Gareth Ellis rates the Wests Tigers’ mental toughness as more pleasing than spectacularly breaking his try drought for the NRL club with Monday night’s match-winner.
The England international grabbed a miracle Robbie Farah grubber to snatch a 26-22 victory over Manly at Sydney Football Stadium, while also bagging his first four-pointer for the Tigers.
But it was his side’s show of grit in coming back from 20-4 down which suggested to the 28-year-old that they really had turned a corner after missing the finals every year since their 2005 premiership.
“The most pleasing thing is the way we showed character,” Ellis said.
"Sometimes that sort of stuff doesn’t come off and it can be a thorn in your side and that’s what it’s been like in the past.
"We’ve played some inconsistent football and probably pushing passes and things like that, so it would be nice to sort of get a good mix this year of the flair plays like Benji (Marshall), (Tim) Moltzen, Robbie Farah play, but also having a bit of control in that as well.
"There’s a lot of creativity in our halves and, with Robbie at hooker as well - he’s like another half - so you’re always going to get some tries like that, we’ve seen it in the past.
“But we worked hard to get back into the game and that’s the key thing and that was just the icing on the cake.”
Ellis was the Tigers’ player of the year in his NRL debut season last year but could not avoid a nude run after failing to get across the line.
“It’s taken a while, I’ve been getting a bit of stick from the boys last year for not scoring so it’s nice to get one out of the way early and obviously in the circumstances as well it made it even more special,” he said.
The Tigers’ dramatic win was followed by more good news on Tuesday with prop Bryce Gibbs cleared of any serious thumb injury.
The club also announced a contract extension for front rower Keith Galloway, who will now remain at the club until the end of the 2013 season.
I would like to add my congratulations to Gareth Ellis on his first try for the team, hopefully it will be the first of many. Will the Tigers will be able put back to back wins together ! The Tigers will need both grit and flair to achieve this, as the Roosters looked pretty good to me in their last game.