Media Reports



Wests Tigers move into top eight with 17-10 win over Sydney Roosters
By Todd Balym
August 09, 2009 Wests Tigers secured their fifth straight win and moved into the NRL top eight with a 17-10 victory over the Sydney Roosters at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday.

A second half double to winger Beau Ryan and a heavy penalty count in their favour ensured the Tigers kept their 2009 fightback on track in front of 16,427 fans.

It wasn't a vintage performance by the Tigers, with the Roosters dominating the first-half but only taking an 8-4 lead into the break.

However they showed more direction in the second 40 minutes to overpower a gallant Roosters side.

Ryan's first try came in the 55th minute, while Roosters centre Mitchell Aubusson was in the sin bin, and Benji Marshall's sideline conversion gave the Tigers the lead for the first time.

Roosters five-eighth Anthony Minichiello should have reclaimed the lead three minutes later but a brilliant trysaving tackle by Tim Moltzen denied the home side.

The Roosters pulled level with a rare penalty in the 60th minute, but the Tigers lifted another gear for the final quarter of the game.

Marshall set up Ryan's second try in the 66th minute off an attacking scrum before Robbie Farah sealed the result with a 75th minute field goal from 15m out.

The Roosters led 8-4 at half-time thanks to tries to Setaimata Sa and Shaun Kenny-Dowall.

The Tigers had all the early ball but it was Roosters centre Sa who crossed after just six minutes when fill-in pivot Minichiello executed a brilliant catch-pass with his first touch in the unfamiliar playmaker role.

Kenny-Dowall extended the lead 12 minutes later following a midfield break by skipper Craig Fitzgibbon.

The Tigers were going nowhere in attack until tryscoring winger Taniela Tuiaki sparked a four-pointer from nothing, kicking and regathering to score in the 31st minute.

Wests did suffer an early setback with fullback Shannon Gallant sustaining a calf strain in the first half.


By Wayne Cousins
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Wests Tigers have kept their finals hopes alive with a hard fought 17-10 victory over the Sydney Roosters at the Sydney Football Stadium today in round 22 of the Telstra Premiership.

In front of a crowd of 16,427, the win made it five straight victories for the Wests Tigers to move them to 24 points and into seventh position.

It was a hard fought win for the Wests Tigers who appeared to be very flat after their gusty win over premiers Manly last Monday night. The Roosters threw plenty at the Wests Tigers but in the end, the Wests Tigers prevailed to again "own the SFS turf".
Wests Tigers lost centre Chris Lawrence with a hamstring injury and has been replaced by centre Dean Collis. The Roosters have no changes. Blake Ayshford has moved to the left centre position to partner winger Taniela Tuiaki.

The Roosters knocked on in the opening set, giving Wests Tigers a scrum win and feed in the first minute of play. Wests Tigers got a penalty three plays later 10 metres out from the Roosters line.

A grubber kick on the last tackle by hooker and captain Robbie Farah saw the Wests Tigers get a repeat set from a goal line drop out. Ayshford went close to scoring but was held out. The pressure was relieved when second-rower Gareth Ellis was penalised for not playing the ball straight.

The Roosters took advantage of the penalty and opened the scoring when the ball was spread left for centre Setaimata Sa to dive over in the corner. It came on the back of a break by lock and captain Craig Fitzgibbon.

Fitzgibbon failed to convert the try for a 4-0 lead after seven minutes.

Wests Tigers went on the attack in the 17th minute through a repeat set but the Roosters defence remained strong. The Roosters then got a penalty on half-way in the next set from the re-start.

The Roosters jumped to an 8-0 lead when winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall scored in the corner after the ball was spread right through several hands.
Fitzgibbon failed to convert the try in the 20th minute.

Wests Tigers full-back Shannon Gallant left the field with an injury in the 24th minute. John Morris came on and moved to half with half-back Tim Moltzen shifting back to full-back.

Video referee Phil Cooley was called on in the 31st minute to rule on a possible try to winger Taniela Tuiaki. Tuiaki had made a break down the left flank and kicked the ball through with his left foot before placing his hands on the ball to score in the corner. The try was awarded for an 8-4 scoreline.

Marshall failed to convert from the sideline for an 8-4 scoreline after 32 minutes.

The score remained that way until half-time. Club doctor Donald Kuah says Gallant has a calf strain in his left leg.

2nd Half
Referee Gavin Badger called on the video referee again in the 44th minute to rule on a possible try to Tuiaki in the corner after Farah appeared to have ran behind Ellis before a long cut out pass to Tuiaki to score. It was ruled no try.

Badger sent Roosters centre Mitchell Aubusson to the sin-bin in the 47th minute for holding down Tuiaki too long in a tackle 10 metres out from the tryline. Wests Tigers got a repeat set after the ball was touched but the pressure was relieved when Badger ruled prop John Skandalis lost the ball in a tackle five metres from the tryline.

Wests Tigers drew level when a grubber kick by Morris into the left corner saw winger Beau Ryan dive on the loose ball to score. The Roosters supporters and Fitzgibbon blew up after the try came on the back of a penalty to the Wests Tigers afterit was ruled the ball was stripped in tackle and not lost. The penalty count is 9-5 to Wests Tigers.

Marshall converted the try from the sideline for a 10-8 lead, much to the roar of the Wests Tigers supporters, who clearly outnumber their Roosters counterparts.

Moltzen and Ryan then pulled off a trysaving tackle on Roosters five-eighth Anthony Minichiello by taking him into touch after an offload by Willie Mason.

Wests Tigers prop Bryce Gibbs was penalised in the 61st minute for being offside in front of his posts. Fitzgibbon converted the try for a 10-10 scoreline with 18 minutes remaining.

A smart play by Ryan on the last tackle saw him kick the ball just metres from the Roosters tryline. The ball was taken by the Roosters and passed back inside but the touch judge ruled the Roosters player had a foot on the line, giving Wests Tigers a scrum feed 10 metres out.
A pass by Marshall to Tuiaki was knocked down five metres short of the tryline by Kenny-Dowall to give Wests Tigers the scrum feed.

From the scrum win, the ball was spread right for Marshall to offload to Collis for Ryan to dive over out wide for a 14-10 lead. Marshall converted the try for a 16-10 lead with 12 minutes remaining.

Moltzen looked set to score under the posts nine minutes from full-time after making a great break but lost the ball just metres from the line.

Wests Tigers dug deep in defence and kept the Roosters at bay just metres from their line with six minutes remaining.

A much needed 40-20 kick by Marshall saw Wests Tigers get the scrum feed 10 metres out in the 75th minute. Farah took the early option on the third tackle and calmly landed a field goal from in front for a 17-10 lead with four minutes remaining.

Wests Tigers got a scrum feed 10 metres out in the 78th minute after a pass by Ellis to Tuiaki on the last tackle was touched by a Roosters player. Marshall ran acrossfield and beat Minichiello before being tackled into touch just short of the line.

Wests Tigers held on to record a tough win.


Ryan double saves Tigers
Posted August 9, 2009 16:01:00
Updated August 9, 2009 17:19:00

The Tigers and the Roosters ground out a close battle in Sydney on Sunday afternoon but it was Beau Ryan's pair of tries that sealed the 17-10 victory for Wests.

The Tigers have now won five straight as they continue their climb to what was seen a few short rounds ago as an unlikely appearance in the top eight.

Wests have not appeared in the NRL finals since they won their last premiership in 2005.

It was a low-scoring affair at the Sydney Football Stadium that saw both sides drop their workload at times.

Ryan was a spark of offensive flair for the Tigers as he ran in two crucial four-pointers, including one that tied the game.

The Roosters desperately needed the two competition points to boost themselves from the bottom of the ladder and overtake the Sharks.

Cronulla has the chance to do the same tomorrow night when it meets the embattled Broncos at Lang Park in Brisbane.

For a team with an ever-diminishing chance of a finals berth, the Tigers hardly played with enthusiasm or passion in the first stanza.

They did show the occasional example of attacking prowess before the half-time siren, the most effective of which led to Wests' first four-pointer.

But whatever coach Tim Sheens told his men in the sheds it seemed to work and the Tigers upped the tempo after the break.

Sheens offered a scathing review of his troops despite the victory.

"They were here to win and we were playing poorly," he told Grandstand after the game.

"We weren't smart today, but when we had to win it we won it.

"The field goal was a good set-up but we botched one earlier … we did a lot of silly things today."

Bryce Gibbs, who had 15 tackles and nine hit-ups for Wests, had a more encouraging view.

"We're starting to win games on defence," he said.

"We're known as an attacking team ... but we're just taking every game as it comes."

The Roosters had good field position for much of the first half and looked to be in control despite the tight scoreline at the break.

Within seven minutes of the opening kick-off, Setaimata Sa had crossed for the Chooks, one tackle after Craig Fitzgibbon made his presence felt with an explosive run up the middle.

Fitzgibbon finished with 38 tackles and eight hit-ups for the Roosters.

Wests had the advantage of numbers for a portion of the second half though, with Roosters centre Mitch Aubusson sin-binned for laying too long in a tackle on John Morris.

Benji Marshall capitalised on the hole in the opposition defence by popping a perfectly timed kick for Ryan to bundle across in the corner for his second.

Robbie Farah iced the Roosters' hopes of climbing out of the cellar with a field goal in the 76th minute.


Wests Tigers move into top eight with 17-10 win over Sydney Roosters
By Todd Balym

August 09, 2009 Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens believes NRL players are "playing in skirts", while Sydney Roosters coach Brad Fittler accused referees of being overly aggressive in a bitter aftermath to Sunday's clash at the Sydney Football Stadium.

The Tigers won the game 17-10, but it was the performance of referees Gavin Badger, Tony de las Heras and Phil Cooley (video referee) that left both coaches seething.

Sheens was furious Taniela Tuiaki was denied his second try in the 44th minute because Robbie Farah ran behind John Skandalis, who collided ever-so-softly with Roosters defender Riley Brown.

The no-try ruling by Cooley didn't cost the Tigers the competition points as they went on to claim their fifth straight win to step into the NRL top eight, but Sheens was furious.

"We're playing in skirts. That is ridiculous," said Sheens.

"If that stopped that try you've got to be kidding me. He was no chance at catching Robbie, the player that was so-called obstructed.

"That's how they (referees) react when they cop a bake from their coach during training during the week or from you guys in the media.

"They panic and go the other end of the scale and make another mistake.

"That was a try, it was always a try, it's ridiculous."

While Sheens let his feelings known after the game, Roosters captain Craig Fitzgibbon lost his cool on the field as he charged towards the referees shouting and gesturing after Beau Ryan scored in the 55th minute to give the Tigers a 10-8 lead.

With Mitchell Aubusson already in the sin bin for a ruck offence after a Tigers break, an angered Fitzgibbon was warned to calm his emotions by Badger or he would join his teammate on the sidelines.

"I probably crossed the line a little bit there. As for putting my passion and commitment in my back pocket, I'm not doing that," said Fitzgibbon.

"It's just hard, we're coming last and everything is stacked against us for starters and then a couple of things go their way and you're busting your arse and, heaven forbid, you question a decision. Big deal.

"I can understand we give penalties away and I'm not disputing that but, as for other teams, it's just beyond me.

"It could be a poor me syndrome from us too. We're probably whinging a little bit because we're coming last and it's going against us. (But) I'm not going to stop (asking questions) either until it turns."

Fittler said the problem wasn't that referees made bad decisions - he hates their attitude.

"I hate the attitude they take into the game. They're so aggressive with the way they talk to players," said Fittler.

"They talk about respect, the only way they should be getting respect back is if a bloke talks to them they should be just marching them 10 metres. That's the way you're going to get respect.
"The way they bark … it kills me."

The Roosters led 8-4 at half-time thanks to tries to Setaimata Sa and Shaun Kenny-Dowall but couldn't get across the stripe in the second half.

Anthony Minichiello went closest, but he was brilliantly dragged down in a trysaving tackle by Tim Moltzen in the 58th minute.

A second half double to Beau Ryan and 75th minute field goal by Robbie Farah secured the come-from-behind victory and moved the Tigers to seventh on the NRL table.