Matterson determined to keep improving defensively


    Wests Tigers forward Ryan Matterson says his side are only scratching the surface of what they can achieve defensively in 2019 despite going down in Golden Point to Penrith last week.

    After keeping the Sea Eagles and Warriors to just six points apiece in their opening two games, Wests Tigers were 79 minutes in to their clash against Penrith before the home side crossed the line, eventually winning the game 9-8 in Golden Point.

    The 43 points conceded by Wests Tigers through the opening four games of the season is the second best of all teams in the competition this year narrowly behind the undefeated Melbourne Storm with 40 and, remarkably, better than the side’s strong start to the year last season where they won five of their first six games.

    Since the club’s foundation in 2000, the numbers achieved defensively in 2019 are the best start to a season the team has ever made through the first four games, and Matterson believes his side’s defensive focus will only continue to improve.

    “It definitely was a tough one on the weekend,” Matterson reflected.

    "You put such hard work into the game so to not to get away with a win was very disappointing, but there’s still plenty that we know we can take from that game.

    "We want to keep working on our attack and bringing in new work for our defence. We’ve defended really well so far and I think we can take that to a new level.

    “We want to be the best defensive side in the competition, and we’ve got a lot of improvement in our attack and defence that we know is there for us.

    "With the short turnaround, we just need to get our bodies right and be ready to go.

  • I remember a few years back I said that it would be amazing if we could just compete. Well, here we are and we’re competing. I need to think back to what we were then, and what we are now. Yeah, we’re losing more than I’d like, but at least I’m on the edge of my seat hoping we can scrape home a fair bit. We do, and it’s great. We dont and I lose it. I guess that’s what football is all about. Matterson makes a great point. And if they can be even better defensively, then we’re gonna be in a whole lot more games.

  • Wow, we kept the Sea Eagles without Turbo and the Warriors without Johnson to 6 points.

    The Warriors are ordinary.
    Manly without turbo are not a threat.
    We got shown up by a team expected to run last.

    We got beat by a team (Penrith) that couldn’t have played any worse if they tried.

    Don’t talk about how good your defense is, we’ve played against one team that threw a bit at us and we got thumped

  • Aren’t we glass half empty today….

  • So a 14 point loss is a thumping these days?

    Because you say we were shown up by a team “expected to run last”, expected by yourself I guess, though your tone indicates you probably believe there is a consensus on the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs who then traveled down to Melbourne and lost by 2 points and could easily have won.

    Perhaps the first issue you have is you underestimate the capability of the Bulldogs. Second mistake you make is writing off Warriors, or any side really, after just 4 rounds.

  • I agree with this.

    During the Penrith game, with so much ball out of play, I had time to think back to the second Tigers phase of “The Entertainers”, the first one being 2004-2007 then a new and arguably better side 2009-2012.

    That latter side just full to the brim with attacking weapons, used to score amazing tries and wrack up real tallies. Couldn’t defend to save themselves, they were a team of Andy Curriers, all flash and no grit.

    The team of the last ~2 years is pretty ugly. They lose ugly and tend to win ugly. They do defend tough, doesn’t matter if you are like TIGER and you choose to ignore the defensive record and focus solely on the results. In my opinion the stats don’t lie, the team is a substantially superior defensive team than anything we’ve produced in the previous decade.

    Clearly balance is the issue, because last year they were ~6th best defence and ~14th best attack. It does not appear that any of the coaches during this period has been able to get the side to consistently do both, to be both defensive and offensively capable.

    But what I will never forget, which so many fans do seem to forget, which Doc alludes to, is that Tigers tried attack-focused football for basically 15 years and it yielded 3 finals and 1 premiership. You have to let the team be a bit ugly and defence-focused for more than just 1-1.5 seasons per coach.

  • At the end of the day you’re judged by results, everything else is a meaningless statistic

  • When isn’t he. God, it’s boring.

  • Bulldogs won’t be running last

  • @Sabre:

    Bulldogs won’t be running last

    No they’ll be 2nd last. Down there with Manly and the Warriors and the Titans.
    Come talk to me back here when the Titans beat us.
    We’ve beaten nothing, 2 wins on the heavy with compressed defensive line.
    A loss to the Dogs who actually turned up to play and a loss to Penrith who couldn’t have played worse, I know I’m not optimistic about us (I’ve never had a reason to be look at our record) but you blokes are dead set wearing orange tinted glasses or your head in buried in the sand. We still struggle to score points until that changes we won’t win more than half of our games.

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