NRL: Wests Tigers lose 32-6 to Rabbitohs
By Wayne Cousins
Sunday 29 July 2012 4:40 PM
NRL: Wests Tigers lose 32-6 to Rabbitohs
Wests Tigers suffered a disappointing 32-6 loss to South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium today in round 21 of the Telstra Premiership.
Plagued by a heavy injury toll, Wests Tigers Head Coach Tim Sheens promoted exciting Fijian winger Marika Koroibete from the U20s to make his NRL debut on the left wing outside of new centre Tim Simona.
Winger Beau Ryan moved to full-back with utility Tom Humble added to the interchange bench.
South Sydney opened the scoring in the 17th minute when hooker Nathan Peats burrowed his way over from dummy half through the tackle of Robbie Farah to score out wide. Half-back Adam Reynolds converted the try for a 6-0 lead.
Reynolds extended the lead to 8-0 in the 22nd minute when he landed a 35 metre penalty goal after Wests Tigers were penalised for raking the ball out in a tackle on David Taylor.
Peats was awarded his second try on the benefit of the doubt after he again dived over from dummy half despite the best intentions of full-back Beau Ryan to hold him up. Reynolds converted the try to give South Sydney a 14-0 lead after 25 minutes.
Wests Tigers came close to scoring in the 32nd minute through Koroibete but the fumbled the final pass from centre Tim Simona into touch.
South Sydney capitalised on the mistake in the next set when five-eighth John Sutton brushed off Adam Blair and Masada Iosefa to send full-back Nathan Merritt on an untouched run to the tryline to finish off a 60 metre try. Reynolds converted the try for a 20-0 lead.
The Rabbitohs extended their lead to 24-0 when Reynolds made a break down the sideline to turn Koroibete inside and out before sending centre Dylan Farrell over for a try. Reynolds converted from close range for a 26-0 lead after 57 minutes.
Three minutes later, it became 30-0 when forward Jason Clark crashed low through the tackles of Ray Cashmere and Gareth Ellis to score next to the posts. Reynolds converted the try for a 32-0 lead.
Wests Tigers got on the board through a try to five-eighth Benji Marshall from a grubber kick by Farah in the 67th minute. Marshall converted his own try to leave Wests Tigers trailing 32-6.
Ryan was disallowed a try in the 77th minute after the video referee ruled an obstruction.
The loss saw Wests Tigers slip from eighth to 10th place on the ladder. Wests Tigers play Parramatta Eels in a must win match at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Monday, August 6, at 7pm.
Wests Tigers team
25 Tim Simona, 2 Matt Utai, 3 Blake Ayshford, 5 Beau Ryan, 23 Marika Koroibete, 7 Benji Marshall, 9 Robbie Farah , 8 Aaron Woods, 18 Masada Iosefa, 10 Adam Blair, 11 Liam Fulton, 12 Gareth Ellis, 13 Chris Heighington; interchange: Junior Moors, 16 Matt Bell, 17 Ray Cashmere, 22 Tom Humble
Souths move up to second after thumping Tigers
July 29, 2012 - 5:01PM
South Sydney are not a one-man team - or even a two-man team - judging by today’s clinical 32-6 NRL thumping of Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium.
Missing from the red and green line-up were suspended duo Issac Luke and Greg Inglis, long thought the key elements to any South Sydney victory, but their absence was barely felt at all.
Instead it was the Tigers, missing seven themselves to injury including fullback Tim Moltzen and centre Chris Lawrence, who looked off the pace, playing too much side-to-side football and struggling to create chances in attack.
The victory ensures South Sydney will play NRL finals for the first time since 2007, but unlike five years ago this Rabbitohs outfit won’t limp into September in eighth spot.
In fact they’ll be arguably the most in-form team in the competition, such was their ruthless disposal of the pre-season favourites.
Souths set up the win with a nearly flawless first half, completing 17 of 18 sets to take a 20-0 lead into the break on the back of a double to hooker Nathan Peats, filling in more than capably for Luke.
Inglis’ replacement at the back, try-scoring machine Nathan Merritt, chimed in after 33 minutes, backing up a John Sutton line-break to score his 12th try of the season.
Not to be outdone, Souths’ halves showed off in the second half, delighting the 29,863-strong crowd.
Rookie halfback Adam Reynolds ran circles around debutant Tigers winger Marika Koroibete to set up Dylan Farrell, while Sutton continued his hot form in the lead-up to Jason Clark’s second-half four-pointer.
With Curtis Sironen ruled out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, Benji Marshall reverted to his five-eighth role while captain Robbie Farah played halfback.
The combination failed to generate many positive results in attack, although the pair did combine 13 minutes from fulltime when Marshall grounded a Farah grubber kick to score a consolation try.
After starting the weekend in eighth place, the Tigers slip to 10th following the loss.
Wests Tigers’ NRL finals hopes take a hit
July 29, 2012 - 7:19PM
Tim Sheens accused his Wests Tigers of lacking desperation as their run to the NRL finals hit another skid on Sunday.
The Tigers looked lifeless as they capitulated 32-6 to a rampant South Sydney side making a serious charge for the minor premiership.
Coming up against a Rabbitohs outfit missing gun hooker Issac Luke and superstar fullback Greg Inglis, the Tigers were meant to be a fair chance of strengthening their finals aspirations.
Instead they fell apart in front of 29,683 fans, unable to overcome their own personnel losses that included fullback Tim Moltzen and centre Chris Lawrence.
On top of that, Sheens said his players were guilty of having one eye on the draw and were praying for results to go their way rather than focusing 100 per cent on game day.
Sheens said it came down to desperation - something the Gold Coast, who moved into eighth spot with Friday night’s win over the Sydney Roosters, have been playing with for nearly two months.
“It’s amazing the strength you (can) find when you’re in that position,” Sheens said.
"Gold Coast and others are playing with that desperation (and a) ‘we’ve got to win, we’ve got to win’ mentality.
“That’s where we’re at now.”
The Tigers have slipped outside the top eight on for-and-against, with captain Robbie Farah admitting they were now chasing the pack - and no longer in control of their own destiny.
Farah lamented the below-par performance, singling out himself and makeshift halves partner Benji Marshall, who scored a late consolation try, for criticism.
As the Tigers’ two best players, many expected their union would ensure the attack did not skip a beat.
It could not have been further from the case, the Tigers playing too much side-to-side football and struggling to create chances.
“We just didn’t play the way we liked (to),” Farah admitted.
"That’s probably the worst game I’ve played in a long time and I don’t think Benji would be too happy with his game.
"We control that team (and) touch the ball the most out of any other player and when we play poorly, we’re not going to win games.
“I’ve been around a while and thought I could handle it (positional changes) but obviously I didn’t do as well as I would have liked.”
Moltzen (hamstring) and prop Keith Galloway (shoulder) could be available for the next clash against Parramatta, but Sheens warned that wouldn’t be an instant solution.
“We’re not going to offer any excuses. We just weren’t good enough today,” a dejected Sheens said.
“People tried hard but we didn’t work together as a unit … it was pretty disappointing.”
Tim Sheens: ‘we weren’t good enough’
By Wayne Cousins
Sunday 29 July 2012 6:56 PM
Wests Tigers Head Coach Tim Sheens was offering no excuses. Captain and stand in half-back Robbie Farah was just as honest in summarising the 32-6 loss to South Sydney at ANZ Stadium today.
The loss saw Wests Tigers slip from eighth to 10th place to be joined on 22 points by Gold Coast (8th) and Newcastle (9th). St George-Illawarra are also on 22 points in 11th position.
Sheens said his side ‘weren’t good enough today’.
“The first 20 minutes we were in the game, the first 20 minutes of the second half we held them but the last part of each half we were just not strong enough,’’ Sheens said post match.
“Nothing bounced our way either. The only positive is that we came out with no further injuries to the current squad and some chance of a couple coming back next week (against Parramatta).
“I think (Keith) Galloway and (Tim) Moltzen will both be available. With the long week till the Monday (game at Campbelltown), it’s probably a bonus for us to lick our wounds and get ourselves back, get our heads around where we need to be and what we need to do, and get some training in…make some decisions on selections and then get on with it.”
Sheens said two soft dummy half tries to Souths hooker Nathan Peats in the first half ‘broke’ the side whilst Farah vowed they would keep on fighting to make the finals.
Farah added the heavy injury toll the team from the Cowboys match had not helped the side’s preparation.
“It was (hard) but we were confident with the team we had. We just didn’t play the way we like,’’ Farah said.
“When your two playmakers, myself and Benji (Marshall)…that’s probably the worst game I have played in a long time. I don’t think Benji would be too happy with his game either.
“We control that team, touch the ball the most out of any other players. When we play poorly, we are not going to win games.
“There were other things that went wrong but I guess when individuals, myself included, aren’t playing well, we are not going to give ourselves a chance.
“It was always going to be hard with the injuries we had, the fact that we had to chop and change there.
“I’ve been around a while. I thought I could handle it (half-back) but obviously I didn’t do as well as I would have liked.”
Sheens added that whilst his players tried hard, they didn’t work together as a unit defensively and offensively.
“By the end of each half, we were brain dead so we looked worse. Chasing points at the back end of that second half, we looked like an A grade side. It was pretty disappointing.”
Five things we learnt from yesterday’s match
July 30, 2012
1.Nathan Merritt is the best back-up fullback in the NRL.
The South Sydney flyer would be the first-choice fullback at most clubs. His support play is second to none, showing again yesterday how dangerous he can be when he’s sniffing around the middle of the field. If he didn’t miss the first half of the year, he could have played Origin this year.
Nathan Peats is going to play a big part in Souths’ finals campaign.
Issac Luke’s three-week suspension could be a blessing in disguise for the Bunnies. Not only does it give Luke the chance to freshen up before the semi-finals, it’s given coach Michael Maguire the opportunity to see if Peats has the wares to handle the pressure-cooker games at the end of the season. With his two-try feat, Peats ensured he’ll be on the bench in September
The Rabbitohs’ halves could be the next Blues pairing.
Adam Reynolds has received plenty of applause for his rookie season, but John Sutton has been an unsung hero for Souths. He’s finally beginning to fulfil his potential. On his day, he is one of the most damaging ball-runners in the game and he was exactly that yesterday. He’s also developed as an organiser and has a patience to his game that complements Reynolds and could be handy for NSW.
The Tigers will rue surrendering so many points.
The top eight is likely to be decided on points differential and if the Tigers miss out, they can look back on yesterday’s game as the reason they aren’t playing finals football. With six teams vying for the one position, you can’t afford to drop games, let alone by 26 points. They still have to play the Eels, Dragons, Bulldogs, Roosters and Storm.
Marika Koroibete has a bright future.
We didn’t see a lot of the Fijian flyer, but there was enough to indicate he’s got a healthy future. The 20-year-old showed off his aerial skills in the first half when he defused a South Sydney bomb. Koroibete has scored 13 tries for the Tigers in the Toyota Cup this year - there’s no doubt he’ll have a few NRL four-pointers to his name by the time he hangs up his boots.