Andrew Fifita and Liam Fulton from injury, while Mitch Brown was also recalled.

The Broncos were missing Lockyer, Folau and Thaiday which definitely weakened them, but they have shown this season that depth is no longer an issue for the club with numerous youngsters all playing well and playing confidently. The Broncos were dealt a mid-week blow by losing hard hitting forward Lagi Setu to a knee injury. Having said that though, the Broncos were coming off a win while the Tigers were looking to bounce back from a loss, tonight shaped up as an interesting match indeed.

1st half:
The Broncos kicked off out on the full to give the Tigers a very handy start from the halfway line. The Tigers didn’t waste any time in troubling the scoreboard through Chris Lawrence who threw a dummy close to the line and was strong enough to punch through two players and score a very good try. Benji Marshall made no mistake with the conversion to give the Tigers a handy 6-0 lead. The Tigers gave away a penalty in the 3rd minute to give the Broncos a good attacking opportunity. The Tigers defence held but not without forcing the ball in-goal, and giving the Broncos another opportunity through a line drop out. The defence was again solid enough to repel the Broncos and they came away from their own line with a bit of luck as a poorly timed kick from Robbie Farah was knocked on by Brisbane giving the Tigers another set of 6. A grubber kick from Marshall at the end of the set did not put any real pressure on the Broncos.

The Tigers kicking game continued to let them down as they were making very little ground and giving Brisbane good early field position. The Tigers had a near-miss in the 11th minute as they were again forced into a line drop out. The Broncos were then given a penalty close to the Tigers line giving them a great chance to hit back. The Tigers defence was again solid though and Todd Payten did well to field a grubber kick but the Tigers self destructed as Daniel Fitzhenry threw a forward pass from dummyhalf on the first tackle. The Broncos knocked on late in the tackle count to let the Tigers off the hook. A lost ball from Heighington in the 15th minute again put the Tigers defence under all sorts of pressure. The Broncos finally cracked the Tigers through Ben Teo as he burst through a couple of Tigers defenders. The try was converted to even the scores at 6-6 after 18 minutes.

A well placed kick off from Marshall found the sideline giving the Tigers a great chance to hit back. Benji Marshall was dragged across the sideline on the first play however, and the Tigers simply could not complete their sets. Benji Marshall finally found space from a kick in the 22nd minute for the Tigers. A Broncos mistake in the 23rd minute saw the Tigers come out of their own half as the Broncos looked to target them through the ruck. Lote Tuqiri came up with a good kick return in the 25th minute for the Tigers as they still looked to struggle. Another Tigers mistake in the 26th minute saw their attacking play come to another ugly end. The Broncos were given another penalty in the 27th minute as the Tigers were sloppy in clearing the play-the-ball. A lost ball from the Broncos let the Tigers off the hook fortunately.

Chris Heighington came up with his second lost ball for the night in trying to play the ball quickly, again this allowed the Broncos back on the attack only for them to lose the ball on the first tackle. Another lost ball from the Tigers saw Ben Teo streak away however Lote Tuqiri ran him down with ease, the Broncos were still on the attack though but the Tigers defence held although Wade McKinnon was tackled in-goal. A brilliant catch from Robbie Farah saw him turn defence into attack as he streaked downfield before offloading to a runaway Benji Marshall who scored under the posts. Marshall converted his try to put the Tigers back in front at 12-6 with halftime almost due. The Tigers finally held the ball for a full set and forced the Broncos to work it out of their own end on a rare occasion in the first half. A bomb from Peter Wallace just before halftime saw the Broncos knock-on only for Chris Lawrence to lose the ball on the first tackle allowing Brisbane right back on the attack. The Broncos were given a penalty 12 seconds from halftime and took the shot at goal to bridge the gap to 4 points.

Both teams looked ordinary however the Tigers were arguably the worse of the two sides as they somehow fumbled their way to a halftime lead which they didn’t deserve. It was hard to single out a stand out player for the Tigers as they simply did not look settled and made more errors than I would care to see in two matches. Defensively the Tigers looked ok but they had to make an extra 30 tackles in comparison to the Broncos while they only had 42% possession and completed 67% of their sets which was poor. No doubt Tim Sheens would have let fly at the Tigers during the halftime break. Would his words have any effect?

2nd half:
The Tigers kicked off and got off to a good start as Peter Wallace lost the ball late in the tackle count. This allowed the Tigers to begin their first set inside the Broncos half. A great ball from Marshall to Heighington saw him go awfully close to scoring while Keith Galloway also looked set to score on the next play but was forced back and the Tigers lost the ball yet again. The Tigers went close to scoring again on their next set however the Broncos did well to come away from their own end. The Tigers were given 6 more tackles in the 47th minute as a charge down from the Broncos went astray, the Tigers threw a forward pass from Marshall to Fulton shortly after though. The Broncos capitalised on another Tigers mistake as Daniel Fitzhenry went high for a bomb only to lose it, regather it and lose it again for the Broncos to score. Parker made no mistake with the conversion to put the Broncos in front 14-12 after 51 minutes.

A chip and chase from marshall in the 52nd minute saw him regather only to have no support and throw the ball to the Broncos in reasonable field position. A knock on from Brisbane at the end of the set as they targeted Fizthenry’s wing was fortunate for the Tigers. Another penalty to the Broncos in the 56th minute put the Tigers under more pressure. A cross field kick from Wallace hit the posts and fell back into the Broncos but the Tigers scrambled well to stop the play. The Tigers were looking very tired out on the field by the 58th minute. A touch finder from Marshall in the 60th minute brought a brief breather for the Tigers. The Broncos put the Tigers under all sorts of pressure in the 63rd minute as they started breaking tackles but they lost the ball just short of the Tigers line.

A last tackle short cross field kick from Marshall was kicked ahead by Fitzhenry in the 64th minute but it went out on the full. The Broncos were given yet another penalty in the 68th minute as Simon Dwyer held Peter Wallace back from chasing a Tigers lost ball. The Broncos went right on the attack but the Tigers held them valiantly as the Broncos tried everything. The Tigers were finally given a long overdue penalty in the 70th minute which saw them go on the attack inside the Broncos half. It was to no avail as Andrew Fifita this time lost the ball after a strong run. Peter Wallace lost the ball in the 72nd minute allowing the Tigers back into their own half. A well placed kick from Marshall saw the Tigers force their first line drop out of the match. The Tigers again self destructed and lost the ball as Bryce Gibbs threw a poor pass to Todd Payten. A good grubber kick from Marshall saw the Tigers get 6 more tackles inside the Broncos half. They didn’t score but did make the Broncos force the ball for another line drop out. Robbie Farah finally stepped up to the mark with a cross-field kick which found Mitch Brown unmarked and he did well to scramble across the line. Marshall’s sideline conversion was just waved away. The Tigers knocked on from the kick off with 10 seconds left on the clock but the Tigers held on to record a scrappy, very unimpressive win.

Did the Tigers deserve to win? No, they were terrible, effort was there but the execution was absolutely terrible and the Tigers structure in attack was also terrible. They showed some grit in defence though, particularly as the Broncos were on top for most of the match, plus the Tigers lost Gareth Ellis to injury early in the second half. It was still a very valuable 2 points nonetheless.

Onto the players:

1. Wade McKinnon – One of the Tigers best players tonight, if that was possible, but McKinnon was heavily involved all game and made some important tackles at the back and ran the ball a lot as well.. 153 metres in attack, 1 offload, 5 tackles. 6/10.

2. Lote Tuqiri – Another Tiger who tried hard all night in attack and defence. Safe at the back until the very end when the Broncos kicked short, Lote was solid in an otherwise poor Tigers team. 120 metres in attack, 1 offload, 3 tackle breaks, 3 tackles, 1 error. 6/10.

3. Blake Ayshford – Not a bad game from Blake given the conditions, came up with some decent dummyhalf running and was generally good in defence. 98 metres in attack, 20 tackles, 2 missed tackles, 1 error. 5/10.

4. Chris Lawrence – Played in the halves tonight and had a very good start scoring the opening try. In the end he was alright and very busy throughout the game, got through a lot of work in defence and distributed the ball reasonably in wet and slippery conditions. Hopefully he can move back to the centres next week though. 80 metres in attack, 1 try, 1 linebreak, 1 offload, 5 tackle breaks, 25 tackles, 3 missed tackles and 1 error. 6/10.

5. Geoff Daniela – Played in the centres and had a tough night. In attack he wasn’t noticed but he had a bit of defence to do and was ok on that front. 34 metres in attack, 25 tackles. 5/10 purely for his defence.

6. Benji Marshall – Much better game than last week although still not great. Tried a couple of chip kicks and grubber kicks and while not all of them came off, he was the Tiger you looked to for something to happen. Kicking game wasn’t bad at times, finding open space on several occasions but it could always be better, although his grubber kick for McKinnon to regather near the end was a good one. 127 metres in attack, 1 try, 1 linebreak, 1 linebreak assist, 14 tackles, 2 errors. 6/10.

7. Daniel Fitzhenry – Played on the wing and was terrible, spilling the ball on several occasions including gifting the Broncos their second try. His attack was also poor as he is too slow to get on the outside on anyone on the wing these days. Mitch Brown deserves to start ahead of him based on tonights performance. 82 metres in attack, 3 tackle breaks, 4 tackles, 3 errors. 2/10.

8. Bryce Gibbs – Very good game defensively although his attack was down due to the Tigers dropping so much ball. Threw one poor pass in the second half which went to ground but otherwise Gibbs tried hard. 63 metres in attack, 2 offloads, 32 tackles. 5/10.

9. Robbie Farah – Not bad tonight behind a beaten forward pack. Tackled all night and came up with the all important last pass to send Marshall streaking away for a try in the first half, and a cross field kick for Brown to score just before fulltime. One of the Tigers best tonight. 52 metres in attack, 2 try assists, 41 tackles, 4 missed tackles, 1 error. 6/10.

10. Keith Galloway – Much stronger game tonight compared to last week and played more minutes accordingly. Defence was good while he ran the ball ok, but he’s still not back to his best or fully fit just yet. Slowly getting there though and heading in the right direction. 96 metres in attack, 1 offload, 29 tackles, 2 missed tackles. 6/10.

11. Todd Payten – Defensively very good once again and rolled up his sleeves in attack. Tried hard all game and helped keep the Tigers ruck together. 79 metres in attack, 33 tackles, 2 missed tackles, 1 error. 6/10.

12. Gareth Ellis – Unfortunately Ellis was injured early in the second half and hopefully it’s nothing serious. He was solid up until this point. 58 metres in attack, 18 tackles, 2 missed tackles. 5/10.

13. Chris Heighington – Frustrating first half as he coughed the ball up twice but he gradually came good and was strong in the second half. Busy in attack and defence as always. Solid effort. 94 metres in attack, 1 linebreak, 35 tackles, 3 missed tackles. 6/10.

14. Andrew Fifita – Got hooked late in the game by Sheens but I’m not sure he deserved given some of the errors made tonight. Fairly strong with the ball in hand but did arm grab in a few tackles and was left clutching at air, needs to tighten his defence which will come with experience. 72 metres in attack, 3 tackle breaks, 18 tackles, 4 missed tackles, 1 error. 5/10.

15. Liam Fulton – Good to see him back in first grade and while he was very limited in attack, he was very busy in defence. 35 metres in attack, 42 tackles. 5/10.

16. Simon Dwyer – Ended up playing most of the second half and went alright I thought. Had several strong runs and defended reasonably. 53 metres in attack, 3 tackle breaks, 19 tackles, 2 missed tackles, 1 error. 5/10.

17. Mitch Brown – Played the last 8 minutes and thankfully scored the match winner. Deserves more game time from what I’ve seen of him this year. 22 metres in attack, 1 try. 5/10.


Overall team stats (subject to change and Broncos in brackets):

Try assists: 2 (2)
Offloads: 5 (20)
Linebreaks: 4 (4)
Linebreak assists: 2 (2)
Tackles made: 363 (347)
1 on 1 tackles: 28 (33)
Missed tackles: 39 (28)
Tackle breaks: 28 (39)
Total metres made: 1318 (1620)
Possession 48% (52%)
Completion rate: 26/38 = 68% (31/41 = 76%)
Errors: 14 (10)
Penalties conceded: 6 (2)

Top Tacklers:

Fulton (42), Farah (41), Heighington (35)

Top metres made:

McKinnon (153), Marshall (127), Tuqiri (120)

Top Hitups:

Fifita (10), Heighington (10), Galloway (9)


Overall team performance:

Attack:

Rubbish tonight, the Tigers started brilliantly, scoring off their first set, but from there it went downhill fast with forward passes from dummyhalf, dropped balls trying to play the ball quickly and a general lack of attacking structure. Due to the poor completion rate, the Tigers forwards never got on top of the Broncos pack and had to rely on grit and some good fortune in the end to get the job done. Marshall tried hard but too much of the Tigers attack went through him tonight and you can see how much the team misses Lui and Moltzen at present.

Defence:

It kept the Tigers in the game tonight and despite looking shaky several times during the second half, the Tigers scrambled well when it mattered. The Broncos attack was also poor but they had more variety in their kicking game and this troubled the Tigers more than when they put the ball through the hands. The Tigers forwards all defended well while Lawrence, Daniela and Ayshford defended well wide of the ruck.

Kicking game:

Better than last week, but it started off terribly with neither Farah or Marshall gaining much ground although it gradually got better as the match wore on and Benji found open space on several occasions. The bombs were terrible though and put no pressure on the Broncos while the chase was poor and shaky at times.


Well what an ugly, almost undeserving win that was. We have all seen the Tigers lose games they deserved to win, and tonight they got one the way back against the Broncos who were the better team. Many fans on here won't be happy with how the Tigers played, but it was a very valuable 2 points as the Tigers now have two home games coming up which they will need to capitalise on. I'm sure Sheens won't be happy with tonight's performance and there is a hell of a lot of improvement left in this Tigers team and they will need to be on their guard next week against the Titans.

So tonight was an ugly win, but an important one and keeps the Tigers sitting in 3rd place on the competition table.
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Geo.
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Post by Geo. » Fri 02 Jul, 2010 10:49 pm

Wow....not happy mate.......

No one worth more than 6 out of 10......

Looks like Wests Tigers have some work to do....
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Post by Jazza » Fri 02 Jul, 2010 10:53 pm

willow wrote: Top Hitups:

Fifita (10), Heighington (10), Galloway (9)
That says it all to me, the most hit ups was by a bench player and only 2 forwards scraped into double figures.

Compare that to Parker, he made 19 hitups with 26 tackles as well.
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Post by willow » Fri 02 Jul, 2010 11:06 pm

Geo. wrote:Wow....not happy mate.......

No one worth more than 6 out of 10......

Looks like Wests Tigers have some work to do....
Not tonight mate, if the team had held the ball the ratings would be different.

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Post by Paris Cobbs » Fri 02 Jul, 2010 11:21 pm

Thanks, Willow. No-one better than 6/10, but only Fitzy rated less than 5/10. To me, that says a solid, not brilliant, performance - a good away win in the wet, especially with a 6-2 penalty count against us.

The short kicking was better than last week, but not the long kicking and chasing - we still started most sets on the 10, while Bris started their's on the 30-40.

And, surely Robbie Farah 7/10 - two brilliant plays for two tries to Marshall and Browne = we win!
Cheering for the mighty Wests Tigers, all the way from France.


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Post by clontarfkid » Fri 02 Jul, 2010 11:25 pm

Geo. wrote:Wow....not happy mate.......

No one worth more than 6 out of 10......

Looks like Wests Tigers have some work to do....
Problem is,its exactly the same "work to do"as it has been for the past 5 years,& it never gets done!
Which is why we'll get done in September

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Post by alexaki » Fri 02 Jul, 2010 11:29 pm

For mine Todd Payten was our best....

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Post by Paris Cobbs » Fri 02 Jul, 2010 11:54 pm

Hey, Willow, have a look at the lead-up to Beale's try in slow motion. Fitzy grounds it.
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Post by boonboon » Fri 02 Jul, 2010 11:59 pm

given not one 50/50 call and to be honest not one call that was anywhere up to 70 /30 our way actually went our way in what myelf and those watching with me thought was one of the worse referreing performances we have seen the fact we won tells me we will be right in it come septembr especially if we get a halfback back

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Post by stryker » Sat 03 Jul, 2010 12:02 am

clontarfkid wrote:
Geo. wrote:Wow....not happy mate.......

No one worth more than 6 out of 10......

Looks like Wests Tigers have some work to do....
Problem is,its exactly the same "work to do"as it has been for the past 5 years,& it never gets done!
Which is why we'll get done in September

Yep you are not wrong there mate....

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Post by westTAHger » Sat 03 Jul, 2010 8:57 am

thanks for the honest report willow.
it feels a bit strange, the team won, but must admit not happy with what we saw.
anyway most important thing got the two points.
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Post by Balmain Bug » Sat 03 Jul, 2010 9:21 am

Thanks willow.
I watched the replay twice now. Fulton makes 4 try saving tackles in the game and Payten 3.

Some blokes should be dropped from this side.

The coach is really butchering the sides potential.
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Post by willow » Sat 03 Jul, 2010 10:24 am

Player and team stats updated.

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Post by scarcev » Sat 03 Jul, 2010 11:28 am

Farah 6 and Marshall 6.

Admittedly in an awful performance but Farah was in our top 3, Marshall close to one of our worst IMO.

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Post by Snake » Sat 03 Jul, 2010 12:17 pm

Actually Daniela has surprised me with his Defence playing Ok.. I agree Brown has to be promoted at Fitzhenreys expence ,Asford has been dissapointing thought he was going to excel this year,McKinnon is having a real go has been getting belted good showing could be the wild card as I think he is playing injured and hope he can shake it off.

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Post by Geo. » Sat 03 Jul, 2010 12:36 pm

Balmain Bug wrote:Thanks willow.
I watched the replay twice now. Fulton makes 4 try saving tackles in the game and Payten 3.
Finally we agree with something.....

Fulton saved 16 points.....in his 42 tackles in 60 odd mintues....

He deservse better than 5......
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Post by Hbom » Sat 03 Jul, 2010 12:42 pm

Gee Fulton is a good defender. We were gone without him last night.

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Post by tigeress » Sat 03 Jul, 2010 1:52 pm

Thank you for your excellent match report Willow. I cast my non expert eye over the game last night and for a team in the top 3, I thought it was an abysmal effort.
Sure it was horrible weather, but in the past the Tigers have played very well in those conditions, so that is no excuse for so much dropped ball, and incomplete sets.
They just didn't seem to be there mentally at least. Are they overawed by being in the top 3 and they just don't want to be there! Well if they put too many more performances in like they did last night -their wish will come true. No more excuses please Tigers, it's time for you to STEP UP !

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