Wests Tigers demolish Raiders 25-4 to continue late finals charge
July 26, 2009 Wests Tigers extended their late season charge toward the NRL top eight by demolishing Canberra 25-4 at Canberra Stadium, ending the Raiders’ slim finals hopes.
The Tigers moved to tenth spot and just two points behind eighth-placed North Queensland with their third consecutive win, and they have the advantage of a good run home with three of their next four games against teams outside the top eight.
The Raiders, 14th on the NRL ladder, needed to beat the Tigers and win their remaining six matches to be in with any chance of making the top eight.
The Tigers bombarded Canberra in the first half and opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a try to Tigers halfback Tim Moltzen.
Canberra, who failed to take advantage of the bitterly cold and wet home conditions, had their first chance to level the scores in the 16th minute when fullback Josh Dugan crossed for the Raiders.
But video referee Phil Cooley denied the try, ruling Raiders second rower Bronson Harrison had obstructed Tigers backrower Gareth Ellis, a ruling that was met with harsh criticism from the hometown crowd.
Moltzen clocked up a second try in the 26th minute when he ran 75 metres to score under the posts and John Morris made it three tries to nil when he scored in the 33rd minute.
Tigers skipper Robbie Farah kicked a surprise field goal just before the halftime siren to give his team a 19-0 lead at the break.
The visitors kept control of the match in the second half with winger Taniela Tuiaki scoring in the 48th minute and five-eighth Benji Marshall converting from the sideline for a 25-0 lead.
Canberra finally put itself on the scoreboard in the 62nd minute with try to winger Daniel Vidot.
It was an expensive try for the Tigers, with veteran John Skandalis placed on report for a late tackle on Raiders five-eighth Terry Campese, who had kicked the ball in goal for the try.
WESTS TIGERS BEAT CANBERRA 25-4
By Wayne Cousins
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Wests Tigers moved within one win of the top eight with a commanding 25-4 victory over Canberra Raiders at Canberra Stadium today in round 20 of the Telstra Premiership.
The win takes Wests Tigers to 20 competition points, two behind eighth placed North Queensland Cowboys.
The victory was also the first time Wests Tigers had won three consecutive matches since 2007. It now sets up a huge clash against premiers Manly at the Sydney Football Stadium on Monday, August 3, in which Wests Tigers will be hoping to have prop Keith Galloway back from a knee injury.
Captain Robbie Farah was magnificent in the win and led the way with 49 tackles while the Wests Tigers forward pack were relentless which set the platform up for the likes of halves Tim Moltzen and Benji Marshall to weave their magic.
The 21 point margin was the biggest ever victory by the Wests Tigers over Canberra and ended the Raiders’ season.
Wests Tigers were solid in the opening five minutes of the match with some unpredictable play by five-eighth Benji Marshall.
Second-rower Danny Galea has been impressive early, making some strong tackles and swooping on loose passes.
Wests Tigers opened the scoring in the 11th minute when half-back Tim Moltzen stepped back inside Canberra second-rower Glenn Turner to score under the posts for a 4-0 lead. Marshall converted the try for a 6-0 lead.
Canberra hit back in the 15th minute through a possible try to full-back Josh Duggan who stepped past Marshall and accelerated through a gap to score near the posts.
Referee Tony Archer called on video referee Phil Cooley who ruled no try due to an obstruction by Canberra second-rower and former Tiger Bronson Harrison on opposite second-rower Gareth Ellis.
Wests Tigers produced some outstanding defence on their own tryline after repeat sets to Canberra in the 20th minute.
A good run from a return kick by winger Beau Ryan saw the ball pop loose in the 22nd minute to give Canberra a scrim win 35 metres out from the Wests Tigers tryline.
Some more outstanding tryline defence by Wests Tigers resulted in Moltzen grabbing his second try. Canberra decided to run the ball on the last tackle and a desperate offload by full-back Josh Duggan saw Moltzen intercept the pass to race 88 metres to score under the posts. It was the second time this season that Moltzen has scored two tries in a game.
Marshall converted the try for a 12-0 lead after 26 minutes.
A drop ball by prop Bryce Gibbs after the re-start gave Canberra a scrum win 35 metres out from the Wests Tigers tryline. Canberra received a penalty for Wests Tigers being offside in their 10 metres. Gibbs knocked the ball out of a player’s hands at dummy half to give Canberra a scrum win 10 metres out. Duggan then lost the ball in a one on one tackle by centre Blake Ayshford.
Archer called on the video referee to determine whether interchange player John Morris was onside after a break down the right flank by speedy full-back Shannon Gallant who kicked the ball back inside for Morris to swoop on the bouncing ball to score. Gallant’s break came from an offload by prop Todd Payten.
Marshall converted the try in the 33rd minute for an 18-0 lead.
A smart play by hooker and captain Robbie Farah saw him calmly land a 30 metre field goal to give Wests Tigers a 19-0 lead at half-time. It also stretched the lead out to more than three converted tries. It was the third time in three consecutive weeks that Canberra had remained scoreless in the first half.
Canberra five-eighth Terrry Campese went for a 40/20 kick in the first minute of the second half but Gallant took the ball safely as rain starts to fall at Canberra Stadium.
A great grubber kick behind the line by Farah saw centre Joel Monaghan get trapped in-goal in the 46th minute for a repeat set of six for Wests Tigers.
The pressure told on Canberra when Marshall offloaded to centre Chris Lawrence to catch and pass to winger Taniela Tuiaki to race 15 metres to score in the corner for a 23-0 lead. It was Tuiaki’s 16th try of the season and his 37th career try.
Marshall converted the try for a 25-0 lead after 48 minutes.
Canberra looked set to score in the 55th minute but half-back Marc Herbert lost the ball five metres out from the tryline with the ball falling into the arms of Ayshford.
The Raiders got a repeat set after Ryan was caught in-goal on the last tackle from a Herbert grubber kick. The pressure was relieved when Gibbs made a driving tackle on Monaghan to force the ball loose.
The video referee was called on after a crossfield kick by Campese was touched by Monaghan in contesting the ball against Tuiaki for winger Daniel Vidot to score out wide in the 61st minute.
Prop John Skandalis was placed on report for using a left arm high on Campese after he kicked the ball.
Campese failed to convert the try for a 25-4 scoreline after 62 minutes.
A grubber kick by Campese on the last tackle saw Marshall trapped in-goal to give Canberra a repeat set in the 66th minute. The pressure was relieved when Moltzen fielded a grubber kick and raced 50 metres downfield as he was looking to link up with Gallant but couldn’t.
A Marshall kick on the last saw Vidot tackled in-goal by Tuiaki and Lawrence to give Wests Tigers a repeat set. Canberra received the ball back when a grubber kick by Marshall was too heavy and went dead.
A terrible call against Gallant after he defused a bomb and was tackled by Duggan which saw him loose posession gave Canberra a scrum win 10 metres out in the 75th minute. The Raiders lost posession when Payten took an intercept pass before getting a relieving penalty.
Wests Tigers defence remained solid in the final minutes to record a comprehensive victory.
Coach Tim Sheens said the team spoke about not letting Canberra dominate on their home turf.
"We talked about how playing down here is their domain and they like to think sides don’t like to play in these wet conditions. We have played a few games in the wet this season and we turned up,‘’ Sheens said.
“We talked about trying not to let them score and to work hard in defence.”
Sheens said hindsight was a wonderful thing when asked how good Gallant at full-back and Moltzen at half-back were.
"Both boys have done well and added an extra dimension,‘’ Sheens said.
Second-rower Gareth Ellis said it was a great performance in the wet conditions.
"The weather made us play up the middle and we made some errors. Our first half defence kept us in the game despite our errors,‘’ Ellis said.
"We are still in the mix for the finals and the task ahead is difficult but we are still in there.‘’
Tigers continue finals push
By Daniel Franklin
Wests Tigers have continued their late push for the NRL finals with a clinical 25-4 victory over the Raiders in chilly conditions in Canberra.
Two tries to half-back Tim Moltzen helped guide the Tigers to a third successive win - for the first time since 2007 - and puts them 10th on the ladder and only two points out of the eight.
The Raiders were not without their chances, playing more than 60 per cent of the game inside their opponent’s half.
But the enthusiasm and commitment of the Tigers defence frustrated the Canberra attack, which was crippled by handling errors and poor last-tackle options.
Hooker Robbie Farah told ABC Grandstand the way the Tigers defended was typical of semi-finals football.
“All the guys in the middle rolled their sleeves up and worked hard,” he said.
"Every game is semi-final footy for us from now on. The four points against today was the most pleasing part.
"If we keep going the way we’re going, we’ll give ourselves every chance [of making the finals].
“The game against Manly [next week] is crucial and we’ve got to build on our last three performances.”
Moltzen (two line breaks, 171 metres) was brilliant for the Tigers - his step and pace beating some slow Raiders cover defence to open the scoring in the 12th minute.
The Raiders were denied a chance to level the scores with video referee Phil Cooley ruling a Tigers defender was obstructed as Josh Dugan crossed the line.
Insult was added to injury when Moltzen, after helping repel a number of Raiders attacks, intercepted a Dugan offload and ran 90 metres to score under the posts.
A try to John Morris in the 33rd minute, on the back of a fluent move involving sharp work by full-back Shannon Gallant, and a Farah field goal effectively sealed the result before the break.
It was the third game in a row the Raiders have been held scoreless in the first half and dashes any hopes they may have held for reaching the play-offs.
A try to Daniel Vidot in the 62nd minute was the only highlight for the Canberra attack.
Raiders utility Josh Miller (28 tackles, 16 hit-ups, 104 metres) told ABC Grandstand the loss was disappointing given the context of the season.
“They had the jump on us,” he said.
"I think our possession was 52 per cent in the first half and you can’t be competitive in a game of football when it’s like that.
“You can’t do that against a team like the Tigers. They have a high-energy attack, and if you give them over 50 per cent of the ball they’re going to punish you.”
Wests Tigers: 25 (T Moltzen 2, J Morris, T Tuiaki tries; B Marshall 4 conversions; R Farah field goal).
Raiders: 4 (D Vidot try).
Tags: sport, rugby-league, nrl, canberra-2600, balmain-2041, sydney-2000
Hope fades as Raiders lose their way
Greg Prichard | July 27, 2009
CANBERRA began this season full of hope after qualifying for last year’s finals series in sixth place, but the realisation that they won’t be taking part in this year’s play-offs hit home hard after yesterday’s loss to Wests Tigers - six weeks short of the regular season ending.
Asked if that was it as far as making the finals was concerned, Raiders coach David Furner all but conceded, saying: “We’d have to win six from six and rely on the results of other teams as well, so … There’s no use us looking at teams that are in front of us, we just have to concentrate on playing well in the games we have left.”
The reality is that Canberra were probably gone before yesterday’s game, but football teams being football teams they like to cling to any mathematical chance there might be. But the Raiders are six points outside of the top eight, and have 13 teams ahead of them. The harsh fact is that if Sydney Roosters beat South Sydney tonight, Canberra will be only two points ahead of last place.
The Raiders were knocked about with a flu bug hitting four players in the week leading up to the game, but Furner wasn’t using that as an excuse. Instead, he focused on the fact his team couldn’t hang on to the ball.
“I was a little bit concerned about those players being crook, but I still think that if we had come up with a completion rate of about 80 per cent today that wouldn’t have been a factor,” he said. "I spoke about the ball control at half-time. We were completing at around 50 per cent in the first half, and that’s always going to make it hard for your halves to get the chance to go to the line and create.
“We weren’t getting repeat sets, and we were deflated by a couple of tries that they scored. We missed some of our big boppers as well - ‘Shillo’ [David Shillington], Scott Logan and Tom Learoyd-Lahrs.”
The Raiders were rocked when video referee Phil Cooley denied them a try in the 16th minute. The Tigers were leading 6-0 when Canberra fullback Josh Dugan touched down, but it was taken off them because of what was judged as an obstruction by Canberra second-rower Bronson Harrison on Tigers second-rower Gareth Ellis.
The Tigers went on to score the first 25 points of the game before Canberra finally got off the mark.
“I’m not sure about the disallowed try,” Furner said. “If it had become six-all we were a chance to go on with it. I haven’t looked at the replay, but that was a big momentum change. As the game went on, we didn’t show enough respect for the ball and that put us under too much pressure.”
Wests Tigers’ win against Canberra built on solid defensive effort
By Steve Gee From: The Daily Telegraph July 26, 2009 4:37PM
WESTS TIGERS 25 CANBERRA RAIDERS 4
RAZZLE-dazzle won the Wests Tigers the 2005 premiership, but Tim Sheens has long known only a major defensive turnaround would get them back in the finals.
Yesterday, the brick wall stood firm as the Tigers shut out a desperately disappointing Canberra in one of the club’s best defensive efforts since the merger in 2000.
Wests Tigers have never kept a side scoreless, but they looked on course to achieve it until Raiders winger Daniel Vidot was a awarded a benefit-of-the-doubt try in the 62nd minute.
Until that point the Tigers’ defence had been barely tested, save for a disallowed try in the opening minutes. And it was inspirational captain Robbie Farah leading from the front with 49 tackles.
It was a display of line-speed and commitment that finally matched the Tigers’ penchant for attacking extravagance.
“I guess there’s that aura out there that we’re an attacking team, but slowly we’ve got to change that - and I think we have,” Farah said.
"We can still score points, but today we rolled up the sleeves and stopped them from scoring. We won the game on (defence).
“We can do it, we know we can do it.”
It was defence that created what was ultimately the game-breaking try in the 25th minute.
The Tigers forced Raiders fullback Josh Dugan to try a desperate offload as he ran the ball on the last tackle, only for halfback Tim Moltzen to gobble up the Steeden and sprint 90m to score.
The win lifts Sheens’ men to 10th on the ladder, just two points outside the top eight, and gives the side confidence they can finally end the finals drought. They have not made the playoffs since their premiership season four years ago.
In a must-win match for both sides, the Raiders began with a lethargy that suggested they were already dreaming of a post-season break in warmer climes.
They were caught in possession on the last tackle and then surrendered the ball when a Marc Herbert crosskick sailed into touch on the full.
Two turnovers from prop Dane Tilse eventually gave the Tigers the field position to open the scoring, when Moltzen stepped twice off his right foot to beat the sliding defence and score his first try after six minutes.
Video referee Phil Cooley then earned the ire of home fans when he disallowed a try to Dugan, ruling an obstruction after the rookie fullback cut behind Bronson Harrison.
The Tigers led 19-0 at the break after a try to utility John Morris from a sweeping move that started inside their own half.
It began when fullback Shannon Gallant slipped outside Phil Graham and ran 25m before kicking infield for Morris.
Farah then all but sealed the win with a field goal 20 seconds from halftime.
Winger Taniela Tuiaki finished off a set play from 30m out, involving Benji Marshall and Chris Lawrence, eight minutes after the break as the Tigers enjoyed a resounding victory.
It was their third win on the trot, a feat they hadn’t achieved since 2007. But Sheens refused to get carried away by talk of finals football, particularly with premiers Manly looming next week.
“The confidence is building, but what we have to do is realise (it’s only one win) and I’m sure Manly will bring us back to earth on Monday night,” Sheens said.
"We’re going to have to work really hard.
“They’re talking about them now being premiership favourites again after what they did to Newcastle on Friday night.”