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Post by willow » Sun 17 Jun, 2012 5:38 pm

Wests Tigers lose high-scoring affair
Matt Trodden
Sunday 17 June 2012 5:00 PM

A second half scoring blitz was not enough for the Wests Tigers to overcome the Sydney Roosters in their Round 15 clash at Leichhardt Oval.

The Tigers turned around a 30-4 deficit to trail by just eight points late in the second half, but a late Martin Kennedy sealed the 42-28 result.

The home side started with an error in the 2nd minute, but scored in the 4th minute on their first attack of the Roosters line. Benji Marshall grubbered for Matt Utai, and he claimed the ball as Anthony Minichiello attempted to shield it into touch, scoring to put the Tigers in front 4-0.

Unwavered by the early setback, the Roosters struck back in the 9th minute, when Aidan Guerra crossed off a good short-ball by Frank-Paul Nuuausala to put the visitors in front 6-4.

On the back of four straight sets they struck again when Jared Waerea-Hargreaves scored a simple try off an Anthony Mitchell pass to stretch the lead to 12-4. But with all the momentum, Nuuausala spilled the ball from the next set and put the Tigers on the attack.

On the end of consecutive sets on the Roosters line the Tigers looked to have crossed when Ben Murdoch-Masila broke the line, but Anthony Minichiello stripped the ball and saved a try. As both sides struggled for control, the Roosters struck a vital blow right before the break with back-to-back tries.

Boyd Cordner grabbed the first when Jake Friend was ruled to have kicked the ball after fumbling it from a Nuuausala offload, with Cordner planting down under the posts in the 37th minute. He backed that up by busting the line and setting up Braith Anasta for a 24-4 halftime lead.

They struck first in the second half as well, with Lama Tasi spinning out of a tackle and crossing next to the posts to push the lead to 30-4 in the 51st minute.

The Tigers weren’t done with, as Keith Galloway crashed over next to the posts off a Benji Marshall pass to narrow the gap to 30-10 in the 56th minute. With all the momentum attacking the try-line, the Tigers put on a mad scramble on the last tackle, only for the resolute Roosters defence to hold them out.

From the ensuing set, Jake Friend broke the line from dummy half and put Mitchell Pearce over to extend the lead to 36-10 in the 61st minute.


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Post by willow » Sun 17 Jun, 2012 5:39 pm

Roosters hold off Tigers in NRL thriller
Ben Horne AAP Sun, Jun 17, 2012 - 5:06 PM


The Sydney Roosters scored seven tries and held on for dear life to record a thrilling 42-28 win over an emotional Wests Tigers, who had their seven-match NRL winning streak ended on Sunday.

It was confirmed just over an hour before kick-off that Sonia Farah, the mother of Tigers captain and NSW State of Origin star Robbie Farah, had died, losing her battle with pancreatic cancer.

The players stood on the field for a minute's silence and Tigers stand-in skipper in Farah's absence, Benji Marshall, appeared to be in tears as a heavy mood set over a packed-out Leichhardt Oval.

However after the opening whistle blew, it only took Marshall four minutes to break the match open, with a threaded grubber forcing an error in judgement from Roosters fullback Anthony Minichiello for winger Matt Utai to score.

But from there the Roosters dominated, scoring four first-half tries to put them ahead 36-10 with just under 20 minutes remaining before they were forced to hold on in the face of an exciting last-ditch flurry from the Tigers.

The home side posted four tries of their own in the final quarter of the game.

Frank-Paul Nuuausala was central in the Roosters' rampaging first half, coming up with six offloads and two try assists to help the visitors to a 24-4 lead at the break.

The New Zealand international threw a crisp pass to Aidan Guerra to give the Roosters a 6-4 lead, and after another Kiwi, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, bagged a try of his own, Nuuausala popped an offload in the 37th minute for Jake Friend to set up a gilt-edged try.

Much like Jarryd Hayne in Wednesday's State of Origin, Friend dropped the ball but managed to get a boot to it, allowing Boyd Cordner to dive over.

Future Tiger Braith Anasta then streaked 30 metres in the shadows of halftime and Lama Tasi barged over for the first try of the second half in what looked like the sealer.

However, Tigers prop Keith Galloway scored in the 56th minute, before Beau Ryan, Tim Moltzen and Chris Lawrence all crossed in a frantic six minutes in which the Tigers exhibited all their attacking might.

The Tigers trailed by eight with six minutes left and should have got a penalty in front for a high tackle on Marshall - but instead the Roosters survived and prop Martin Kennedy ended any hope of a miracle comeback.

The win meant the young Roosters kept within two wins of the top eight, and their finals hopes remain alive.

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Post by willow » Mon 18 Jun, 2012 6:06 am

Tigers rally around skipper after toughest loss of all
June 18, 2012


A DISAPPOINTING loss was placed within the context of a devastating loss yesterday. After the mother of Wests Tigers captain Robbie Farah died just hours before he was due to play against Sydney Roosters at Leichhardt Oval, the players were distraught and the coach unwilling to talk trivialities.

''To talk about the game and this, that and the other thing just seems a waste of time to me,'' Tigers coach Tim Sheens said.

''It's certainly not something I am particularly interested in.''

Nearby, his players were still shattered. Sheens, as well as centre Beau Ryan, addressed them after the match. Many of them had been visibly emotional during a moment's silence for Sonia Farah, who had lost her battle with pancreatic cancer about lunchtime.

Farah withdrew from the match yesterday morning, after being told his mother's condition was deteriorating. He text-messaged some teammates, including five-eighth Benji Marshall, about an hour-and-a-half before the game to inform them his mother had died. Marshall, who lost his own father, Mick Doherty, to pancreatic cancer, in 2009, was reduced to tears during the moment's silence.

''We just had to try to shut it out and get through the game,'' Sheens said. ''It's easier said than done.

''Obviously you have your friends and close friends, and a lot of them are close friends with Robbie. It's a close club, and the team will all be upset for Rob and his family.

''We feel more for Robbie than we do about anything else at the moment … that sort of thing affects a family, and we're a family here at the Wests Tigers. So there was a bit of an issue with it for sure.''

Sonia Farah's death came just days after her son had been lauded for his performance in State of Origin II at ANZ Stadium. Farah made 63 tackles - an Origin record - not knowing that his mother had been unable to attend the match because she had been taken to hospital that day.

Sheens admitted he had not been faced with a scenario like the one he did yesterday, of the players being forced to deal with a game-day tragedy. ''Beau spoke really well on behalf of the players from the point of view that we were tight, we would stick together and get Robbie through it,'' Sheens said. ''He was pretty upset, everyone was pretty upset. At the end of the day we have to face the fact we have to get on with life this week for us.

''As I say, the main aim for us anyway is to support Robbie. In the short term it's not about next week now, it's about Robbie this week and the family. All sorts of adversity happens during a long career or long season. You have your ups and downs. When things like that happen it makes playing rugby league a little insignificant … I haven't spoken to Rob yet so I don't want to be pre-empting how he feels or what he is going to say. He will be close to his family at the moment. We're his extended family here so the boys will gather around him as soon as we can.''

The death affected his opponents too. Roosters captain Braith Anasta, whose own mother Kim has battled breast cancer, said he knew something was wrong when Farah did not attend the pre-match coin toss. ''I did it with Benji and even he wasn't himself,'' Anasta said. ''I thought, 'This is strange.' Then 'Smithy' [coach Brian Smith] told me and it knocked me. I just felt for him. It's tough.''

Tigers chief executive Stephen Humphreys said Farah, and the other players, would be offered support this week. ''We'll do whatever we can to support Robbie and his family through this difficult period,'' he said.

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Post by willow » Mon 18 Jun, 2012 6:07 am

Five things we learnt from yesterday's match
June 18, 2012

1. Rugby league isn't everything.

The Tigers missed hooker Robbie Farah, although their mental state before kick-off and during the game might have been more of an issue for them than the absence of their captain, who had withdrawn a few hours before the match when his mother died. While the match was important for both sides, the result was pushed into the background by the sad event.


2. Masada Iosefa could be a handy buy.

''Could'' being the operative word. Iosefa was good in patches yesterday, but at other times the back-up hooker was caught short. If he can lose the errors, he will be a handy acquisition. He was bought by the Tigers as back-up for Farah, and with the captain proving himself as a State of Origin regular each time he steps on to the field in blue this year, Iosefa will come in handy.


3. The Roosters' forward pack is a match for any in the NRL.

Their front row of Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Martin Kennedy was superb yesterday, constantly worrying the Tigers, who have a handy pack themselves, while lock Frank-Paul Nuuausala produced one of his best performances in a Roosters jersey. When they are on, with the help of their big men, they can match it with the best.


4. Rugby league still needs Leichhardt.

With the game eyeing off new stadium deals, where does that leave Leichhardt? The ARLC needs to retain an element of the suburban fixture in its future. The hill was heaving yesterday, as it always is. While the money to remake or refurbish the famous ground might not be there, there has to be room for the odd suburban game in amongst the stadiums.


5. The Roosters could finish fast.

Now that they they are winning again, the Roosters could keep it up. Their draw in the next few weeks appears kind: they play Penrith, Gold Coast, St George Illawarra, Parramatta and Canberra. By the time they face Wests Tigers and the Bulldogs in the final two weekends, they might be in a confident mood.

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Post by willow » Mon 18 Jun, 2012 6:13 am

Sydney Roosters beat Wests Tigers 42-28 in NRL round 15 clash

Andrew Webster
The Daily Telegraph
June 18, 2012 12:00AM


IT'S only a game.

How many times have you said that to yourself? Thought it? Used it after a loss to square away with yourself how you are feeling? That you shouldn't feel so low over something as trivial as a game of footy?

Then something comes along like the death of Wests Tigers captain Robbie Farah's mum Sonia yesterday morning, her brave battle with pancreatic cancer now over.

It's only a game - but a footy club is also a family.

"This is the sort of thing that affects a family," Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens said through a wavering voice. "And we're a family here at the Wests Tigers."

For the record, the Tigers lost 42-28 at Leichhardt Oval, breaking their seven-match winning streak, but all that seemed pointless as the shadows lengthened and the cold set in at the iconic suburban ground.

"To talk about the game today seems like a waste of time for me," Sheens said. "It's something I'm not particularly interested in. When things like that happen, it makes playing rugby league a little insignificant."

That's Tim Sheens talking. The bloke would normally talk endlessly about rugby league, and could probably do so under 10-foot of wet cement. Last night, he didn't care. It's only a game.

Sheens had seen stand-in captain Benji Marshall break down on the field as a minute's silence was observed as a mark of respect.Teammates ran in to console him. Four minutes later, he placed a perfect grubber kick into the corner for winger Matt Utai to score the opening points.

From there, though, the emotion of the day appeared to get the better of the Tigers as much as the Roosters' rampant forward pack.

The visitors ran in 24 unanswered points to lead 24-4 at half-time. They blew that lead out to 36-10 with 19 minutes to play, before the Tigers resorted to the brand of footy you play when you are a kid, when it is just a game.

Three tries in six minutes dragged them back into the contest before Roosters prop Martin Kennedy steamrolled over with two minutes remaining.When they came off the field and found themselves in the dressing-rooms, looking into each other's eyes, that's when it hit the Tigers players.

"They are feeling it right now," Sheens said. "More so now than before the game, although the minute's silence really affected a few of them, too."Then the hardened coach within him flickered, just for a moment.

"We're not using it as any excuse," Sheens said. "There are reasons why you lose games, that's one of them.

"Dropping ball and giving away penalties is another, and we did all of that today."

The Tigers players were too distraught to speak last night.

Just what effect Sonia Farah's passing has on their captain, and his teammates, for the rest of the season remains to be seen.

Farah was NSW's best player on the field in their Origin win last Wednesday night. What will it mean for game three? His mum's battle with a brutal disease has inspired his footy. How will it affect him now she is gone?

Sheens doesn't know.

"He's known it's been coming," the coach said. "People who have dealt with cancer in their family know there's an inevitability. He was told that some time back.

"When it happens, it happens and you're still going to be very upset by it. In the short term, it's not about next week. It's about Robbie and his family."

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