WESTS TIGERS BEAT PARRAMATTA 23-12 IN NRL
By Wayne Cousins
Friday, 26 March 2010
A strong defensive effort combined with some entertaining play saw the Wests Tigers record a 23-12 victory tonight over arch rivals Parramatta Eels at the Sydney Football Stadium in round three of the Telstra Premiership.
In front of a crowd of 21, 318, Wests Tigers scored five tries to two to record their second win of the season. It was a much improved performance on last week’s disappointing loss to the Sydney Roosters.
Wests Tigers went into the game as per the team named on Tuesday with Geoff Daniela and Junior Moors dropping off the six man bench.
Parramatta lost five-eighth Daniel Mortimer through illness with Kris Keating starting in his place. Justin Horo came onto the interchange bench.
The Eels enjoyed the majority of posession in the opening minutes with the pressure relieved when Beau Ryan defused a fifth tackle bomb on the last tackle. Ryan has shifted to full-back with full-back Mitch Brown moving to the wing.
Wests Tigers opened the scoring in the seventh minute when a grubber kick by five-eighth Benji Marshall saw the ball bounce up perfectly in-goal for winger Lote Tuqiri to score in the corner - the same corner he scored with his first touch of the ball in his debut game against Manly in round one. Marshall missed the sideline conversion for a 4-0 lead after eight minutes.
Wests Tigers received a penalty in the 10th minute after lock Chris Heighington was hit late with a shoulder by Ben Smith after he passed the ball. The Tigers attacked the line and recieved a harsh call when captain and hooker Robbie Farah was penalised for tackling Jarryd Hayne on the full in-goal before he and Ryan forced him over the dead ball line.
The Eels knocked on from a crossfield bomb on the last tackle, five metres out from the Tigers’ line.
A grubber kick by Moltzen behind the defence saw centre Blake Ayshford put his hands on the ball to score despite a bump from lock Feleti Mateo. Marshall failed to convert the conversion for an 8-0 lead after 16 minutes.
Todd Payten and Keith Galloway left the field at the 20th minute mark with Andrew Fifita and Mark Flanagan coming on. Galloway had a good opening stint with some strong defence.
A Hayne chip kick on the last tackle saw the ball bounce in open space. Marshall looked as though he had it when it touched his finger tips but the ball went into Hayne’s arms. He spread the ball right through centre Joel Reddy whose pass to winger Eric Grothe went into touch, 15 metres out from the Wests Tigers tryline in the 23rd minute.
A smart grubber kick by Brown down the right wing saw the ball sit up in-goal before Moltzen pushed Hayne over the sideline in the 28th minute to give Wests Tigers a repeat set. The pressure was relieved when the Eels got the ball back early in the tackle count.
Fifita left the field in the 31st minute to a standing ovation from a group of Wests Tigers members who applauded his efforts in his first stint. Galloway came back on.
Wests Tigers second-rower Gareth Ellis showed his toughness when he got back up after a heavy collision with Justin Poore that saw him loose the ball.
The next set saw Ellis loose the ball in a three man tackle to give Parramatta a scrum win 25 metres out from the Tigers line. The Tigers held strong in defence with Marshall taking a crossfield kick on the last before flicking a behind the back pass to Tuqiri with the play eventuallt stopping 30 metres downfield through a strong run by Ellis two and a half minutes before half-time.
Marshall then popped a field goal from 35 metres out inside the final two minutes to give Wests Tigers a 9-0 lead.
Some entertaining play in the final minute through Marshall, Chris Lawrence and Tuqiri saw Hayne forced the ball dead in the final seconds before half-time to give Wests Tigers a 9-0 lead at the break.
A great offload by Ellis in the 42nd minute saw fellow Englishman Mark Flanagan split the defence to run downfield before a loose pass saw Ryan pick it up and tackled 10 metres out. The next play saw Brown taken over the sideline on the last tackle just metres from the line.
Flanagan was again involved in the action when he ran off Marshall before offloading a good ball back inside for the five-eighth to score under the posts. Marshall converted the try for a 15-0 lead after 47 minutes. The try also saw Marshall move to 44 tries to becoming the leading tryscorer for the Wests Tigers since the club’s inception in 2000.
The Eels opened their account when a crossfield kick by half-back Jeff Robson saw centre Joel Reddy leap above Tuqiri to catch the ball to score. It came on the back of a penalty against Payten but the Eels were fortunate to get the ball after a loose pass by them was fumbled by Galloway in trying to dive on the ball, giving them six more tackles 45 metres out.
Krisnan Inu converted the try for a 15-6 scoreline after 52 minutes.
The Eels applied plenty of pressure inside the Tigers quarter a few minutes later but the defence remained firm before a chip kick on the last tackle went dead.
Parramatta got back to 15-10 when the ball was spread left on the last tackle through Hayne and Timana Tahu for Inu to dive over in the right corner to score. Inu converted from the sideline for a 15-12 scoreline with 21 minutes remaining.
A tense period followed for Wests Tigers supporters with the Eels looking sharp at times.
The tension was relieved a little when a smart left foot grubber kick by Farah behind the line saw Tuqiri plant the ball down with one hand mid-air to score. Marshall failed to convert the try from the sideline for a 19-12 scoreline after 65 minutes.
A great half hit by Lawrence chopped Reddy down on the last tackle, forcing him to loose the ball five metres out from the tryline.
The Eels were lurking dangerously inside the Wests Tigers quarter and the pressure was eased when referee Tony Archer ruled Hayne had lost the ball in trying to play it despite cries of protest from the Eels fans.
From the scrum win 10 metres out from the Tigers line, the ball was spread left before Marshall showed the ball and got on the outside of Ben Smith to race 85 metres to score out wide and throw the ball in the air in celebration for a 23-12 lead after 76 minutes. Marshall failed to convert his own try.
Wests Tigers supporters all rose to their feet in celebration at full-time. It was just the sixth victory in 21 games for Wests Tigers against Parramatta since 2000.
Marshall and Tuqiri scored two tries each in the win. Marshall had an off night with the boot, kicking just one goal from five attempts.
Marshall’s two tries takes him to 45 tries for Wests Tigers - a current club record.
Wests Tigers beat Parramatta Eels in NRL round three
- David Beniuk
- From: AAP
- March 26, 2010 9:36PM
BENJI Marshall has prevailed in his much anticipated showdown with fellow superstar Jarryd Hayne, brilliantly dismantling Parramatta to lead the Wests Tigers to an impressive 23-12 victory over the Eels at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Marshall was everywhere for the Tigers, scoring two superb second half tries himself as well as creating one of Lote Tuqiri’s two four-pointers, and even potting a first half field goal.
Had he had his kicking boots on, after managing just one from five, the Tigers’ victory would have been even more impressive.
The match had been billed as a face-off between Marshall and Hayne but it was the Tigers playmaker who shone brightest, reaping the benefit of a physical effort from his pack in front of 21,318 fans.
The Tigers scored five tries to two, three from grubbers, to record only their second win in nine games against Parramatta and wipe the memory of the Roosters putting 44 points past them last Sunday.
Powerhouse winger Tuqiri has now scored four tries in the first three matches of his return to rugby league after seven years playing union.
Parramatta’s slow starts continued and the Tigers took total control of the first half, leading 9-0 at halftime.
They extended their lead to 15-0 five minutes after the break when Marshall handled twice sublimely before scoring under the posts.
A Parramatta fightback began when Joel Reddy outleapt Tuqiri to grab a Jeff Robson kick in the 49th minute and Krisnan Inu’s conversion made it 15-6.
It was 15-12 in the 57th minute when a Hayne cut-out pass sent Timana Tahu down the left side and Inu crossed out wide.
But when Tuqiri stayed several blades of grass inside the touch-in-goal line to ground a Robbie Farah grubber for his second try, the home side was back out to 19-12.
And Marshall’s 85m solo effort in the 76th minute after a deft dummy iced the cake for the Tigers.
Earlier, Marshall had laid on Tuqiri’s first with a brilliant seventh minute grubber to give the Tigers a 4-0 lead.
The Tigers went 8-0 ahead in the 15th minute when another grubber, this time from halfback Tim Moltzen, was pounced on by centre Blake Ayshford.
I love reading news articles when we win!
Ive read this 62 times since the post was put on because I still can’t believe how good we were out there tonight!
it finally seems real……only after 62 times though!
Wests Tigers beat Parramatta Eels in NRL round three
- Josh Massoud
- From: The Daily Telegraph
- March 26, 2010 9:36PM
- WESTS TIGERS 23 PARRAMATTA 12
WHEN you’re 59 years old and have coached a record 595 first grade games, you’re too wise to believe in fairytales.
And after his side’s dismal defensive effort last week, veteran Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens would have settled for a happy ending over Parramatta last night.
But thanks to a stunning reversal in discipline and commitment from his players, Sheens enjoyed a rare and perfect moment in the winning dressingrooms after fulltime.
After praising their effort, Sheens told the Tigers he had agreed - just five hours earlier over a coffee in Chiswick with club CEO Stephen Humphries - to a new one-year extension that will extend his stay at the joint venture to a ninth season.
“If we had lost I would not have announced it,” Sheens joked afterwards.
But apart from a brief attack of the defensive yips midway through the second half, the Tigers never looked like losing last night.
Skipper Robbie Farah admitted they “came out with a point to prove” after being “embarrassed” by the Roosters’ eight-try mauling at the same venue five days earlier.
And they started from the opening minutes, harassing Parramatta into panic and error with a new rushing defence, based on premiers Melbourne.
“We wanted to dictate the game with our defence,” Sheens said. "We’ve been much too negative in our defence and gone side-to-side too much.
“We made a conscious effort to go forward. It turned over a lot of ball from them and took the sting out of their forwards.”
The Tigers also went forward on the scoreboard early, surging to a 15-0 lead just after halftime by courtesy of some stunning plays from man-of-the-match Benji Marshall.
The Kiwi magician finished with a blistering double, notched three minutes from fulltime.
He scored an 80m pearler of a try from a scrum to seal the game and also claim the joint venture’s all-time try-scoring record with his 45th career touch-down.
But if winger Lote Tuqiri continues at his current rate, Marshall might not have the mantle for long. The 103kg giant scored his first double since quitting league eight years ago, taking his Tigers tally to four tries in just three appearances.
Tuqiri’s second, 16 minutes from the siren, was a truly remarkable indication of his athleticism.
The dual international soared onto a Robbie Farah grubber to ground the ball in mid-air as he sailed over the touch-in-goal line.
Those acrobatics extracted the Tigers from a sticky situation after Parramatta had responded with two rapid strikes to reel the scoreboard back to 15-12.
But disappointed Eels coach Daniel Anderson conceded last year’s grand finalists never deserved to win, and also noted Marshall’s poor success rate with the boot that kept his side in touch.
“The Tigers wanted it more than us - it was as simple as that,” Anderson said.
“They competed harder than we did and just flogged us.”
Best for the Tigers up-front was NSW Origin hopeful Keith Galloway, who produced two bell-ringer tackles on Justin Poore and Matt Keating to mark his team’s dominance early.
But on a night when Sheens celebrated his new deal, his assistants also earned recognition as the Tigers showed incredible fitness to outlast the Eels with minimal contributions from willing benchmen Jason Cayless and Daniel Fitzhenry.
“We came out tonight with a point to prove,” Farah said.
“Last week we were embarrassed with our own performance.”
Of his decision to stay at the Tigers, Sheens added last night: "I wanted to work with this group and I asked for another year - no longer than that.
"If I can’t make it happen, I won’t be here any longer. I will stand down.
"It gives us a year not be thinking about speculation.
“I love the Wests Tigers, they are a great club.”
Defence decides it as Tigers get tough
March 27, 2010
Tigers 23 Eels 12
We have come to expect the unexpected from these two teams. So much so that, in the skills of Benji Marshall and Jarryd Hayne, the unexpected is starting to become the expected, if that makes sense.
But we did get something else last night, something different; in an encounter which boasted the attacking gifts of those two rarities, defence won the night, although Marshall put the exclamation point on it.
While both Marshall and Hayne gave us wonderful touches, the most important component for the Tigers was their backbone rather than their backline. The Tigers had conceded 66 points in their opening two encounters, the most of any side, and last night they held one of the most skilful sides to just 12 points. Both sides showed their steel; four out of the seven tries came from kicks.
The most important of those came with 17 minutes left, from the dependable Robbie Farah’s left boot. Lote Tuqiri tiptoed down the touchline and grounded the ball within a few inches of it. To think that some actually doubted Tuqiri’s ability to play this game again. With the Tigers’ defence a different beast this week, it was enough. Marshall finished it off with five minutes remaining with a pearler. Both he and Tuqiri ended the contest with two tries.
A 23rd minute play summed up Hayne’s match, and the fact that, understandably, it hardly reached the heights of the same two teams playing at the same ground last year. Back then both teams were humming towards the finals, the two form teams of the competition, and Hayne showed why he was the form player in the comp by chipping and regathering to score a wonderful try.
He tried again last night, chipping from midfield and regathering after Marshall’s slender touch. Hayne fed the ball to Joel Reddy, whose subsequent delivery to his winger Eric Grothe was poor. You only have to be off slightly and the results are completely different on this stage.
Hayne and Marshall are two of the most entertaining players in the competition, and the fact they were to appear on the same patch of grass was enough to get many excited. It was Marshall who drew first blood, grubbering for Tuqiri in the seventh minute, giving the new recruit his third try in as many matches.
As the Tigers’ defence tightened, their attack loosened. They picked their moments far more carefully this week, which in the process allowed their attack to look far more free-flowing. They forced the play against the Roosters five days earlier and as a result, their many mistakes made it a stop-start affair. Against the Eels they steadily built momentum.
And Marshall took advantage. Nearing half-time, about 15 metres out from his own try line, he sent an audacious flick to Tuqiri, and the Tigers found their way down to their attacking end. Another unexpected play followed; Marshall struck a surprise field goal to give his side a 9-0 lead.
What the Tigers had not done previously was build on their leads, but they did so five minutes into the second half, again with Marshall pulling the strings. This time a one-two with prop Bryce Gibbs gave the five-eighth his first of two tries.
The Eels were missing five-eighth Daniel Mortimer, which stilted their play somewhat. . As a sub-plot, one of many for this game, it gave the Eels some idea of life without their little five-eighth, who was replaced for the clash last night by Kris Keating, who remains unsigned.
Both sides, thus, were without a half, the Tigers losing halfback Robert Lui during the week with an ankle injury. Tigers coach Tim Sheens originally selected Mitch Brown at fullback but Beau Ryan, returning from suspension, actually played there.
Sheens must have considered Tuqiri for the position, but the dual international winger’s finishing - something he is known for - showed why the rest of us watch from the sidelines, and Sheens from the coach’s box.
Benji wins battle of the freaks
March 27, 2010
Whatever you can do, I can do better. Five days after Jarryd Hayne’s extraordinary feats at Parramatta Stadium, the game’s other protagonist in rugby league’s freak show stood up and put on a performance of his own.
Benji Marshall, in guiding the Wests Tigers to a 23-12 victory against the Eels last night, might not have produced quite the number of dropped jaws with his efforts at the Sydney Football Stadium but the five-eighth’s display was just as effective.
Granted, Marshall did not have to single-handedly drag his own side back from beyond the brink - instead, he gave them a head start. And there was plenty of support, with co-stars Lote Tuqiri and Robbie Farah delivering some magic of their own. Hayne, inevitably, appeared on the stage as the contest drew to a close, threatening for a few moments to conjure another minor miracle. But an 85-metre Marshall individual try, set up with his trademark fake and bake, left even the most ardent Hayne believers without hope.
It was his second of the night, making him the Wests Tigers’ all-time leading tryscorer with 45 in 106 games. Even more significant was that it was done with a handicap, a rib cartilage injury that had flared up at training on Thursday and troubled him throughout.
Marshall’s night was not without its flaws - he kicked out on the full with 14 minutes remaining to hand Hayne and his men possession in the Tigers’ territory, and his goalkicking was ‘‘terrible’’, coach Tim Sheens said with a smile - but it had just about everything. There was the flick pass, the field goal and the razzle-dazzle running game he made his name on. But Marshall chose to focus on the other outstanding and vastly improved dimension of the Tigers’ play - their defence, led by Keith Galloway, Bryce Gibbs and Todd Payten.
‘‘If we defend well, the attack comes on top of that,’’ he said. ‘‘If our forwards didn’t play as well in defence as they did, I wouldn’t have had the chance to attack like I did. They copped a bagging last week about having no ticker, and they turned it around and turned it into a positive. We can defend when we want to.’’
Marshall’s humility aside, his guidance proved an unquestionable difference. There was the usual glimpses of the absolutely audacious, with the flick pass to Tuqiri on the Tigers’ 10-metre line on the first tackle and with only two minutes to go until half-time the stand-out of the craziness. Then there was the field goal from 35 metres moments later, as it appeared only Marshall knew play had restarted after the referees had paused proceedings with Chris Lawrence’s ear bleeding like he had been in the ring with Mike Tyson.
If the flick pass was enough for Sheens’s heart to skip a beat, he was breathing easily viewing the New Zealand captain’s other deeds last night. Marshall’s grubber to Tuqiri set up the first try of the night, and his neat one-two with Gibbs sent him hurtling over under the sticks. And, of course, there was the smoking late dash to wrap it all up.
There was credit due for others, though, most notably Tuqiri, whose fourth try in his first three games back in the NRL was special. Dismissing gravity, the winger timed his leap to perfection, grounding a Farah grubber in the left corner.
‘‘Not many wingers would have got that ball down,’’ Farah said.
‘‘Last week we walked off the field pretty embarrassed with our own performance and copped a bit of a battering in the press as well and that hurt a bit. Last week was a case of taking a couple of steps backwards but I thought tonight, especially with Toddy and Bryce back in the middle, it added a lot of starch to our D.’’
Benji Marshall wins battle with Jarryd Hayne
- Christian Nicolussi
- From: The Daily Telegraph
- March 27, 2010 12:00AM
BENJI Marshall failed to finish training on Thursday and required a needle to settle a painful rib cartilage injury prior to last night’s stellar performance against the Eels.
But not only did the Wests Tigers five-eighth go on to prove his class at the Sydney Football Stadium in a performance rated “eight or nine out of 10” by coach Tim Sheens, he well and truly out-played friend and fellow NRL drawcard Jarryd Hayne.
Plenty of hype surrounded Marshall and Hayne and their explosiveness in attack in the lead-up to the fierce Sydney derby, but Kiwi international Marshall well and truly reigned supreme.
He started with a well-weighted kick to put Lote Tuqiri into the left-hand corner. He floated across field to put the Eels defence in two minds. Marshall slotted a field goal, threw a cheeky pass behind his back to Tuqiri and completed a stunning 90m solo try to wrap up proceedings and become the equal highest try-scorer (45) in the Wests Tigers short history.
The fact he was injured only added to the theatre.
Marshall was delighted with his effort and revealed afterwards what drama he encountered before taking the field.
“I got hurt in last week’s game and it played up again in our last training session,” Marshall said. “I got a needle before the match. It’s not a nice pain, it’s just hard to pass - that’s why I wasn’t passing tonight. But it is hard to breathe and pass. I felt it after about 20 minutes tonight. But I suppose I’ll have to play with it each week. There are other players out there doing it tougher than me.”
Marshall did not buy into the individual stoush with Hayne over which headline act would secure bragging rights.
“Jarryd is a freak, he injects himself into the game whenever he wants and when he does you have to keep on your toes,” Marshall said.
Sheens was pestered on Thursday about how the Tigers would stop Hayne and, even though his own man Marshall got the thumbs up, praised the Parramatta No. 1.
“I don’t think Jarryd had an off night, I still held my breath every time he touched the damn ball,” Sheens said.
“He got himself through tackles, threw a pass for a try and nearly got away with a chip and chase. Like your Billy Slaters, Brett Stewarts and Matty Bowens, teams with gun fullbacks worry any team, and Jarryd is in that class. We worked hard to limit his opportunities, but he still nearly got us.”
Sheens, however, said a lot of pressure had been put on Hayne by the press and he was mindful of Marshall to not to feel similar stress in trying to reach the same lofty heights each week.