Unheralded Tigers pack builds belief from Cowboys win

  • Unheralded Tigers pack builds belief from Cowboys win
    Fri 12 Aug, 2016, 7:54am
    By Chris Kennedy ‌, National Correspondent , NRL.com

    Wests Tigers players say the belief they gained from not only matching it with, but getting the better of, North Queensland’s all-star pack last week will benefit them in what they hope will be the run home to the finals.

    Run your eyes over the 16 NRL squads to gauge who has the best pack; Brisbane, Canterbury, North Queensland, Canberra and Melbourne certainly jump out. Most probably wouldn’t nominate the Tigers pack any sooner than they would this weekend’s opponents in the Titans.

    But both packs share a common trait: plenty of players who aren’t household names who are playing to the best of their ability and helping their less-vaunted side match it with the big boys week-in week-out.

    Whether it’s Sauaso Sue, Ava Seumanufagai, Josh Aloiai and Chris Lawrence at the Tigers or Agnatius Paasi, Leivaha Pulu, Zeb Taia and Chris McQueen at the Titans, both these clubs are getting value for money out of blokes who don’t attract the sort of attention – or in most case, the salaries – of players like Matt Scott, James Tamou, Corey Parker, Sam Thaiday and Jesse Bromwich.

    Having edged the battle in the middle against Scott, Tamou, Jason Taumalolo and Co. last week though, the Tigers forwards are ready to do it again at Campbelltown on Saturday, led by irrepressible skipper Aaron Woods.

    “I think it’s massive for the confidence, particularly the younger guys, it gives them that belief that you can do it,” back-rower Chris Lawrence told NRL.com ahead of Saturday’s game.

    Lawrence is in his second year – but his first full season – as a back-rower after making the shift from the centres and last Sunday’s effort at Leichhardt was arguably his best ever in the pack. His defence and particularly the job he did cutting down Johnathan Thurston’s time and options was the standout feature.

    “But that (last week) was one game and we need to learn now we can do it, it’s about backing that up. There’s going to be an odd game or two where we’re a bit off but if we’re consistently around the mark we’ll win more games than we lose,” Lawrence added.

    "The Titans have been playing really good footy and they’re the type of side that don’t beat themselves, they really make you work hard to beat them so they’re always going to be in the game.

    “They’ve got a great forward pack and some strong outside backs that can finish the job so we’ll have to lift again on what we did last week.”

    Lock and mid-season recruit Elijah Taylor has added serious starch to the Tigers pack since his arrival from Penrith two months ago and the fact the Tigers were able to achieve what they did last week despite Taylor being concussed inside 20 minutes speaks volumes for the job the rest of the pack is doing.

    “Especially against a big pack like the Cowboys, and to have me going off then stress our bench so some forwards had to play longer than they usually do,” Taylor told NRL.com. "Losing a forward puts a lot of stress on your props.

    "As soon as I got here the big focus was on getting our team defence better; we worked really hard at it for the last two months.

    "You’re starting to see results from that hard work in our wins. We kept Parramatta to a low score, we kept Dragons to a low score. It’s pleasing to know your hard work is paying off somewhere.

    “I just think it’s our attitude towards our defence and our willingness to help your teammate and doing the little things to help the team. As long as we continue that selfless attitude it’s put us in really good stead to win games but we have to start over against the Titans.”

  • Banned

    We are getting a lot of positive media recently. Our pack have been great. Let’s hope it continues tomorrow.

  • ForumSupporter

    Like most Games…It starts up Front…Titans Pack will be no pushovers…Our Pigs will need to be just as good as they were last week…

  • @Geo.:

    Like most Games…It starts up Front…Titans Pack will be no pushovers…Our Pigs will need to be just as good as they were last week…

    Totally agree GEO,however,our team seems to have finally learnt how to play NRL standard football,its tough and grinding,WTs are now starting to play tough ,grinding football and within that parameter are winning games,good coaching and stability are at the forefront in our winning recently….may it continue for the remainder of the 2016 season…

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