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Kickoff: 7.35pm Friday 5 August
Venue: Sydney Football Stadium
Telecast: Ch9
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Media Reports

Post by willow » Fri 05 Aug, 2011 10:59 pm

WESTS TIGERS BEAT DRAGONS 16-14 IN THRILLER AT SFS
By Wayne Cousins
Wests Tigers
5/08/2011 9:37:37 PM

MATCH REPORT BROUGHT TO YOU BY BPS AUTOBODY (BANKSTOWN AND NARELLAN)

Wests Tigers recorded a gutsy come from behind victory to beat premiers St George Illawarra Dragons 16-14 at the Sydney Football Stadium tonight.

The win was Wests Tigers' fourth consecutive victory and moves the team into seventh place on the Telstra Premiership for the time being.

It was the second straight week Wests Tigers have come from behind to record victory against quality sides Manly and St George-Illawarra.

The match also marked 150th game in the NRL for prop Bryce Gibbs and full-back Wade McKinnon and the 100th Wests Tigers game for prop Keith Galloway.

The opening minutes saw both sides start with plenty of intensity. Emotions overflowed when Benji Marshall was dumped by second-rower Beau Scott after offloading, resulting in a fight.

Marshall failed to convert a penalty goal from 20 metres out in the fourth minute.

Two minutes later, centre Chris Lawrence had the ball knocked out of his grasp as he attempted to score in the left corner.

Wests Tigers continued to muscle up in defence and had some good attacking raids but to no prevail midway through the opening half.

A good tryscoring opportunity went begging in the 28th minute when full-back Tim Moltzen had centre Blake Ayshford and winger Matt Utai in support but lost the ball close to the line.

Moltzen forced the ball dead in the 37th minute when an attacking raid down the left flank by Dragons centre Matt Cooper saw winger Brett Morris put a chip kick over the top for Moltzen to knock it over the dead ball line, forcing a goal line drop out.

Wests Tigers were penalised in the ensuring set when Todd Payten was caught lifting Trent Merrin in a tackle. Five-eighth Jamie Soward converted from 30 metres out to give the Dragons a 2-0 lead after 39 minutes and into half-time.

2nd Half
A Soward bomb in the 47th minute was spilt by Moltzen and into the arms of Dean Young who offloaded to full-back Darius Boyd to score near the posts. Soward converted the try for an 8-0 lead.

Wests Tigers took advantage of a fumble in-goal by Morris when in the ensuring set from a drop out, a crossfield bomb by Robbie Farah saw second-rower Liam Fulton catch the ball to score next to the posts. Marshall converted the try for an 8-6 scoreline with 17 minutes remaining.

Three minutes later, Marshall scored under the posts from a 65 metre break that saw the ball travel through the hands of Marshall, Lawrence and winger Beau Ryan who then sent Marshall on a 25 metre run to score for a 10-8 lead. Marshall converted the try to give Wests Tigers a 12-8 lead.

A cut out pass by Boyd saw Morris dive over in the left corner to score in the 71st minute to level the scores at 12-12

With Soward off the field through injury, captain Ben Hornby converted the try from the sideline to give the Dragons a 14-12 lead after 73 minutes.

Wests Tigers regained the lead in the 75th minute when Marshall gave a cut out pass for Lawrence to race 25 metres down the left flank before giving an inside pass to Ryan to race away to score near the posts for a 16-14 lead.

Marshall failed to convert the conversion attempt with 4 minutes remaining.

The Dragons then got three consecutive scrums inside the final two minutes and in between tempers flaring from a loose ball kicked dead to a scrum almost erupting, Wests Tigers dug deep down to the final seconds to record one of their gutsiest wins of the season.


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Post by willow » Fri 05 Aug, 2011 10:59 pm

Marshall knocks out another heavyweight
David Beniuk
August 5, 2011 - 9:49PM

AAP

Wests Tigers wizard Benji Marshall knocked out a heavyweight for the second straight week, brilliantly engineering a comeback 16-14 win over St George Illawarra in Friday night's NRL blockbuster at the Sydney Football Stadium.

On a night of high drama that lived up to all the pre-match hype of a semi-final come early, Marshall backed up his seven minutes of magic against Manly last week by creating two long-range tries for the Tigers to notch a fourth straight win.

The match came down to the final seconds when the Dragons had a scrum which threatened to erupt several times 10m from the Tigers line, only for a Nathan Fien kick to be batted dead and Wayne Bennett's men to lose a third straight game for the first time since 2009.

The Dragons suffered a major blow to their campaign with NSW State of Origin five-eighth Jamie Soward hobbling off with the match in the balance in the second half.

The Tigers could also have a major headache this week with centre Chris Lawrence, who suffered an horrendous hip dislocation early in the season, leaving the field with an apparent hamstring injury after a long run for the match-clinching try.

Back-rower Liam Fulton was also placed on report for a 69th-minute high shot on Dragons winger Jason Nightingale.

The Tigers broke a four-match losing steak against the Dragons, continuing their stunning return to form as the business end of the season looms, while the Dragons remain outside the top four.

For the Tigers, Fulton, Marshall and Beau Ryan scored four-pointers with Marshall kicking two from four.

Darius Boyd and Brett Morris scored tries for the Dragons with Soward booting two and Ben Hornby one from the sideline.

St George Illawarra led 2-0 after a first half the Tigers probably had the better of through a 37th-minute Soward penalty goal.

They extended their lead with the game's first try in the 47th minute, Boyd capitalising on Dragons-bound fullback Tim Moltzen spilling a Soward bomb and the conversion making it 8-0.

But it was 8-6 in the 61st minute when Fulton leapt to grab a Robbie Farah cross-field kick and slammed the ball down, Marshall adding the extras.

The best was yet to come five minutes later when Marshall started and finished an 80m move and the Tigers were in front 12-8.

A clever cut-out pass from Boyd sent Morris over on the back of the penalty for Fulton's high shot in the 71st minute before part-timer Hornby's stunning sideline conversion and the Dragons were back in front 14-12.

Their lead lasted less than five minutes, though, when Marshall's quick hands sent Lawrence away and Ryan backed up to complete the 70m effort.

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Post by softlaw » Fri 05 Aug, 2011 11:10 pm

Radio interviews with Benji, Gibbs, Ayshford and Ryan:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-05/t ... ection=all
On the bus or under it!
Your choice.

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Post by willow » Sat 06 Aug, 2011 9:41 am

Sheens eyes top four but Lawrence faces lay-off
Glenn Jackson, Brad Walter
August 6, 2011

HAVING won four matches in a row for the first time this season, Wests Tigers can now set their sights on a top-four spot - but they might have to get there without centre Chris Lawrence, who suffered a hamstring injury in the 16-14 win over St George Illawarra.

The Tigers have now beaten two of the premiership heavyweights in consecutive weeks. Last night's win followed a victory over Manly, which has put the Tigers in a somewhat unexpected position of being able to jockey for a top-four spot.

''We want to aim for higher, not just aim to consolidate,'' Tigers coach Tim Sheens said. ''Eight points is eight points … anything can happen in this last month. We will just see what happens this week and the week after and the week after that.

''We want to aim as high as we can. That means win as many of the four games as possible.''

Sheens, though, was keen to consider the bigger picture rather than the significance of a win over the premiers. He knows the Tigers can let it all slip over the last month, facing sides below them.

''We've built ourselves up for two big games, and we can't afford a let-down,'' Sheens said. ''We've just got to keep playing footy. It is a five-week program. We've got a camp [in Kiama] coming up where we can refocus on the last month of football. We want to be as healthy, and with as much combination and as much football as we can.''

Tigers skipper Robbie Farah, though, said last night's win was crucial. ''No doubt it'll give us some confidence; two big scalps in two big weeks,'' Farah said. ''But it's about the next five weeks. We can't just be happy with the two wins in a row. We've still got a month of hard work before us. We want to finish as high up as we can.''

Lawrence, a month back from a dislocated hip, suffered a hamstring tear late in the game and will be sidelined for several weeks. He had an ultrasound after the match which ruled out a severe tear but he will still need an MRI scan to assess the seriousness of the damage. '

'We'll see how the scans go,'' Lawrence said. ''Hopefully it's not too bad, only a few weeks. I just had an ultrasound then. It shows that it wasn't a major tear, top-end scale, but there's definitely something there. We've still got four or five weeks before the finals, so that's good for me.''

Sheens admitted the Tigers targeted the Dragons' right edge, which included Beau Scott and Jamie Soward, both of whom suffered late injuries. The Tigers had success late down their left edge. ''We spotted young Scott with a hamstring and went to that edge, and that's where we came up with a couple of results,'' Sheens said. ''And the young six as well. As soon as we spotted that, we played that edge, and got over the top of things.

''I was happy with the fact that we executed those really well.

''The staff spotted it. We sent instructions; go right to left.

''We went at young Soward for [Benji] Marshall's try, and then we came back at them again.''

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Post by willow » Sat 06 Aug, 2011 9:46 am

Tigers slay the Dragons

Josh Massoud
From: The Daily Telegraph
August 05, 2011 5:43PM

TIGERS 16 - DRAGONS 14

WAYNE Bennett could not have predicted it better.

After watching his Dragons concede victory in the dying stages for the past two weeks, Bennett declared the confidence-challenged premiers now needed to score right on full-time to guarantee victory.

In last night's thriller against Wests Tigers before 27,687 fans at the SFS, St George Illawarra proved Bennett right and condemned their fans to more agony.

Having watched an 8-0 lead overturned in the space of four minutes midway through the second half, the Dragons sensationally reclaimed the running when Brett Morris crossed with just eight minutes left to tie the scores at 12-12.

With Jamie Soward having limped off moments earlier, skipper Ben Hornby nailed an extraordinary conversion from the touchline to put the Dragons back on track for a drought-breaking victory.

But for the third week running, they lapsed with glory in their grasp. As the clock would down to five minutes the Tigers' most dangerous duo - Benji Marshall and Chris Lawrence - combined to send Beau Ryan across for a 70-metre match-winner that left the Dragons devastated.

The run of play favoured Wests Tigers during a brutal yet bumbling first half - only for the home side to concede a 2-0 lead thanks to a lifting penalty just before the break.

A pre-match national anthem and fireworks hinted at a premature finals atmosphere and both teams' defensive intensity and aggression didn't disappoint.

Marshall exchanged blows with Dragons enforcer Beau Scott after just four minutes, while Keith Galloway laid one of the hits of the season on front-row opposite Dan Hunt.

But sadly for the sizeable Moore Park roll-up the execution in attack was not up to standard, with handling errors denying either team the opportunity to build consistent pressure.

The lone two try-scoring opportunities both belonged to Wests Tigers - and they were golden ones gone begging.

On the following possession after Marshall missed a simple penalty goal, Lawrence barged over from a steaming run in the eighth minute.

Replays, however, showed Dragons winger Jason Nightingale stripped the ball from the Test centre and that saved the confidence-short Dragons from an early arrears.

Two unforced fumbles from Marshall and Chris Heighington gave St George Illawarra a breather, but the visitors looked anything but comfortable in creating chances let alone taking them.



Another mistake gave Wests their second opportunity in the 27th minute, when Marshall created space on the left for Tim Moltzen. But rather than exploit a regulation overlap, Moltzen butchered the chance by stopping in the clutches of St George Ilawarra's defence.

The game's first try didn't arrive until the 47th minute - up until which point the Tigers had looked more dangerous despite trailing at the break.

Darius Boyd broke out of his post-Origin stupor to grab the vital strike, crashing over after Moltzen dropped a towering Jamie Soward bomb.

Soward's conversion drew the Dragons out to an 8-0 advantage, but given their disturbing fade-outs over the previous fortnight it didn't look to be enough as Wests continued to chance their arm.

Soward also began struggling with a left hip injury that saw him shifted to the flank and compromise his team's kicking game.

The almost inevitable fright came with 20 minutes left thanks to a dreadful Brett Morris error. With no pressure on him, Morris botched a Tigers kick in his own in-goal and spluttered the ball dead to concede a line drop-out.

Resolute defence looked to have saved him until Liam Fulton plucked Robbie Farah's bomb from the heavens to bring Wests within two points.

Two minutes later they were ahead for the first time. The Tigers spread the ball and found space for Marshall to complete a 75-metre movement.


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Post by willow » Sat 06 Aug, 2011 12:43 pm

Breezy Tigers: Marshall and Co roar into frame
Glenn Jackson
August 6, 2011

Wests Tigers 16 St George Illawarra 14

THIS seemed like it was going to be either the beginning of the end for one team or simply the beginning of the other. A Dragons loss would mean the former; the doubts about the premiers, having lost three straight games, would become terminal, while a Tigers loss would mean the end of the resurgence for them.

But the Dragons should take heart from it. They were in the fight until the end. They should just hope they don't have to meet the Tigers too many times in the finals, given the growing confidence of the men in black and white. The Tigers, who have won four straight, look ominous.

While the Tigers are still displaying that energy we all know, they have also shown mental strength over the past fortnight; coming from behind against first Manly and then last night St George Illawarra. Ben Hornby's sideline conversion appeared to have won the match for the Dragons, but the Tigers' response was so swift and so decisive the Dragons hardly had time to celebrate.

The rest of us, we can only hope these two vastly different sides do meet somewhere in September. Dour versus dazzle produced a ripper.

It was Tigers early. They should have led after just six minutes, when Marshall missed a penalty goal from in front. They were ruing misfortune rather than misdirection two minutes later when Dragons winger Jason Nightingale forced the ball out of Tigers centre Chris Lawrence's grasp as he attempted to plant it in the left corner.

The Dragons have built their season on strangling the life out of their opponents in the opening 20 minutes of each contest, but they were somewhat limp themselves in the period. They were extremely fortunate not to have points posted against them in that period, while never looking like scoring any themselves. After the first quarter, they looked out of gas.

And when their fullback Darius Boyd was pinned in-goal following a slip, giving the Tigers an unexpected repeat set, they were given another chance to put points on. Marshall ignored the chance to atone for his earlier miss, opting to kick for touch rather than between the posts from almost the same point, and fullback Tim Moltzen, this time, went close.

One of the league's most dangerous attacks against one of the best defences was resulting in stalemate.

This would be one of those occasions where the opening was going to count against someone - either the Dragons for the enormous amount of defensive work or the Tigers for their continued toil for no reward.

Eventually, against the run of play, possession, territory, logic and the earth's rotation, the Dragons nudged ahead. It came after Todd Payten and Aaron Woods had tipped Trent Merrin beyond the horizontal for a split-second, before he was righted. The Tigers were still penalised, five-eighth Jamie Soward knocked over the penalty goal and the Dragons had a surprise, albeit slim, lead.

It took little time for them to extend it, though. And as you would expect for a game this tight, an error to bring about the first try. Seven minutes into the second half, Soward's bomb was spilled by Moltzen; the ever-present Dean Young appeared to regain possession and send Boyd over.

They might not have been able to put the Tigers away in the opening 20 minutes but they had clearly frustrated their opponents. That was enough to give the Dragons an advantage.

However - and there always is one with the Tigers - no team can ever feel totally comfortable against Wests. Certainly, 8-0 is no place to start thinking about next week.

Camped in the Dragons' quarter after Marshall was given a bit of space, dragging defenders in, the ball went to hooker Robbie Farah on the final tackle - he lofted the ball and it was Liam Fulton, who somehow came down with the ball. The thud must have belted the life back into the Tigers, because four minutes later, they scored from inside their own half with Marshall creator and finisher.

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Post by smeghead » Sat 06 Aug, 2011 12:47 pm

Great to read there is a Kiama camp planned after next weeks Panthers clash
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Post by willow » Sat 06 Aug, 2011 12:50 pm

smeghead wrote:Great to read there is a Kiama camp planned after next weeks Panthers clash
I thought it was before the Panthers clash? Sheens mentioned in the post-match press conference that they go into camp this week coming up...unless I interpreted it wrong.

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Post by MacDougall » Sat 06 Aug, 2011 12:55 pm

That is fantastic news if it's this week. Get them out of the media spotlight to save them from becoming complacent.

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Post by smeghead » Sat 06 Aug, 2011 1:16 pm

Ah cool. I read it as next week but if its this week all power to them
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Post by tigernut » Sat 06 Aug, 2011 11:04 pm

Yes the camp starts Sunday 7-8-2011

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