Tiger Thompson trumps Lolohea for fullback spot

Tiger Thompson trumps Lolohea for fullback spot
Author Dan Walsh Timestamp Sat 24 Feb 2018, 10:46 PM

Unheralded Wests Tigers recruit Corey Thompson is firming as the successor to James Tedesco’s No.1 jumper when the NSW Origin star squares off with his junior club in a round one grudge match.

While Tedesco carved up on debut for the Roosters in their trial win over Manly, Thompson was once again among the Tigers best in a 24-12 loss to Cronulla Sharks at Tedesco’s old Campbelltown stomping ground.

The ex-Bulldogs flyer turned heads during a two-year Super League stint where he scored almost a try a game, and now Thompson is well on his way to forcing Tui Lolohea to either the wing or reserve grade in a fortnight’s time.

Thompson proved equal parts brave and brilliant after being preferred at fullback over Lolohea against the Sharks, putting his body on the line to snuff out multiple Cronulla raids and coming up with a scintillating 40-metre return from his own in-goal late in the match.

It’s believed Lolohea’s fitness has been a cause for concern in Tiger Town, while Ivan Cleary declared it would be “hard not to” find a spot for Thompson in his backline for the mouthwatering season opener against Tedesco and the Roosters.

“Corey’s been a standout right throughout the pre-season,” Cleary said.

"I couldn’t have asked for more from him really. He was in everything tonight.

“There was a play in the first half where Luke Lewis was destined to score from a charge down and Corey somehow got back there to save it — that epitomises what he is about.”

Lolohea meanwhile played a full 80 minutes in the curtain raiser for Wests Magpies, producing a mixed bag performance in a 22-18 loss to Newtown Jets.

Cleary was coy on Lolohea’s reserve grade showing and where the Tongan international stands with the NRL Telstra premiership just two weeks away from kicking off.

“It wasn’t so much about what Tui was going to do in that game,” he said.

“He knows what he’s got to do.”

In Lolohea’s favour is the fact he is one of few recognised goal kickers in the Tigers wider squad, and he nailed three conversions from as many attempts on Saturday.

Centre Taane Milne was successful with his one shot at goal in the top grade, while Esan Marsters missed the other.

Of Cleary’s back five, only winger David Nofaluma and Fijian skipper Kevin Naiqama can consider themselves certainties for round one, though Thompson may well now count himself in the same boat.

Seems to be a lot of assumptions in that article. Unless Cleary is feeding him into he has no more of an idea on who will be selected than any of us.

In saying that Thompson should have at least earnt a wing spot.

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Seems to be a lot of assumptions I’m that article. Unless cCleary is feeding him into he has no more of an idea on who will be selected than any of us.

In saying that Thompson should have at least earnt a wing spot.

Based on his trial form I’ll be stunned if he isn’t named at fullback for round 1.

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Seems to be a lot of assumptions I’m that article. Unless cCleary is feeding him into he has no more of an idea on who will be selected than any of us.

In saying that Thompson should have at least earnt a wing spot.

Based on his trial form I’ll be stunned if he isn’t named at fullback for round 1.

Cleary says in his post match article that Thompson will be very hard to leave out in Rd 1

NRL.com reported the only certs from the Tigers backline based off last night were Noffa and Naiqama. Another example of what clowns operate that site.

Pencil Thompson in for number 1 … Tui will be getting acquainted with his teammates in ISP.

The run near the end of the match was class.

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The run near the end of the match was class.

It was, but I wish he’d made more effort to look for a pass near the end.

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The run near the end of the match was class.

It was, but I wish he’d made more effort to look for a pass near the end.

Yep. Had Milne and MCK unmarked.

Haven’t seen him pass once. We had a 3 on 2 in the first half where he didn’t pass and shut it down. It’s and well and good to be a great runner of the ball but the fullback need to be able to take the Right options in those situations

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Seems to be a lot of assumptions I’m that article. Unless cCleary is feeding him into he has no more of an idea on who will be selected than any of us.

In saying that Thompson should have at least earnt a wing spot.

Based on his trial form I’ll be stunned if he isn’t named at fullback for round 1.

That seems most likely I agree.

My comment was more about Naiqama as well. Until Cleary names the team this journalist has as much credibility about team selection as any one of us.

To me all the trials show is that we have options for a change. Over to the coach to pick his team now.

If trial form is anything to go by, he’ll be fullback come round one.

I agree Thompson was good but aren’t we getting a little carried away here about how good?
Is it possible that it’s a combination of low expectations of him to begin with combined with just how average we went over all as a team which has contributed to us over rating how good he actually is?

I can see a lot of people turning on poor Thompson if he does in fact get the 1 spot and doesn’t do so well. Lets get realistic here, he wouldn’t make most NRL sides top 30.

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Pencil Thompson in for number 1 … Tui will be getting acquainted with his teammates in ISP.

Tui should be on the bench Rd 1 ahead of Marshall , can play 1-7 and surely could handle 9 for 10-15 minutes if needed

Knows how the team plays , Marshall hasn’t spent one minute in match conditions with this team

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Pencil Thompson in for number 1 … Tui will be getting acquainted with his teammates in ISP.

Tui should be on the bench Rd 1 ahead of Marshall , can play 1-7 and surely could handle 9 for 10-15 minutes if needed

Knows how the team plays , Marshall hasn’t spent one minute in match conditions with this team

Well watching him play the entire ISP the guy is no chance his fitness is shot, do not know what has happened but was off the pace for the whole game.

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Pencil Thompson in for number 1 … Tui will be getting acquainted with his teammates in ISP.

Tui should be on the bench Rd 1 ahead of Marshall , can play 1-7 and surely could handle 9 for 10-15 minutes if needed

Knows how the team plays , Marshall hasn’t spent one minute in match conditions with this team

His fitness is apparently the issue and you want him at dummy half…the possy that covers most ground?
Where was marshall again.last nigjt?
Still at hospital? Pfft

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