Media Reports

Cleary marks milestone with win over Eels

Author - Alicia Newton Timestamp Mon 2 Apr 2018, 08:20 PM

Ivan Cleary marked his one-year anniversary at the Wests Tigers with his side delivering another giant-killing performance.

Faced with perhaps the toughest start to a draw in NRL history, Cleary’s men have stunned three clubs and taken another to golden point in the opening month of the season.

And the Wests Tigers coach is in no frame of mind to stop there after his team’s Easter Monday 30-20 home win over Parramatta.

‘‘Try and be a tipster, it’s very hard to put performances together for any team. We looked at that as a positive,’’ Cleary said.

''It’s hard to know. Tip your top eight right now, the competition is so even.

‘‘I wouldn’t say I expected it. It’s about how we play and develop some combinations as a team and get some confidence, especially when we looked at the draw.’’

Easter Monday’s 30-20 victory over the Parramatta Eels was a solid reward for the club’s diligent efforts over the first three weeks.

After scoring just 27 points in three rounds, the joint venture doubled their attack in the space of 80 minutes as Benji Marshall and Luke Brooks clicked in the halves.

‘‘It was a total different game to how our first three went,’’ Cleary said.

''We were never too worried. Last week’s game against the Broncos, our attack was poor but the two weeks before that we played good teams with good defence.

''We’re still a new team with new combinations trying to work ourselves out.

‘‘I was happy today. The onslaught from Parramatta was strong; they’re always a strong starting team and we were on the back foot early. I was happy with how we navigated through that period. We did control the game for various periods.’’

Cleary’s praise stopped there with the Wests Tigers coach opting not to talk up the side’s chances of playing finals football for the first time since 2011.

‘‘We let the scoreboard affect us today,’’ he said.

‘’[The Eels have] a lot of attacking ability and we offered them the opportunity to get into rhythm. It’s rare to get a lesson in a win so it’s important for us to reap that lesson.

‘‘There’s a fair bit to go for us but it was nice to get points on the board. It makes life easier but maybe we thought it was too easy by the end of it.’’

The Tigers travel to New Zealand for a home game against defending premiers Melbourne Storm in round five. It will be the second time in a month that they have faced the Storm.

Eels still winless as Tigers continue early-season surge
By James Buckley
2 April 2018 — 6:11pm

The Wests Tigers sparkled at ANZ Stadium on Easter Monday, finally showing off their attacking prowess to produce their best start to a season in eight years while consigning Parramatta to a fourth-straight defeat.

A significant portion of the 30,420 fans who witnessed five blistering Tigers tries throughout the afternoon leapt to their feet upon hearing the full-time siren to celebrate the 30-20 victory, the club’s third already this season over one of last year’s top-four sides.

In a 39-minute blitz either side of half-time the Tigers piled on more points than they’d managed in their opening three games, showing their attack can play just as much of a role as their miserly defence in 2018.

Veteran Benji Marshall steered the ship after overcoming two ruptured ankle ligaments to play in the game, while halves partner Luke Brooks had one of his best games under coach Ivan Cleary.


English Super League recruit Corey Thompson also had his best game for the club with the 27-year-old on a minimum contract scoring two tries and saving a few more.

“We were never too worried,” Cleary said when asked about his team’s attack.

"[We’re] still a new team, new combinations trying to work ourselves out. We were definitely on the back foot a little bit early and I was really happy with how we navigated through that period.

“There’s a fair bit to go for us, it was nice to be able to get some points on the board, it makes life a bit easier but maybe by the end we thought it was a bit too easy.”

After 53 minutes the contest was effectively over with the Tigers leading 30-6.


Parramatta made a late surge midway through the second half as debutant George Jennings, Ryan Hoffman and Kirisome Auva’a all crossed but the damage had been done.

Incredibly the Tigers now sit fourth after four rounds, despite coming into 2018 with the toughest opening month which has also yielded wins over the Sydney Roosters, and reigning premier Melbourne.

“We’re just confident of turning up for one another,” captain Chris Lawrence said.

"We spoke about it at the start of the season, the first four, six weeks a lot of the games are won on little effort areas, not so much fancy attack but just turning up for one another.

Cleary said his side had never been distracted by their tough draw in preseason.


“You either do that or you go home crying when you look at it, it’s just how it was,” Cleary said.

"The first six weeks of the competition it’s the most even it is, trying to be a tipster at the moment it’s very hard.

“We just looked at it as a bit of a positive. It was a really good chance if we started the year well we could get some confidence.”

The Tigers will take buckets of confidence to New Zealand later this week for Saturday’s clash against the Storm, while Parramatta has six days to rebound ahead of a crunch clash with Penrith.

It’s been six years since the Eels lost their first four games of the season, and they went on to win the wooden spoon that season.


Coach Brad Arthur said his side must improve its discipline or he would continue to wield the selection axe.

“We’re not giving ourselves a chance or putting ourselves in a position to try and win a game,” Arthur said.

"Individuals have got to be accountable for it. If blokes can’t be disciplined they won’t be in the team moving forward.

"We’ll dig ourselves out, but it needs to be right now.

"We can’t get too far ahead of ourselves but we’ve just got to knuckle down and get that first win and then we’ll go from there.


“We’ve still got the potential to be in the same position we were after six games last year. That’s what we’re going to hang onto and we’re going to hang onto the fact that the last 25 minutes showed we can be a decent football team. But the game goes for 80 minutes.”

Really like the way Ivan talks in press conferences- he is very honest about where we are at and keeps the side in check. Hope this anniversary is the 1st of many.

In regards to the comments about the toughness of the draw it would be interesting to see a draw difficulty rating done at the end of the season based on how teams finished rather than on previous year results.

The ladder is a true reflection of teams performances this year. Melbourne Cronulla and Easts are actually weaker with losses of key personell and the Warriors and Saints are the best balanced sides followed by us.
They will be big games.
It’s a new year.

Cleary feeling confidence growing in Wests Tigers
Author - Dan Talintyre Timestamp Mon 2 Apr 2018, 07:38 PM

Wests Tigers Head Coach Ivan Cleary was coy about jumping to too many superlatives about his side after just four rounds, but says there’s genuine confidence building in the side after a strong start to the year.

Sitting inside the top four after an opening month that has seen them play all four teams in last year’s top four, the Coach couldn’t hide his joy about the way in which his new side has handled the year so far. “To be honest, I wasn’t really worrying too much about the wins and start to the year,” Cleary said.

"I’m still not.

"It’s just about how we play and getting some combinations going, especially when we looked at the draw.

"It was about getting combinations and playing as a team, and we’ve been lucky enough to get a few wins.

“It certainly looks like we’re pretty confident, and I was pretty confident coming in to today’s game.”

“We’re just confident in the way we’ll keep turning up for each other,” co-captain Chris Lawrence added.

"The first four to six weeks are often won on those little effort areas and not fancy attack, and just turning up. We knew if we did that, we’d be in games for the last 10 minutes and that’s all you need.

"It gives you confidence when you know the guy inside and outside of you has got your back.

“Sometimes things come off and sometimes they don’t, but it’s a good feeling to know you’re a team.”

While the result was a positive one for Wests Tigers, the way the side finished the game — conceding three late tries to the Eels — was something that the squad were well aware needs addressing for next week.

“We offered them [Parramatta] the opportunity to get in to a rhythm and they found that,” Cleary said.

"It’s a rare thing to be able to get a lesson like that and win.

“The biggest thing is that we heed that lesson today.”

’‘It was a total different game to how our first three went,’’ Cleary said.

''We were never too worried. Last week’s game against the Broncos, our attack was poor but the two weeks before that we played good teams with good defence.

Haha …suck on them lemons wayne

‘‘We let the scoreboard affect us today,’’ he said.

‘’[The Eels have] a lot of attacking ability and we offered them the opportunity to get into rhythm. It’s rare to get a lesson in a win so it’s important for us to reap that lesson.

‘‘There’s a fair bit to go for us but it was nice to get points on the board. It makes life easier but maybe we thought it was too easy by the end of it.’’

Great point…

A lesson and a win…

We lost the plot. Godinet’s stupid kick was evidence of that. Have to learn to play the game out when we have it in the bag. Good learning curve.

@:

We lost the plot. Godinet’s stupid kick was evidence of that. Have to learn to play the game out when we have it in the bag. Good learning curve.

Must be hard for you now , we score points and you want to bang on about the last 20 minutes. When a team has a big lead they switch off. Didn’t see Ivan too worried about it. Enjoy the victory mate, stop looking for things to whinge about.

@:

We lost the plot. Godinet’s stupid kick was evidence of that. Have to learn to play the game out when we have it in the bag. Good learning curve.

Yep like Ivan said its not often you can take a lesson from a win.

In the post game interview with Benji it was obvious how dirty he was that he didn’t take back control of the game when we lost our way with 3 silly mistakes. That is a very good sign and Eisenhuth also said the same.

@:

We lost the plot. Godinet’s stupid kick was evidence of that. Have to learn to play the game out when we have it in the bag. Good learning curve.

I can feel for Godinet, we were on the ascendancy and the play was on, just poor kick execution.

Not playing what you see and getting too conservative is also a mistake at that stage of the game.

Godinet would not have thought “play safe because maybe we cant defend 24 points”.

Let’s enjoy the win and being 3 from 4.

Nice to be in the top 4 of the table with the best defensive stats for 2018.

At the start of the season when you looked at our draw not many of the Forum Member would have anticipated being 3 from 4 including beating so called heavy weights Easts, Melbourne and Parramatta and being pipped in extra time by the Broncos.

Still a long way to go however a solid foundation has been set and we should not lose any players at State of Origin time.

@:

‘‘We let the scoreboard affect us today,’’ he said.

‘’[The Eels have] a lot of attacking ability and we offered them the opportunity to get into rhythm. > It’s rare to get a lesson in a win so it’s important for us to reap that lesson.
‘‘There’s a fair bit to go for us but it was nice to get points on the board. It makes life easier but maybe we thought it was too easy by the end of it.’’

Great point…

A lesson and a win…

Absolutely! I’m sure it will give the staff a slightly different angle to work on this week - getting a lesson before playing the Storm is a good thing.

@:

We lost the plot. Godinet’s stupid kick was evidence of that. Have to learn to play the game out when we have it in the bag. Good learning curve.

Don’t think it was a stupid kick, in fact, far from it, as it asks a different question for the defensive team. The kick itself though, was a very poor attempt.

@:

@:

We lost the plot. Godinet’s stupid kick was evidence of that. Have to learn to play the game out when we have it in the bag. Good learning curve.

Must be hard for you now , we score points and you want to bang on about the last 20 minutes. When a team has a big lead they switch off. Didn’t see Ivan too worried about it. Enjoy the victory mate, stop looking for things to whinge about.

Oh mate im devo 😆

I love everyone atm. Even you lol lol.

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