Balmains Harold Matthews lost 30-20 to a very good Illawarra team yesterday but again poor options in attack by the Tigers plus plenty of avoidable errors handed the game to the Steelers.
The Tigers went in at half time leading 14-12 but should have gone in leading by 12 or more points but for poor options across the park while attacking the Illawarra line. To their credit Illawarra came out in the 2nd half and capitalised on the many Tigers mistakes to put the game beyond reach
The Tigers scored 2 late tries to make the score more respectable and they looked good when they started throwing the ball around but it was all too late. They have the talent but need to improve their attacking options if they are to live up to their expectations, 4 fowards were out injured yesterday and 3 of these should be fit for next weeks game against the Central Coast.
I agree with Flash on most of this. Poor options in attacked and the 5th tackle options didn’t exist. Tigers were caught with the ball on the 5th so many times. Once again 2 forwards did most of the attacking work with others calling for the ball but ending up running decoys. There are some pretty dynamic forwards running around out there and it is a shame not to use them. Defensively the Tigers were pretty sound, they let in a couple down 1 side but the coach saw that and changed some of the forwards around. At times the defense looked lazy and non committed. It was almost like the Tiger heart was missing. Chin up boys bring back the sting and committment in your defense and start using the players around you.
Flash is pretty much correct with his rap up, the Tigers should have led well at halftime but failed to convert some great field position, all credit to Illawarra they rallied and got the chocolates in the end.
The Tigers really looked lost in attack at times and as flash said, the handling was terrible.
Apparently some forwards are due back from injury but I am not sure that will solve the issues at hand. I think the attacking problems the Tigers have showed so far in two games need a little more work with options available but not yet explored. Lets all hope they do so sooner rather than later.
The Tigers halfback needs to be a juggler with the balls he is getting from dummy half up/down and all over the place.
The defence was very ordinary at times with some easy tries scored, which is very unusual from these Tigers boys who are normally rock solid.
A funny positional change from that in the program (1 to 6 and visa versa) so who knows why that took place, didnt seem to have the desired effect, lets keep the specialist fullback at fullback, he really knows what he is doing.
Back on track this week against the Central Coast, lets go boys we know you can do it.
“Go the Mighty Tigers”
I know people who have followed this team for some time and believe some facts should be taken into account .
It should be noted that when they toured NSW and QLD they played teams that had long finished their season and were effectively easy pickings - for sure they were good teams but still not as focused as the Tigers.
Sure they beat the Bulldogs on a very hot day whilst they had limited reserves.
They were then comprehensibly beaten by the Bunnies which showed up numerous defiencies in their make up.
From then the reality has set in - the euphoria of the Tigers revival is a “pipe dream” at this stage - who have they beaten???.
Flash - I agree they failed to capatilise on attacking opportunites - forwards in the backine…… its a no brainer to swap 1 & 6 - however the Number one problem from the Steelers game is defence - absolutely no movement off the line or positonal fixes under pressure.
An Observation ----- Three times the dummy half made 15 mters ( in succession ) - should not happen at this level - it took the Steelers off the back foot and put the Tigers under the pump!!!.
End of story Steelers moved up and tackled - Tigers didn’t.
Steelers bombed as many chances as the Tigers - having said that I saw enough talent out there to suggest that Tigers can be competative - noted comments about injuries but that’s a fact of life at this level
Can only hope things go forward from here
Some interesting observations in all these posts and all have some valid points but I think the biggest weakness to show up in the Steelers game ( and the 2nd trial against Souths) is the lack of speed and mobility around the rucks in both attack and defence. If a team plays at these boys with speed at the rucks they really struggle. The Bulldogs played at them very direct, with little or no speed, and little movement at the line. A typical Bulldogs power game. I would back these boys to beat any team that plays like that. But when they come against a team that plays with speed and footwork at the line the Tiger boys wilt. I thought it was bleeding bloody obvious in the 1st half, especially on the left side. The coach must have agreed because he switched the left Front Row to the right in the 2nd half and although that seemed to stop the gapping hole it didn’t fix the lack of speed and agility in the defensive line. And I think the some problem exists in attack - lack of speed in the forwards. The only time the forwards dominated was in the first 10 minutes when the No 13 and 14 played at the line with speed. Off the back of that quick go forward the backs had a little room to move and ,although they didn’t finish off, they did create some space out wide. The forwards seem to be a bit preoccupied with running lots of decoys and angles but nothing beats speed in my book. I’m presuming all the decoys and angles is coming from the coaching staff but if it was me I would get them playing more direct with speed. Than again I’m not a coach…
I also still think they have a fundemental problem in attack. They are still not offering up enough variation. They play to the same players too much and those players seem to be backs mostly. On two occasions I saw a forward run into a gaping hole and not be given the ball but instead it went out the back to run the same play they always run.
Again on the weekend some forwards hardly touched the ball!!! They seemed to be too keen to shift the ball without laying the foundation first. If you can get the defensive line moving back then the backs will have more room to create. I think the tiger boys should take a page out of Illawarra’s playbook and get the defense going backwards before they shift.
I agree with Howie that the switch of 1 & 6 is a no brainer. They looked much better balanced with the 1 at five eight. The dummy half play improved over last week but is still not great but I thought the team suffered defensively when the 9 was replaced. Overall the attack improved a bit from last week but they were defensively terrible in the 2nd half especially. This week will be a harder test than many were expecting. Central Coast teams generally play similar to Illawarra, with speed and footwork, for the same reasons, no size.
Im not sure what Howie is trying to elude to however, the reality is as follows.
Any time a team travels intra and interstate and wins every game on tour, suggest to most that they are travelling pretty well and are a very good team. the Tigers have bolstered that team with some smart players from outside the district so they will only improve.
It is important to remember the Tigers did play one side during that tour that were an age group up (year older) and won so, that would also suggest a side full of promise.
The bulldogs were soundly beaten all over the park during the trial at Auburn and they had the opportunity to run as many reserves on as the Tigers did. Tigers were too simply smart it was a hot day for everyone.
In relation to the bunnies game, two clear Tigers tries were disallowed at a crutial time of the game which would have put the Tigers infront running with the breeze and downhill in the second half, this would have made things far more interesting.
I also think everyone is underestimating the effort by the Steelers, they are a well coach side and granted the Tigers defence, normanlly so strong, was found wanting at times. The Tigers are without doubt a team full of excitement/promise and with respect to Howie, I disagree with the “pipe dream” view expressed in his reply.
I agree there is work to be done but i have confidence in the team.
Lets wait and see where the Tigers end up at the end of the campaign. “Go you good things”
OK TT I might have shot from the hip on the build up for this team - understand I want them to do as well as any previous Tiger team - but my concern is there are inherent issues that may be masked by winning against teams that weren’t as ready to play as the Tigers were.
I certainly don’t want to get in an arguement with someone whose passion is similar to mine.
Granted the Steelers were a good team but when it comes down to the big guns I doubt they will match it - partly due to size which we have the same issue.
I am certain we are capable of better and can match it but need to improve in a number of areas.
I certainly agree with many of the comments of the previous posters - but believe the biggest issue from the Steelers game is in defence.