Wests Tigers Season Preview: Forwards

All First Grade related topics in regards to the off-season through to Season 2012
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tigersrule4life
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Wests Tigers Season Preview: Forwards

Post by tigersrule4life » Mon 06 Feb, 2012 6:19 pm

WESTS TIGERS
Season Preview - Forwards

With the addition of Adam Blair, Wests Tigers forward pack is arguably the best in the competition leading into season 2012. The retirement of respected prop Todd Payten and the departure of Bryce Gibbs and Andrew Fifita has opened spots in the top 17 for the next wave of young talent from Tigertown.

How do Wests Tigers’ forwards stack up entering 2012?

FRONT ROW:
Keith Galloway earned his Kangaroo jumper and will start 2012 as the top dog up front. Aaron Woods improved every week in his rookie season and could well partner Galloway should Adam Blair start in the backrow. Matthew Bell was signed from the Panthers to give the Tigers added depth and experience in the engine room while the promising Matt Groat made a solid impact in his few top grade games. Ben Murdoch-Masila, Junior Moors and U20s forward Mosese Fotuaika can all play up front as can former Salford prop Jack Spencer.

Top Metre Eater: Keith Galloway averaged 13.1 Runs and 110.7 Metres Gained in 2011 and 37.67 Dream Team Points Per Game.

HOOKER:
Captain Robbie Farah battled an ongoing groin injury during 2012 and when it improved, it was no coincidence that the Wests Tigers started on their nine game winning streak. He’s one of a handful of number nines in the NRL who can do everything from dummy half. Patrick Politoni is considered as a more than suitable back up if required. Another option available to coach Tim Sheens is new recruit Tom Humble from Parramatta who can cover a number of positions.

Tackling Machine: Robbie Farah averaged 35.5 Tackles in 2011 and 54.54 Dream Team Points Per Game.

SECOND ROW:
England international second rower Gareth Ellis has won the Wests Tigers 'Player of the Year' award in his three seasons in the NRL but there are a number of contenders for spots alongside him in the backrow. If Blair is not utilised at prop he is likely to start there while English international Chris Heighington did a fine job at lock last season. There is plenty of depth there in the reliable Liam Fulton along with Parramatta recruit Joel Reddy, who could be converted into a utlity. Other options are Ben Murdoch-Masila and Shaun Spence.

Workhorse: Chris Heighington averaged 28.2 Tackles, 15 Runs and 108.3 Metres Gained in 2011 and 48.96 Dream Team Points Per Game.

The Bottom Line:
Farah is the straw that stirs the drink at the Wests Tigers. With the addition of Blair, Farah is surrounded by an international quality forward pack which should give Kiwi Test five-eighth Benji Marshall plenty of room to weave his magic.

http://www.weststigers.com.au/default.a ... w-forwards


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TheDen
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Post by TheDen » Mon 06 Feb, 2012 7:27 pm

Think you will find Ayshford used in the backrow before Reddy, although Beau did have a few stints there last season so Reddy could be an option too.

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Post by andrew 474 » Mon 06 Feb, 2012 8:22 pm

all this forward pack talk , lets start the comp on saturday , cant wait for round 1 , BRING IT

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Post by willow » Mon 06 Feb, 2012 9:29 pm

Fair assessment IMO. The Tigers certainly don't lack in size, skill and aggression this year.

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Post by happy tiger » Tue 07 Feb, 2012 2:24 am

Lets just hope the majority of the forwards are 100% fit throughout the whole season and we are full strength when the semis roll around That will be the key to our season Lose a few big men and our season could be belly up before you know it


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Post by everett » Tue 07 Feb, 2012 8:12 am

Good assessment. Injuries will be the key.

I don't know his name but the player who wore Number 23 in the BRET trial looks a very huge unit and hopefully can be another option in the forward pack this year.

I hope Junior Moors steps up this year. Was a very promising junior for Penrith.
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Post by hybrid_tiger » Tue 07 Feb, 2012 9:06 am

I still think we are a prop short.

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Post by happy tiger » Tue 07 Feb, 2012 9:30 am

hybrid_tiger wrote:I still think we are a prop short.
We will be if injuries strike Hybrid > But I think a few of our second rowers (Blair and Ellis) will be stepping up as props If required we do have a bit of depth in the second row (if you include Reddy and Ayshford)

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Post by alex » Tue 07 Feb, 2012 10:18 am

tigersrule4life wrote: The Bottom Line:
Farah is the straw that stirs the drink at the Wests Tigers. With the addition of Blair, Farah is surrounded by an international quality forward pack which should give Kiwi Test five-eighth Benji Marshall plenty of room to weave his magic.
Bit of a turn around, isn't it? 5 years ago we were criticised for our forward pack, and now our whole back row are all internationals, as well as KG and Farah. Add guys like Woods who are in the emerging Blues squad and BMM who's played for the junior Kiwis, we've definitely got one of the top forward packs in the comp.

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Post by stryker » Tue 07 Feb, 2012 5:54 pm

I see no weakness in either our starting 6 or our depth in the pack. Injuries will happen during the year but our replacements are so good that we wont lose too much.

Benji is our only irreplaceable player for mine.

We have a very strong side.

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Post by Benjirific » Tue 07 Feb, 2012 10:48 pm

Pretty much on the mark - I'd say Fulton is probably in line as a back-up hooker if Robbie is in Origin for a week or two, but other than that it hits the mark.

Does anyone know who wrote it??? Doesn't seem like the kind of thing WT pump out on their website, most of that is just about community stuff and proms.....

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Post by andrew 474 » Tue 07 Feb, 2012 11:28 pm

who says farrah will play origin , i like farrah and he leads us as part of a great team , but as seen by our own coach he may be behind others just like on tour , he did not make the top team , and i am happy for that as we need him at our games , a grand final in our comp is better than beating the poms as most of our guys only get 1 chance at our glory on home turf worry about grandfinal first thats what they are paid for

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Post by LaT » Wed 08 Feb, 2012 1:15 am

Farah didn't get a shot because of Cam Smith in the Test side.

In Origin its a 2 horse race between Ennis and Farah.

I hope Farah gets off to a great start this year, as opposed to the last few where he struggled with his groin early on.
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Post by supercoach » Wed 08 Feb, 2012 3:35 am

I love having a in form Fulton on the field. He adds so much to the team. No Payten this year to do the clever stuff around the rucks and no Gibbs to mop up the mess,thats why we need Fulton on the field for long stints in 2012, he can do both things, defend and ball play

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Post by coolcat » Wed 08 Feb, 2012 11:29 am

I think rhino will get the spot in round one. But say that Fulton in form beside Blair and Ellis would fly under the radar of most team reviews and with his handling and tackling could add so much more


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