Tigers wary of another sluggish start

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Tigers wary of another sluggish start
STEVE JANCETIC
July 24, 2010 - 10:24AM

AAP

The NRL ladder may reflect the final 20 minutes, but Wests Tigers haven't forgotten about the opening hour of their season-opening clash against Manly.

Simply put, the Tigers were belted all over the park in a match which at time looked likes boys against men.

The likes of Anthony Watmough, Jason King and George Rose did as they pleased as the Sea Eagles stormed away to lead 20-4 after 60 minutes - before Benji Marshall and Lote Tuqiri somehow combined to steal the game away with an avalanche of points late in the game.

But heading into Sunday's return bout at Gosford's Bluetongue Stadium, it's the first 60 minutes that the Tigers are recalling.

"I think they're one of the biggest front row interchanges, the size of the boys they bring on, so it's a good test for our middle," assistant coach Peter Gentle said of the Sea Eagles' pack.

"It's no secret that's where they'll be coming.

"That's where all their strength is and with young (Ben) Farrar at the back sniffing around the middle and Watmough and (Glenn) Stewart coming back through the middle - it's a real test for our middle to get on top and win that battle."

The Sea Eagles put some indifferent form behind them as they thumped Cronulla 48-18 last weekend, while the Tigers again highlighted their inconsistency as they fell behind 16-0 to North Queensland on Monday night before eventually running out 26-16 winners.

While the comeback effort will no doubt provide a lift in confidence, the biggest plus out of Monday night may have been the return of Robert Lui from a knee injury in the under 20s curtain raiser.

Lui's return to the top grade on Sunday gives the Tigers a more familiar look with Marshall shifting back to five-eighth and Chris Lawrence to centre, skipper Robbie Farah admitting Lui's return had the potential to make the side more dangerous in attack.

"But (Lui's) going to need some time to get back into the swing of things," Farah cautioned.

"He's been out for five or six weeks and played under 20s last week.

"We're not expecting him to come back and be a miracle worker straight away, but I think with some time and if we continue to work on it I think we can definitely be more fluent in our attack."

The neutral venue has been a happy hunting ground for both sides, though one of the Sea Eagles (five from five) and the Tigers (three from three) will see their perfect record broken.
 

bradexl

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I also watched the tigers a few years ago thump souths in a trial and give it to the sharks this year in a trial also at bluetongue so that makes us 5 from 5 too…
 

prattenpark

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they only have to go back to the first 40 of Monday's game to be reminded of a sluggish start. They need to be on their game from the kick-off tomorrow.
 

citizen_cub

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We need to get out of this comeback cycle soon because one, the better teams will put us to the sword and two, I wouldn't like our chances of winning a game from behind in the finals, whether that be St George, Parra or whoever we play. We've got to start getting into better habits now. Manly's finishes have been pretty sluggish as well, so in that aspect it could work for a very interesting game.
 

westTAHger

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@citizen cub said:
We need to get out of this comeback cycle soon because one, the better teams will put us to the sword and two, I wouldn't like our chances of winning a game from behind in the finals, whether that be St George, Parra or whoever we play. We've got to start getting into better habits now. Manly's finishes have been pretty sluggish as well, so in that aspect it could work for a very interesting game.

I agree, don't give them a lead.
apply pressure to the throat, and stop any chance of any opponent winning, once west-tigers in front.
 

Balmain_Tiger

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as much of a confidence boost it is to be able to come back from such large margins it would be an even greater boost if we can get in front first and maintain a lead
 

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