NRL 2016: Wests Tigers young guns dominate in big win over Manly Sea Eagles
Dean Ritchie - The Daily Telegraph
AND they said Jason Taylor couldn’t coach.
Predicted he would be just about sacked by now.
Well, the Wests Tigers coach has masterminded back-to-back wins, his Wests Tigers equal first, unbeaten and flying after two NRL rounds.
The Wests Tigers ‘Fibros’ scored a remarkable 36-22 win over ‘Silvertails’ Manly last night at a thunderous Leichhardt Oval just a week after an upset with over New Zealand.
It would seem Taylor can coach after all.
Wests Tigers claimed last week Taylor had the full of support of the board. Maybe this time they were telling the truth.
It was an extraordinary game last night, Wests Tigers leading 16-2 before Manly powered back to level the scores before the home side kicked away again.
Defeat anchors Manly to the bottom of the NRL table after two straight losses. An anxious Trent Barrett is still waiting for his first win as an NRL coach.
Wests Tigers had all the momentum early, lost it, and then wrestled it back. They are certainly a team with plenty of ticker and gumption.
Manly firebrand Marty Taupau was jeered after his shock departure from Wests Tigers to Brookvale during the off-season. It appeared to rattle Taupau at times, other times he ripped holes in the Tigers. He also scored a try.
Wests Tigers looked dangerous each time they went wide, Manly again failing to number up. Time and again.
Manly’s comeback was snuffed out through Wests Tigers tries to David Nofoaluma (58th minute) and James Tedesco (70th and 77th minutes). Tedesco scored a hat-trick.
The ‘Tigers, Tigers, Tigers’ chant could be heard right across Leichhadt last night.
Tedesco was brilliant again, furthering pressing his claims for a call-up into the NSW State of Origin side. Each time Tedesco touched the ball, you felt something was going to happen. Only the finest can do that.
The first half was full of action, speed, skill and entertainment, Wests Tigers leading 16-10 at the break.
Wests Tigers scored the first try last night — and it was an absolute ripper. Tigers halfback Luke Brooks regained his own chip kick in the fifth minute before firing a pass to halves teammate Mitchell Moses, who kicked again for Nofoaluma, who sped through to catch the ball on the full and score a spectacular try.
It certainly sent the traditionally vocal Leichhardt crowd into raptures. Wests Tigers led 4-2 at that point after Manly posted an early penalty goal.
The home side looked ‘on’ — they were focused, sharp and up-tempo.
And they went further ahead after 20 minutes when Manly was caught short defensively out wide when centre Kevin Naiqama crossed untouched. It was the same defensive deficiencies that caused Manly so much trouble against Canterbury in round one. The conversion put Wests Tigers ahead 10-2.
But the Tigers were hungry and, unbelievably, crossed again just three minutes late.
Wests Tigers attacked Manly’s same left side and again the holes appeared. Naiqama cut through before sending Tedesco tearing away for his side’s third try. The crowd was beside themselves.
Moses converted to give Wests Tigers a stunning 16-2 lead. Manly did gift Wests Tigers a lot of possession through some basic errors.
Manly though weren’t about to concede just yet. It took the Sea Eagles 31 minutes to post their first try, a barge from back-rower Lewis Brown from dummy half. It wasn’t the prettiest of tries but it was important. Sea Eaglers skipper Jamie Lyon missed the conversion, his side behind by ten points.
And Manly’s comeback continued just before halftime when five-eighth Dylan Walker, on the back of second phase, cut through some weak defence to score. Lyon missed the conversion, Wests Tigers ahead by six points at halftime. Wests Tigers forward Curtin Sironen came from the field after ten minutes with a hamstring injury.