Media Reports

Tedesco show can’t stop Sharks
Sat 02 Apr, 2016, 7:35pm

Tedesco show can’t stop Sharks

The Sharks have withstood another masterful James Tedesco performance to outpoint the Tigers 34-26 in a highly entertaining clash at Campbelltown Stadium.

The eight-point win was Cronulla’s first at the ground since 2002, and gives them back-to-back wins for the first time in 2016.

Andrew Fifita was outstanding for the visitors, running for 170 metres and producing 30 tackles, while skipper Paul Gallen made 156 metres in a 55-minute stint off the bench.

Tedesco’s outstanding start to 2016 looked to have come to a premature end barely one minute into the contest when the Tigers superstar collected the knees of Luke Lewis with his first touch.

Thankfully for the Tigers, Tedesco returned 15 minutes later and made an immediate impact with his first involvement back on the field.

After receiving a pass from Mitch Moses, the Tigers No.1 showed incredible poise to bat the ball on just as Sosaia Feki came in to smash him. Local hero David Nofoaluma was the lucky recipient of the quick hands to get the Tigers on the board.

Having showed off his dexterity, it was time for Tedesco to highlight his footwork. Popping up on the left, the fleet-footed fullback accepted a pass from Brooks before burning Townsend with too much speed to slam the ball down and extend his lead at the top of the NRL try-scorers list.

The Sharks had earlier opened the scoring after Luke Lewis carried Luke Brooks over from close range to give the Sharks a very early 6-0 lead.

A Valentine Holmes interception moments later looked to extend Cronulla’s lead, but just like his effort against the Storm on Monday night, the Sharks speedster was cut down by the cover defence.

Even when Tedesco wasn’t involved, the Tigers still found ways to cross the stripe. After Dene Halatau went close, Chris Lawrence charged onto a Brooks inside ball and strolled through a gap the size of Sydney Heads to score his first try of the season.

Stunned into action, the Sharks finally hit back 35 minutes after their first four-pointer, and it was certainly worth the wait.

An enterprising play that started in their own half saw the ball go through several pairs of hands, before Holmes streaked down the sideline, drew in the defence and put in a perfectly weighted chip for James Maloney to score his first try in Cronulla colours.

It didn’t take long for the Sharks to erase the narrow half-time margin, with Sosaia Feki evading some desperate Moses cover defence to finish off a frenetic passage of play.

A change-over in good position – followed by a penalty on the last tackle – put the Sharks on the attack. Ricky Leutele was somehow denied by a terrific goal-line tackle, but it mattered little.

A kick from Chad Townsend was batted back by Ben Barba into the waiting arms of Chris Heighington who moved it on to Leutele, who gave it to Feki to finish off the fantastic team try, before a Maloney penalty goal moments later gave Cronulla its first lead since the opening stages of the match.

The Sharks should have extended their lead from the following set, but Tedesco showed sensational speed to shut down a Holmes-inspired break before Leutele was denied the following play for obstruction against Paul Gallen.

If the Sharks skipper was upset then, it was nothing compared to what happened next when Tedesco brushed away from Townsend for a second time to score. Gallen claimed he had been prevented from making a tackle, but the try was still awarded.

But it took just three minutes for the returning Sharks skipper to get his revenge, barging over from close range to once again give his side the lead.

A Maloney penalty goal attempt struck the upright but fortuitously went back to Bird, before the Sharks five-eighth nailed another shot at goal two plays later.

The helter-skelter contest continued from the very next set, as the Sharks left edge of Graham, Leutele and Feki combined to put Barba over for what would be the match-sealing try.

Another Maloney penalty goal put the game beyond doubt, before Moses scored a late consolation try courtesy of an interception.

Cronulla Sharks 34 (Luke Lewis, James Maloney, Sosaia Feki, Paul Gallen, Ben Barba tries; James Maloney 7 goals) defeated Wests Tigers 26 (James Tedesco 2, David Nofoaluma, Chris Lawrence, Mitch Moses tries; Mitch Moses 3 goals) at Campbelltown Stadium. Half-time: 16-12 Tigers. Crowd: 12,831. Penalties: 12-7 Sharks

NRL 2016: Cronulla Sharks turn entertainers in stunning defeat of Wests Tigers

David Riccio
The Daily Telegraph

THE drama began after 35 seconds when an injured James Tedesco was forced from the field.

And it didn’t let up until after the post-match press conference.

In a wild night of rugby league at Campbelltown, Cronulla outgunned Wests Tigers in a match that finished with 10 tries, 60 points, 20 penalties, Tim Simona on report for a crusher tackle, Ben Barba brilliance and Sharks coach Shane Flanagan slamming two controversial obstruction calls, which he fears could cost a side a semi-final berth.

Flanagan described the bunker’s decision to rule Paul Gallen had obstructed Kevin Naiqama in the lead-up to a Sharks try decision in the 51st minute, and then award Tedesco a try five minutes later after Gallen claimed he was blocked from making a tackle on his own tryline, as ‘dud calls.’

“I’ve been around footy all my life coaching kids and coaching rules and for me Gallen was behind Chris Heiginghton when he had the ball and he was supporting the player and the Tigers player made a decision to come and tackle Gal … Gal can’t disappear,’’ Flanagan said.

“It’s a try every day of the week, it was a 12-point turnaround to go down the other end of the field the player stands in our defensive line and obstructs Gal getting to the player.

“It doesn’t matter how much he obstructed him, he obstructed him. That’s the rules and they get it wrong.

“It costs team’s semi-finals positions. The bunker hasn’t made better decisions, it has just made the rulings come a bit faster.

“We’ve got a tool to use in the bunker and it came up with two dud calls today.’’

But before Flanagan’s retort, there was Tedesco, Barba’s influence to set up the Sharks best try of the year just prior to halftime before then sealing the match with his own four-pointer with 10 minutes remaining.

Barba finished with the bragging rights over Tedesco, with the elusive Tigers fullback seemingly gone for good after collecting the accidental legs of Luke Lewis in the head as he attempted to field a low bouncing ball in the opening minute.

With Tedesco off, Lewis was the beneficiary, scoring the Sharks first try of the night.

But returning to the field in the 16th minute, Tedesco ignited the Tigers, setting up one try and scoring one himself, to have the Tigers pumped leading 16-6.

But unable to handle the go-forward of Andrew Fifita (162m), Paul Gallen (166m) in his first match in three weeks and direction of Michael Ennis, the Sharks chipped away to respond with 16 points in the final 24 minutes.

“What we did up until halftime was great, but the second-half was very disappointing and not good enough,’’ Tigers coach Jason Taylor said.

“We gave the Sharks too much ball, in the end it was 60 per cent possession and 40 to us. You’re not going to win a game like that, we made it hard for ourselves.’’

CRONULLA 34 (B Barba S Feki P Gallen L Lewis J Maloney tries J Maloney 7 goals) bt WESTS TIGERS 26 (J Tedesco 2 C Lawrence M Moses D Nofoaluma tries M Moses 3 goals) at Campbelltown Sports Stadium. Referee: Chris James, Adam Devcich. Crowd: 12,831.

The telegraph article had a comment of someone who was praising Gallen for changing his wifes flat tyre. Has me considering dressing in drag and heading to the shire. At just the right moment I can drop the jack.


Post match press conference:

JT openly disappointed with today’s loss.

He spoke well and actually seemed to grasp the issues. That was good.

gee,woodsey looks happy- not.

you have to love the bloke. he works his butt off and was a standout player again.


gee,woodsey looks happy- not.

you have to love the bloke. he works his butt off and was a standout player again.

As I said earlier,Woodsy will be one of the better captains this club has appointed,I had a beer and a yarn with him after the game,he is absolutely genuine to the fans and the people around him…don’t for one minute think the team don’t respect him,they certainly do…as for being happy…he is so jovial and happy to mix with people,the only thing that I reckon makes him unhappy is how his team makes fundamental errors and undo the great early work they have done…trust me on this Arron Woods is all heart…and it is BIG…

Wests Tigers v Sharks: Five key points
Sun 03 Apr, 2016, 6:30am
By Martin Gabor‌, National Correspondent ,

Gallen’s knee passes first test

Having missed the past three weeks with a knee injury, Sharks skipper Paul Gallen made his long-awaited return in Saturday night’s eight point win.

Starting from the bench, Gallen churned out 156 metres, made 20 tackles and scored a crucial try midway through the second-half to help his side retake the lead.

And in further good news for Cronulla fans, it seems like Gallen’s knee pulled up as well as they could have hoped.

“It’s pretty good after a win obviously. I can’t complain about it at all. It’s going to be up and down for a few weeks but it was good today,” Gallen said.

“It’s good to be back. Obviously we didn’t start the way I wanted to personally but the boys are going good and had a good win today.”

Sharks coach Shane Flanagan praised the leadership shown by the senior group – including Gallen – to help his side overturn a half-time deficit.

“I got some messages down to blokes like Gal and Michael Ennis and Luke Lewis,” he said.

“We’ve got a pretty senior side, so the message was keep our heads. There were a few scuffles there, so we had to keep our heads and play footy, and they did. So I was proud about them for that.”

Tedesco down but not out

Wests Tigers fullback James Tedesco overcame an injury scare in the opening minute to once again give his State of Origin ambitions a major boost.

Having run into the knees of Luke Lewis with his first carry, Tedesco was escorted from the field sporting a lump on his right temple.

“I sort of copped a bit of a knock in the ribs and the head,” Tedesco said.

"It was a bit annoying that it was the first touch, but I got through the tests alright. I wasn’t too dazed, it was just a bit of a head knock, but you’ve got to take those precautions.

"It’s a bit sore. There’s a bit of a lump there, but I got through the game alright. We’ve got an eight day turnaround, so I think I should be sweet for that.

The Tigers fullback had a whale of the game after returning to the field in the 16th minute, scoring a double and setting up another.

"I came out there and we had the ball straightaway, so it worked out well,’ he said.

“That’s a big part of my game in attack to create opportunities and I did that a bit, but probably not good enough in the end.”

Penalties take their toll on the Tigers

Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor says discipline cost his side in the end. While they completed their sets at a passable 72 per cent, the Tigers were their own worst enemy without the ball, losing the penalty count 12-7.

It’s an area of the game Taylor says his side needs to work on.

"In the end I think it was the penalties that hurt us with that possession rate.

"We made nine errors, it’s not horrific. But it’s probably too many when you have the amount of ball that we had.

“There were too many penalties, particularly late in the tackle count that hurt us.”

Andrew Fifita the metre-eater

In a game dominated by the Cronulla forwards, no player stood out more than Andrew Fifita.

The form of the Sharks prop-forward has been telling in 2016, averaging over 150 metres and more than 30 tackles per game.

Fifita’s coach paid tribute to the work done by his big man, especially his ability to eradicate the discipline issues that had plagued his game in previous years.

“I thought he played really well,” Flanagan said.

"He’s really concentrating on getting all the things that were getting him some poor publicity – or the wrong publicity – out of his game.

“He’s really honing in and focussing in on what he needs to do. Week by week I think he’s getting better. He didn’t have any errors off the top of my head today.”

Wests Tigers their own worst enemy
Sun 03 Apr, 2016, 10:00am
By Martin Gabor‌, National Correspondent ,

Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor has slammed his side’s discipline with and without the ball following their 34-26 loss to the Sharks on Saturday night.

The Tigers completed just 74 per cent of their sets and lost the penalty count 12-7 but still managed to get within eight points of the Sharks.

Taylor says his side held their own in the first 40 minutes, but ill-discipline after the break made it too difficult for them to get the two NRL Telstra Premiership points.

“It was very disappointing for us in the end,” Taylor said after the game.

"We had a really tough start to the game and fought our way through that. What we did up until half-time was great, but the second-half was very disappointing. We gave the Sharks too much ball and we made ourselves make too many tackles.

“In the end it was 60 per cent possession to them and 40 to us and you’re not going to win in a game that’s like that where it’s one end to the other. We made it too hard for ourselves.”

Taylor pinpointed several key moments he felt probably cost the Tigers, highlighted by some poor fifth-tackle options.

“I think we turned it on ourselves with some decisions we’d like over again,” he said.

"Running the ball on the last tackle early in the second-half a couple of times, we got tackled and gave them an opportunity to attack our line.

"Giving away a penalty in the first-half on a kick pressure - everyone knows you can’t do that.

“When we did get ourselves going again in the second half, we put in a kick downfield and chased one-out on Ben Barba. He makes a half-break and then we’re behind our goal line five plays later. We did it to ourselves tonight which is the biggest disappointment.”

There were some positive signs for the Tigers, including an imperious five minute passage from fullback James Tedesco, but Taylor says it simply wasn’t enough.

“There was some good stuff tonight, but it wasn’t 80 minutes’ worth. We’ve got to manage the game better,” he said.

“We can produce those points, but that’s only one part of the game. We didn’t put Cronulla under enough pressure. We made it easier for them to score than it should have been. We gave them opportunities that they didn’t earn – I’m not saying every time – and that’s why we lost.”

Tigers veteran Chris Lawrence echoed his coach’s assessments, telling that his side lacked discipline in the key moments.

“We fell asleep in the middle of the second-half and let too many penalties and too many dropped balls. We gave them a sniff and they put on two or three tries in quick succession. You can’t do that in the NRL,” the Tigers back-rower said.

"I think the first half we controlled the game pretty well. They got a lucky try at the backend of the first half but we didn’t panic.

“We still felt we were in control of the game. We started the second-half alright, but then shot ourselves in the foot with poor last play options, errors and a couple of penalties that marched them down the field. That’s what was most disappointing.”

He’s pretty spot on, we’ve been falling asleep for the majority of games in the middle period for years though.

One article says our completion rate was passable and another says it was ‘just 74%’


Gal and Flanno such one-eyed tossers, have no respect for those peptide-pumping cheats.

I think the Heighinton try was ok, I didnt think Gallen did anything wrong running support. But similarly the Tedesco try was legit too. But they go to the press conference like annoyed teenagers, talking about dud calls and the potential risk at semi-final time, like they assume they’ll be there.

They want the Sharks try upheld and the similar Tigers try disallowed. If that’s the case don’t complain about lack of consistency, because you two idiots are as inconsistent as they come.

They didn’t seem interested in commenting on the soft late-tackle penalties they were gifted, or a 12-7 count against the home side. Such a sense of entitlement.

Even Gallen with all his crap in the papers, about winding down his Origin career, retiring etc. He’s not even a form backrower any moe, I wouldn’t pick him.