Reynolds’ progress and impact pleasing Cleary
Margie McDonald Senior Reporter Timestamp Sun 3 Jun 2018, 09:08 PM
Josh Reynolds needs more uninterrupted time on the football field so he can keep generating attack for the Wests Tigers, according to coach Ivan Cleary.
Reynolds clocked up 48 minutes in the 16-14 loss to the Sydney Roosters, just his third NRL game for his new club.
His try in the 74th minute – his first in Wests Tigers colours – got his teammates within striking distance of the Roosters.
“He was around our two tries. I thought they were two really good periods of play that were inspired by Josh,” Cleary said.
“He really hasn’t got much of a foundation in terms of coming and playing.”
Reynolds didn’t get his 2018 campaign underway until round six due to a hamstring strain on the eve of making his Tigers debut. Then he hurt his shoulder and was out until round 12.
Sunday’s match represented his first back-to-back NRL games since rounds 22 and 23 last year with the Canterbury Bulldogs.
“Today would have helped him. I think he got through okay,” Cleary said at Allianz Stadium.
"His first game last week, he got another knock on the shoulder, so we were a bit worried about him this week.
"The positive will be that he actually got through this game and got some minutes under his belt.
“We had a bit of a reshuffle there when we lost David Nofoaluma [33rd minute] so Grub [Reynolds] was probably on for a lot longer than we anticipated.”
At that point, hooker Elijah Taylor interjected in the post-match press conference. Taylor shuffled into the back row so Reynolds could start directing things from dummy-half.
“I thought he changed the game when he came on,” he said of Reynolds.
“He was dynamic out of dummy half – kept the markers honest, helped the comeback.”
The Tigers fought back from 14-2 down to get within two points. But the fightback started too late.
“The real positive about our team is that we never give up,” Cleary said.
"The negative is that put ourselves in a position where we have to come from behind and stage a big comeback at the end.
“In the end, the game is over and you feel like it was the one that got away.”
As for Nofoaluma, he could be on the sidelines for some time.
“It didn’t look great,” Cleary said. “Got the word pretty much straight away he wasn’t coming back on. I guess we just have to hope it’s not too bad. Scans will sort that out.”