So tonight I was a massive nerd and did my best to take stats while I watched the game. Obviously these won’t be dead accurate but will hopefully give those who missed it a bit of an insight.
Saints won 20-10
Penalties saints 10-7. Tigers received 1 penalty second half.
1. Heleta - game stats 13 runs, 113m
2. Nofa - game stats 8 runs, 60, 3 offloads, 1 try
3. Chee-Kam - game stats 11 runs, 80ms, 1 offload, 1 try assist 1 error
4. Kev - game stats 3 runs for 15m
5. Suli - 9 runs, 68m, 1 offload
6. Littlejohn - 1 run, 12m, 1 try assist, 2 missed tackles
7. Hunt - 3 runs, 8m, 2 missed tackles
8. T. Grant - 8 runs, 68m, 1 offload, 2 missed tackles
9. Mcillwrick - 3 runs, 39m, 1 error
10. Ava - 5 runs, 47m, 1 missed tackle
11. Sue - 4 runs, 33m, 1 error, 1 offload, 1 missed tackle
12. Lawrence - 5 runs, 33m
13. Taylor - 4 runs, 32m, 1 offload, 1 error, 1 missed tackle
This 13 played the full 20. I felt our forwards dominated theirs fairly easily but we had no cohesion in the halves/backs. The try was after we’d had a pretty poor set on their line. McIllwrick went the short side to MCK who got a great offload to Heleta who simple drew the winger to give to Suli to dive over in the corner. Hunt converted from the sideline. Saints used the ball more then us and looked crisper in attack. They had us shot on the right twice but poor final passes left tries begging. Hunt missed a bad tackled on Mann but he was well covered by Lawrence and MCK who forced the ball loose in a dangerous situation.
Same team except Rankin for Suli, Marshall king for McIllwrick and aloiai came on for Ava halfway through.
Debelin was sin binned early for striking, we scored next set after Littlejohn put a nice cross field chip for Nofa in the corner. Rankin missed by a mile from the sideline. Rankin spilled the ball on a kick return, saints luckily drop it next set. In the 38th minute saints somehow get their left centre on the outside of Nofa from a simple shift and score. Our right defence is a complete shambles. I don’t know who’s fault it is but even a second rate dragons outfit was making breaks down it. From the ensuing set saints throw the ball around on halfway, have a few offloads, shift from right to left and Field crosses next to the posts as halftime sounds. He hit the posts and we go to the break up by 2.
Completely different team.
2. Mata’afa - 5 runs, 41m
3.idris - 6 runs, 77m,
6. Rankin - 9 runs, 71m, 2 errors
7. Marshallking - 1 run, 10m, 3 missed tackles
8. J. Grant - 6 runs, 54m
9. Little john
10. Eisenhuth - 1 run, 10m
11. Sironen - 4 runs, 21m, 3 missed tackles
12. Masters - 5 runs, 32m, 1 error, 1 missed tackle
13. Aloiai - 5 runs, 32m
From here on in it was a very dull affair. Saints were camped at our end. We had 1 set in saints 20 and rankin dropped it cold 3rd tackle. I didn’t see one shift all quarter. Saints still had a lot of their main squad on like Sims, Ah Mau, Mann, Mccrone, Lafai, de Belin, McInness. The only real highlight was Idris first hit up where he made 15m. Our guys tried hard the whole game but it was a shambles from here. Eisenhuth went off with what looked like a leg injury after 10mins and was replaced by LoLo. It didn’t seem serious. Our goal line defence and particularly scramble was pretty good. Nofa and Mata’afa both made last ditch tackles to save tries.
6. Masters (yep that’s how seriously we took it)
7. Little john
8. Tatola - 5 runs, 41m, 1 error, 1 missed tackle
10. LoLo - 6 runs, 55m, 1 error
I really wish I left before this started. Again we tried but saints were camped at our end. The highlight was probably a hilarious kick that JLJ put up that went about 10m backwards that saints somehow didn’t score off. They scored off a grubber with about 10 to go. Basically with masters playing 5/8 you know how seriously we took this. Bad part was Suli went off with a leg injury that looked worse then Eisenhuths and was replaced by Heleta. Saints again had a pretty strong team on the park.
Overall I wouldn’t be worried about the result at all. Both forward packs at the start were reasonably strong and we dominated theirs. We just didn’t have the backs to make the most of it. Helena is safe and I’d be happy with him filling in if Teddy is out. T.grant and Ava were both great. I’ll be very surprised if Idris is in the team for round 1. He was very hard to pull down and safe in defence but he looked out on his feet after 10 mins. He only played left centre. Lastly I know it’s been done to death but rankin was beyond terrible. He dropped the ball twice and in general was just horrible in every position. I would rather Tatola on the wing then him, he can’t be near the team if we are to challenge for the 8.