Arana Taumata to debut

WESTS TIGERS are set to usher reformed NRL bad boy Arana Taumata into their side to face the Panthers next Saturday after their crushing loss to the Bulldogs.
The 21-year-old - a former Broncos, Roosters, Bulldogs and Storm player who has played only five NRL games - was set to make his debut at No.7 against the Cowboys last week before an ankle injury recurred as he trained beside star five-eighth Benji Marshall.
He will see the club’s doctor tomorrow and if given the all-clear will resume full training on Wednesday following injuries to halves Robert Lui and Tim Moltzen. Debutant Blake Lazarus was industrious but struggled to assert himself on Friday night.
Taumata said he and coach Tim Sheens had spoken about his possible return ‘‘and I’m not going to say no’’.
‘‘I think it’s going to come down to if they think I am up to it physically after being out for three weeks,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s not easy to come into NRL but I won’t say no.’’
The Tigers are also set to welcome back forwards Keith Galloway and Todd Payten.
Skipper Robbie Farah labelled Taumata’s running game as ‘‘scary’’.
‘‘Obviously AJ [Taumata] was injured at the wrong time, he could have played the Cowboys game, but he was looking good at training,’’ Farah said. '‘He was going all right in [NSW Cup], too. His running game is fantastic and when he runs the ball he scares the crap out of the opposition.’'Source

i’d prefer him on the bench

0-30min: Lazzo at 7
30-55: Lazzo at 7, Taumata just running where he feels he can, a second half
55-80: Lazzo off, Taumata to 7

How would the Sydney Morning Herald know if Taumata will get the halfback spot over Lazarus or not? I hope they are right about Galloway and Payten playing against Penriff. We missed both of them big time. Marshall and Taumata could eventually be the Kiwi halves combination although Kieren Foran have something to say about that.

How was Taumata going to pay half back vs the Cowboys, when Tim Moltzen hadn’t been injured then? Unless he was up for a go on the bench. I’ve been wrong before (fairly regularly) but it doesn’t sound like Sheens’ style to me to give Lazarus just one run and then drop him.

yea no one played that great in attack against the bulldogs

Bit harsh to drop him after that

im pretty sure there is a thing called too much flare in the halves…we are looking at it.

//was set to make his debut at No.7 against the Cowboys last week//

interesting, someone on here mentioned that Moltzen had a slight injury in the Canberra game, maybe Sheens was going to give him a rest and put AJ on?

I’m happy to see him come back off the bench. It would be stupid to drop Lazarus after one game.

I don’t mind if he’s dropped when Lui comes back, but we can’t pick a new halfback every week!

have him on the bench.
can he cover for other positions in backline?

Why fart around with him on the bench?
We shouldve learned our lesson last Fri ie p/weak piddly light benches.
He’s had F/G exp…chuck him in, surely he wont go worse than Lazzo
Plus Bryce needs a minder nowdays…“These guns are lethal weapons”

The Tigers are also set to welcome back forwards Keith Galloway and Todd Payten.

I am more excited by this news. Though Toddy was out for 6+ weeks? Anyway, welcome both Keith & him back with open arms!

Todd was looking at two weeks.

Taumata was hoping to be available next week for BRET. Honestly though he is not a halfback. He has played no halfback for BRET and is way down on match fitness so if anything I would expect a roatation of he and Lazarus

I’d give him a go.

The wraps on him are to good, lets see what he’s got.

As far as debuts go I thought Lazarus was average.

But whats a halfback in the WTs squad?
We just need someone one off the ruck to make up the numbers, someone with a little NRL exp, can throw a pass, possess some skill, hopefully can kick a ball and knows how to tackle…I think he can manage that

I can only judge on what I have seen with BRET.

Without over exagerating the figures I would estimate that 90% of the time he gets the ball he does not pass it and his running game has come off all of 3 times. I would love to see Taumata debut for the Tigers but am unsure whethewr to start him or bring him off the bench.

He is a very physical defender but I think it would mean alot more of Farah and Benji acting as first receivers given what I have seen of his style.

I am also not a fan of dropping a rookie after a poor team performance on the back of bad handling and a beaten pack of forwards.

Plus I think AJ could provide alot off of the bench

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