Wests Tigers outclassed by Brisbane Broncos
MAY 20, 2017 6:32AM
WESTS Tigers season continues to slip away after another heavy 36-0 thumping at the hands of the Brisbane Broncos on Friday night. The Tigers were rocked by the late withdrawal of Luke Brooks through injury, and they were hardly in the contest at Suncorp Stadium. Nine commentator Paul Vautin was savage in his appraisal of Ivan Cleary’s men, saying they were simply not in the same league as the Broncos. “They were far too good (Brisbane), they were too classy,” Vautin said. “Against a very ordinary Tigers outfit, you have to say that. “Their defence was awful, their attack was non existent.”
Almost everything went right for the Broncos, except a sickening injury to hooker Andrew McCullough. McCullough was knocked out cold when caught in an awkward position trying to tackle Kyle Lovett in the 58th minute. McCullough’s head was split open by the impact and he was treated for minutes on the field before being taken from the field on a medical.
James Tedesco left his worst performance of the season for the final game before Laurie Daley selects his Origin side. Tedesco at least finished the game, but little else went the NSW speedster’s way on Friday night. Before the match, there was speculation Gold Coast’s Jarryd Hayne may be putting pressure on Tedesco for the NSW No. 1 jersey. And Tedesco did little to end the talk with a frustrating display that included not one but three disallowed tries and a stint in the sin bin. Tedesco got his marching orders in the 33rd minute for a professional foul then watched from the sidelines as Brisbane scored two tries in his absence to jump to a 24-0 halftime lead.
He also couldn’t take a trick when he was on the field, having tries disallowed for off-side, obstruction and a forward pass. Then again, Tedesco wasn’t alone.
But his potential Blues teammate Aaron Woods did enough on his return from injury, impressing Vautin with his leadership. “I thought Aaron Woods was good,” Vautin said. “He tried to get them going in that first half, apart from that they didn’t have a lot at all.” The signs were ominous for the second-from-bottom Tigers when they lost halfback Luke Brooks before kick-off with a hamstring injury. Jordan Rankin replaced Brooks in the run-on side to form a new halves pairing with Jack Littlejohn, who wore the No. 6 jersey vacated by Mitchell Moses’ defection to Parramatta. But nothing could stop Brisbane defying a heavy track and storming to a six- tries-to-nil victory.
Brisbane five-eighth Anthony Milford pushed his Queensland cause by laying on three tries and crossing himself on 55 minutes. Milford is expected to be placed on standby for Queensland playmaker Johnathan Thurston (shoulder) when the Maroons team is announced early next week. In another worry for Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary, reserve forward John Aloiai was taken from the field on a stretcher with a dislocated knee cap in the 75th minute. And Tigers backrower Sauaso Sue may come under scrutiny for a second-half swinging arm on Milford.