Jersey Flegg kick off season with thrilling draw

Jersey Flegg kick off season with thrilling draw

Dan Talintyre

Sun 24 Mar 2019, 03:34 PM

Wests Tigers Jersey Flegg side have drawn 28-28 with the New Zealand Warriors in thrilling circumstances in their first game of the season today at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

Wayne Lambkin’s side opened the scoring in the second minute of the game and never looked back, with a first half double to Liam Scolari paving the way for a comfortable lead at the break. The Warriors hit back in the second half, however, and looked to have stolen victory before Jock Madden ensured his team would walk away with at least one point with his second try moments before full-time.

Madden and Ben Stevanovic looked good to start the year, while hooker Rua Ngati and fullback Logen Dillon also added plenty around the ruck.

It was the damaging right edge combination of Tommy Talau and Scolari that combined to put Wests Tigers in front in their first attacking set of the game, with Madden converting from the sideline to give the hosts a 6-0 advantage.

The Warriors would hit back soon after, however, with a determined run from Isaiah Vagana seeing the forward crash over next to the posts to level the scores.

Stevanovic would put promising centre Zac Cini over in the 13th minute to put Wests Tigers back in front, before Madden doubled their lead shortly after with a clever run close to the line — converting from close range to take the score to 16-6.

Talau would grab his second try assist and Scolari his second try just before the break off the back of a towering bomb from Madden, with the halfback nailing his second sideline conversion of the day to take the lead to 22-6 at half-time.

A slow start to the second half for Wests Tigers saw a number of handling errors gift field position to the Warriors, who made the most of their chances with tries to Brody Tamarua and Casey Smith cutting the lead to 22-16 with 15 minutes to play.

Temple Smith would sensationally level the game with 10 minutes to play when a kick through was soccered twice before being dived on in the in-goal, with Tamaura adding his third conversion of the afternoon to take the scoreline to 22-22.

Full of running and with every bounce of the ball going their way, the Warriors would make it 22 unanswered second half points when a play that involved three kicks across field ended up with Tamarua diving over for his second try.

Madden would ensure that Wests Tigers’ first half efforts didn’t go unrewarded, however, with a brilliant bit of play alongside Stevanovic putting the halfback over for his second try of the day to level the game at 28-28 as time expired.

Wests Tigers Jersey Flegg will look secure their first win of the season when they take on the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs next Sunday as part of another triple-header with Canterbury Cup and NRL at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

Wests Tigers 28 (Scolari 2, Madden 2, Cini, tries; Madden 4/5 goals) drew with New Zealand Warriors 28 (Tamarua 2, Vagana, C.Smith, T.Smith tries; Tamarua 4/5 goals) at Campbelltown Sports Stadium

Thrilling draw? They were up 22-0 and let the Warriors get back into the game,. The Warriors even got in front before a last minute try under the post evened the score up again. IMO a very poor second half.

Not sure what game you were watching but it wasn’t 22-0 so you might want to check your facts before getting into them. Yes agree not a very good second half but a very good first half. They had virtually no ball in the 2nd stanza but also fair play to the Warriors who never gave up.

They will learn from their mistakes and at least fought back at the end to get a draw when it looked most unlikely.

Ok 22-6 then. Either way they squandered a huge first half lead. I’d hardly call that thrilling.

Yes agree. They do have the makings of a very good side so we might need to be patient albeit very frustrating. Chops wasn’t happy and rightly so but I’m sure they’ll learn from it.

I was more having a go at the copywriter than the team. The headline was terrible.

NZ scored 4 second half tries off kicks, we did ok

This result and last few mins were exciting. Throwing away the lead, less so.
Still, i’d estimate the Warriors had about 80% possession in the second half so in the end we did well to get a point out of the match. We literally didn’t touch the ball once for an entire 15 minute period in the second half. That’s a lot of defending and our boy’s looked understandably gassed. Thank god for madden and his skill and determination, one set down their end and he scores under the posts. Super player.

I’ll add more feedback on the performance a bit later for anyone who’s interested.

Madden was excellent. Saved the day for sure.

yes please, especially on how the development players performed.

I think you also have to put this performance into perspective based on last year’s team, which picked up the spoon if I’m not mistaken. We’ve recruited very well and the Warriors juniors are typically pretty strong, so I reckon it’s an ok result for round 1. Let’s see how the boys develop as the season progresses, I think we’ll do ok this season.

Saw the game from start to finish, madden was very good, Dillon made a couple of errors but is clearly the best ball runner in the side, caused problems up the middle every time he touched, layed on the first try held up third man in perfectly before tipping it on, ngati the hooker is very promising, just got to learn to look when he makes half a break, Talau did a couple of nice things , Cini very very quiet and Bradley had a shocker, feel sorry for the kid, he is not a winger and will be further exposed if they keep playing him there. The real worry are the forwards, I know we led and we had all the ball and penalties in the first half, but we are slow and cumbersome in the middle, Seyfarth and co look big and slow.

1 Logen Dillon - a mixed game. Made a couple of mistakes but looked dangerous when he touches the ball, was pretty involved.
2 Liam Scolari - Dived over in the corner twice. A good finisher, speedy. Looked like a bigger version of Thompson.
3 Zac Cini - Barely saw any ball as he was stuck on the left side alongside Stevanovic. Scored a solid try and was solid overall but didn’t get much of an opportunity. Could have come looking for the ball more though.
4 Tommy Talau - didn’t see a lot of the ball. Did setup a try for Scolari with a neat offload. Getting used to the centres but looked promising.
5 Kane Bradley - his first competitive game on the wing and it wasn’t good. Dropped a pretty easy kick right into the hands of an opponent and within minutes they had scored 3 tries on the bounce. Didn’t see the ball in attack at all
6 Ben Stevanovic - typical of last season, showed moments of skill but a lot of rubbish too. Did setup a try with a good pass and was there with Madden to setup the equalising try but was pretty poor overall.
7 Jock Madden - easily the best player on the field. Looked dangerous when running the ball, created some nice overlaps and was involved in nearly all our tries. Great goal kicking (the best goal kicker at the club), solid in defence and decent overall kicking game.
8 Senn Kane - Solid build, went ok but not a huge impact
9 Rua Ngatikaura - A real livewire at hooker. Made several half busts and breaks but couldn’t quite finish them off. Promising.
10 Henry Lealuga-Puhotau - Overall a quiet game from Henry. Still made decent metres and tackles but didn’t really bust the line like he can.
11 Bryn Callaghan - A very poor defensive read allowed the Warriors to walk through to score. Was probably our worst player on the field. Way too skinny for the back row, got smashed every time he got involved, which wasn’t often.
12 Ben Seufale - erratic, like last year. A few powerful runs and hits, but some silly errors and penalties too.
13 Alex Seyfarth - works bloody hard but has very little impact. Would have still made 40 tackles and 120m though

14 Max Burey - No idea why he was out there. A tiny backup halfback thrown into hooker for the final 15 mins. Poor in defence and smashed when he touched the ball.
16 Sione F L Tupou - Solid off the bench but no great impact, mostly defending
17 Felix Smith - Didn’t really notice him, may not have played a lot and mostly in defence
18 Mavoni Tuifua - Ran the ball very hard when he came off the bench and added much needed go forward.

In the end it was a very hot day during the match. About 32 degrees plus very humid. We had more possession first half and they had nearly all of it in the second. They were big, fast and skillful. Ultimately we should have won but just had an awful period where they capitalised on a couple of errors from Bradley and Callaghan to get right back into the match.

We didn’t really throw the ball around too much. Maybe because it was hot, maybe because we’re still working on our combinations with a lot of new faces and wanted to be conservative in the conditions. The forwards are the issue but i think there’s a lot more to come from them. The bench boys didn’t get a lot of opportunities. Balmain’s SG Ball side have a couple of excellent back rowers who will help this side later in the season too.

First game of the season and a lot of improvement left in this team, a huge improvement on previous seasons, and several legitimate first grade prospects. It’s just a shame we won’t get to watch them much, unless you go out to watch their standalone games.

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