Articles from Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser
Coaches speak of Wests Tigers inner sanctum
By Ben Chenoweth
HE might not be the main man in charge, but Wests Tigers NRL assistant coach Royce Simmons certainly stole the show at last week’s A Night with the Coaches at Sydney Cricket Ground.
Fans and selected media were given an insight into the inner sanctum of the Tigers’ coaching staff and Tiger Talk’s Scott Dougherty and Ben Chenoweth were the only media invited to attend the event.
Physiotherapist Peter Moussa, recruitment manager Warren McDonnell and NRL coach Mick Potter were among club staff who attended.
But it was Simmons’ explanation of statistics that had guests most intrigued.
While Simmons, the former Australian representative hooker, concentrates more on the defensive structures at the club, he then went on the attack.
“You’re talking about Blairy — I’ll shoot you down, motor mouth,” he said to a fan who questioned forward Adam Blair’s role at the club.
"Every time Blairy plays the ball, nine out of 10 times he’s got a quick play of the ball.
"Every time he plays the ball quick, Robbie Farah has a half a chance of getting out and causing some problems.
"Every time a bloke kicks the ball, every game, four or five times he’ll come up to put pressure on the kicker.
"Only a week ago he came up with eight missed or ineffective tackles.
“But last week he came up with 37 tackles, no misses, at 100 per cent.”
Simmons also put form forward Aaron Woods — who was at the event — on notice.
“Week one he must have had his skirt on, he only made four runs so he must have been injured,” Simmons said. "But since then he’s had 20, 18, 17, 19 (runs) each week and all have been well over 100 — mostly over 150 metres.
"We see penalties conceded and Woods makes an appearance there.
"That’s something he’s got to clean up in his game . . . that’ll get him out of the side.
He said statistics were vital for coaches.
“As coaches we have to identify strong parts and weak parts,” he said
“We have to continue to make the strong parts better and the weaker parts we’ll measure up.”
By Scott Dougherty
AT THE Wests Tigers “A night with the coaches” last Thursday, a video was shown of Mick Potter in the coaches’ box during the Tigers’ win over the Cowboys the previous week.
It was surprising to see how calm and controlled he was during a tight game.
I would have thought being in charge of a team at the bottom of the ladder in an important game would have the coach jumping on his chair and slamming fists on windows.
Despite some typical-rugby-league-coaches-swearing and yells of “Noooo” at referee calls, he spoke calmly and almost quietly to the trainers on the field and to those around him in the box.
After the video he admitted during games he was just like a fan except for a few differences.
“Pretty much like you guys I watch the game and make some substitutions and get emotional like you do,” he said.
One of the most interesting topics on the night was assistant coach and Magpies legend Steve Georgallis showing a video of Ruse’s David Nofoaluma scoring a try at training in the off-season in the exact same fashion he scored the winning try against the Cowboys in round 11.
“It’s a skill that they practise during these games at training,” he said.
"Here you have a match winning situation and that’s the sort of thing he does in training — putting the ball down one-handed.
"Obviously when I was playing we had VHS, now they’ve got computers and you just press someone’s name and missed tackles come up and left-to-right shifts come up.
The other assistant coach Royce Simmons came up with the line of the night: “Someone [asked] what’s the difference between the head coach and the assistant coach and I said about $300,000”.
“Mick assures me that’s not right.”