Size does matter for Tigers



  • Size does matter for Tigers
    Mon 22 Feb, 2016, 12:00pm
    By Martin Gabor‌, National Correspondent, NRL.com



    It’s been over a decade since the Wests Tigers won their sole NRL premiership, stunning the rugby league world with an unheralded and undersized pack.

    Dene Halatau is one of two players from the grand final winning squad still at the club, but the utility forward refused to buy into claims that there were similarities between that team and today’s playing group.

    The 33-year-old looked as fit as ever when speaking to NRL.com after training, prompting suggestions the Tigers would look to replicate their 2005 pack, which included smaller forwards Anthony Laffranchi, Liam Fulton and Ben Galea.

    The 2016 back-row is likely to feature similarly dynamic players in Chris Lawrence, Curtis Sironen and Halatau himself.

    “I think nearly every year there are rule changes that affect the way the game is played,” Halatau said of the new interpretations.

    "Obviously the reduction in interchanges is going to mean, as you said, teams might opt for a smaller pack. But if you look around the Nines and that, you see there are still some pretty big boys running around.

    “They [the bigger forwards] are fairly mobile now, so I think it’s more the way the guys are prepared and trained through the pre-season and maybe that sets them up more so than the makeup of the pack.”

    Despite losing grunt up front in Keith Galloway and Martin Taupau, the Tigers have recruited well in the off-season, nabbing former Penrith and Souths forward Tim Grant.

    “Tim’s slotted in great. He’s got a really good attitude to his training, and he’s very professional, and he loves to rip in. You know he doesn’t take any shortcuts,” Halatau told NRL.com.

    "From what the boys are telling me on the field, he’s always 100 per cent in everything he does, which is all you can ask for from anyone in your team.

    “His personality is really great, and he’s slotted in really well with the boys, so we’re going to enjoy having him around.”

    The Tigers have added to their depth, signing Rod Griffin and Billy McConnachie from last year’s NRL State Championship winning Ipswich Jets.

    “He’s a character, he’s always smiling,” Halatau said of the experienced PNG forward Griffin.

    “Billy is a bit quieter, but he always rips in at training giving 100 per cent with everything that he does. He carries the ball strong and he tackles hard, so it’s sort of good to have that at training, pushing everyone along and being intense by training the way we want to play.”

    The 2005 premiership-winner has been impressed by the younger guys coming through the club; none more so than former Eel Josh Aloiai.

    “He had an injury that he came to the club with, and he worked his way through rehab and as soon as he got onto the training paddock, he looked like he hadn’t missed a beat,” the 226-game NRL veteran said.

    “He’s got good hands, he’s strong, he’s fast and he’s got a pretty good engine, and he hits like a hammer.”

    While the Tigers have teased their fans flashes of brilliance, the reality is they haven’t made the finals since 2011. The club won its first two matches last season, but managed just six more in 2015.

    As one of the club’s elder statesman, Halatau knows the onus is on the leadership group to make the Tigers competitive each and every week.

    “We’ve got to be more consistent,” Halatau lamented.

    "It’s something we spoke about last year. We can really turn on a good game, but last year we sort of did that, and the next week we were really complacent and dropped away.

    “We want to be able to keep our performances up there, and that’s a challenge when you’ve got a young squad.”



  • I think our additions in Grant, Aloiai, Edwards, Chee Kam, Giffin, Billy Mc and Parahi outweigh the losses of KG and Taupau in the forwards.



  • Blah Blah Blah 2005 wah wah wah

    We will be still getting reminded of 2005 in 2055

    Do other clubs have their premierships brought up this much ??



  • @happy tiger:

    Blah Blah Blah 2005 wah wah wah

    We will be still getting reminded of 2005 in 2055

    Do other clubs have their premierships brought up this much ??

    Prior to 2014 I think souths had their last one quoted regularly. Also Parra get their 80’s trot mentioned a fair bit



  • @Harvey:

    @happy tiger:

    Blah Blah Blah 2005 wah wah wah

    We will be still getting reminded of 2005 in 2055

    Do other clubs have their premierships brought up this much ??

    Prior to 2014 I think souths had their last one quoted regularly. Also Parra get their 80’s trot mentioned a fair bit

    Not even in the same ballpark Harvey , every second interview 2005 :brick: :brick: :brick: :brick: :brick: :brick: :brick: :brick: :brick: :brick:



  • @happy tiger:

    Blah Blah Blah 2005 wah wah wah

    We will be still getting reminded of 2005 in 2055

    Do other clubs have their premierships brought up this much ??

    Would you rather be Cronulla?



  • :dead

    @happy tiger:

    Blah Blah Blah 2005 wah wah wah

    We will be still getting reminded of 2005 in 2055

    Do other clubs have their premierships brought up this much ??

    All the clubs have it reminded all the time. You just notice more when it is your own club.

    Every time penrith has a good crop of kids we hear about 2003.

    Every time Parramatta has a decent half he gets compared to Sterlo and if the bulldogs have good forwards we hear about the 80’s dogs of war.



  • @Nelson:

    @happy tiger:

    Blah Blah Blah 2005 wah wah wah

    We will be still getting reminded of 2005 in 2055

    Do other clubs have their premierships brought up this much ??

    Would you rather be Cronulla?

    No but we never move on from 2005 and that’s a major issue

    Some think that if we play 2005 football all will be good

    Some think the business model that worked in 2005 will work again

    Some think that having 3 different home grounds is the answer

    We don’t move on as a club , we live on 2005 and think that is acceptable



  • As much as we had a small pack back then….the aspect that always stood out for me was that of trusting your teammate beside you. It can be such a simple game.



  • @happy tiger:

    @Nelson:

    @happy tiger:

    Blah Blah Blah 2005 wah wah wah

    We will be still getting reminded of 2005 in 2055

    Do other clubs have their premierships brought up this much ??

    Would you rather be Cronulla?

    No but we never move on from 2005 and that’s a major issue

    Some think that if we play 2005 football all will be good

    Some think the business model that worked in 2005 will work again

    Some think that having 3 different home grounds is the answer

    We don’t move on as a club , we live on 2005 and think that is acceptable

    That is all true, but I just wanted to make fun of Cronulla.



  • I actually wonder if the reduced interchange will make an impact on the big guys, or if they will just take it in their stride kind of like they did when it reduced last time.


  • ForumSupporter

    @happy tiger:

    Blah Blah Blah 2005 wah wah wah

    We will be still getting reminded of 2005 in 2055

    Do other clubs have their premierships brought up this much ??

    Have a lie down Happy…or actually read the article the 2005 reference is solely from the journalist…

    Halatau only talks in the present…



  • @happy tiger:

    Blah Blah Blah 2005 wah wah wah

    We will be still getting reminded of 2005 in 2055

    Do other clubs have their premierships brought up this much ??

    I’m sick of hearing about it too Happy. :blah


  • ForumSupporter

    @Tigermama:

    @happy tiger:

    Blah Blah Blah 2005 wah wah wah

    We will be still getting reminded of 2005 in 2055

    Do other clubs have their premierships brought up this much ??

    I’m sick of hearing about it too Happy. :blah

    Don’t tell me you need a lie down as well… 😲



  • @Geo.:

    @Tigermama:

    @happy tiger:

    Blah Blah Blah 2005 wah wah wah

    We will be still getting reminded of 2005 in 2055

    Do other clubs have their premierships brought up this much ??

    I’m sick of hearing about it too Happy. :blah

    Don’t tell me you need a lie down as well… 😲

    We tell the presso’s next time they bring 2005 up is when we have qualified for a GF

    Is that hard ??


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