Is 2010 the year of the Wests Tigers?

Michaelson

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So some bum from Crikey.com believes we are the real deal. Can't be a bad thing.

http://blogs.crikey.com.au/sports/2010/07/14/is-2010-the-year-of-the-wests-tigers/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Is 2010 the year of the Wests Tigers?
July 14, 2010 – 4:43 pm, by Crikey

Crikey Sports introduces Nick Tedeschi who writes for Punting Ace with his weekly From The Couch article — “one of the most popular rugby league pieces anywhere.”

Punting Ace’s Nick Tedeschi writes:

When the Wests Tigers shocked the rugby league world in 2005 by winning the NRL premiership, they did so on the back of youthful impetuousness, free-spirited enthusiasm and the self-belief that came from eight straight wins late in the season. The Tigers were unharnessed by Tim Sheens, an attacking force that ranked top of the NRL in point scoring with the Tigers averaging the more points scored per match than any team over the last five years.

Of the eighteen players who played 15-plus games, eleven were aged 25 or under with three of the Tigers four key playmakers among those eleven under 25\. Scott Prince was 25, Robbie Farah 21 and Benji Marshall 20\. Only Brett Hodgson as a 27 year old was a seasoned campaigner in the NRL with Prince playing only nine games for Brisbane in the two years before joining the Tigers in 2004\. The likes of Anthony Laffranchi, Chris Heighington, Bronson Harrison and Bryce Gibbs would all go on to play rep football but at the time were simply precocious talents looking for a break.

Essentially Tim Sheens rode the perfect wave. There was a power vacuum at the top of the premiership. Sheens rolled the dice with his exciting talent and they took him to the title.Sheens has been trying to recreate 2005 ever since and it has failed on each and every occasion. The Tigers have not even qualified for the finals since their shock 2005 premiership. The Tigers have oscillated between 9th and 11th over the last four seasons with a game style marked by attacking flair, lacklustre defence, inconsistency, frustration and an inability to win close games.

The blueprint of 2005 no longer works. The plan was outdated, obsolete. The rules of the game had changed when the Melbourne Storm Era began. Titles were now won on the back of stoic defence and a corridor attack.

It has taken the Tigers a half-decade to adapt but they have and that is why they must be considered legitimate title contenders this year.

The 2010 Wests Tigers are not built on flair, glitz and high-risk-high-reward play as were the Tigers teams of ‘06 to ‘09\. Benji and Robbie are still running the show under the stewardship of Tim Sheens and the likes of Heighington, Fulton, Gibbs, Payten and Fitzhenry are still Tigers but this is not the same Wests of years gone by. This is a mature unit with deeper reserves of will, a better understanding of how to win games, a defence that ranks among the best in the NRL and a willingness to sacrifice the flash for the cash. The team is older, smarter and better defensively.

2010 is not about the flick pass or the length of the field try. It is about the smart field goal before half-time, defending a small lead and playing the percentages.

Since 2006, every grand finalist has ranked in the top-four defensive teams, with eachof these teams bar Parramatta ranking in the top two in points conceded. The best the Tigers have ranked in that period is seventh. This year the Tigers rank fifth and over the last seven weeks they have allowed in excess of 14 points only once and that was against the league leading Dragons.

The Tigers have also shown an ability to win close games, a long-standing failing of the club in recent years. In matches decided by seven points or less, the Tigers have gone 5-1 this season. In the previous four years they have gone 11-16 in close matches. This year the Tigers have learnt how to grind out close victories.

The Wests Tigers are the real deal this year. Anything short of a preliminary final should be considered a disappointment.
 

matty_tiepie

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Nice read but i will be happy to just make the 8\. anything can happen from there. go the tigers!!!
 

Cultured_Bogan

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2010 is not about the flick pass or the length of the field try. It is about the smart field goal before half-time, defending a small lead and **playing the percentages.**

Someone forgot to tell Benji that last weekend when he kicked a shocker on the first tackle :wink:
 

supercoach

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I dont think we are going much better than the past four years except for the competition ladder. I know it might sound a bit hard, but I think we could struggle against most of the better teams. Anyway will be interesting, I think lui holds the key. If he can remain on the field and hold his game together over the next two and a bit months anything is possible.
 

Long_Distance_Tiger

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Good article. Hope he's right. I had a bit of a laugh when he said "The rules of the game had changed when the Melbourne Storm Era began." Yep - they changed alright. To win a comp you had to cheat the salary cap :laughing:
 

tig_prmz

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I agree, just let the tigs make the 8 and then the rest will take care of itself
 

underdog

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Interestingly we still lead the league in tries from within your own half. The flair, spark and ability to score tries from anywhere is still there, but it's now just one element of our team - not the ONLY element.
 

izotope

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according to the mexican walking fish he walked on the tigers!!! trying to copy paul the octopus lol
 

MGB

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"a defence that ranks among the best in the NRL"

Nostrodamus couldn't even have predicted that, who'd have thought it possible?
 

alien

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@izotope said:
according to the mexican walking fish he walked on the tigers!!! trying to copy paul the octopus lol

hmm yeah i saw that on the footy show :sign:
 
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