SHEENS AND FARAH: WE’LL FIGHT ON
11/09/2010 10:06:54 PM
Wests Tigers coach, Tim Sheens and captain, Robbie Farah assured their fans that they will be ready to go next week if they get a second chance in the 2010 NRL Final Series.
After what was a heart breaking loss which saw them lose in the 100th minute of the match, Farah was adamant that his men will give it everything next week.
He said, “We played for each other tonight, for 100 minutes. We’ll be good to go next week”.
Tim Sheens added, “I’m proud of the guys tonight especially towards the end of regular time when we were playing with 12 men.”
However both did not deny that the match took its toll on the team with a number of injury concerns that include five eighth Benji Marshall.
“We have a few that we need to have a look at but I’m not going to release anything to the media until our doctor assesses each and every one. We’ll know more in 48 hours,” Sheens said.
Farah offered no excuses when asked if he felt his side did not get any luck when they really needed it.
“We had a number of shots at field goal and we didn’t take our chances but that’s partly to do with the amount of football we played tonight, there’s pressure and fatigue takes its toll. They had their fair share of chances too.”
Tigers fans will now have to watch the rest of this weekend’s matches with interest which will decide their fate. If either Manly or Canberra are defeated, they will get another bite of the cherry next week.
If they do get their second chance, expect that the Tigers will give it everything.
“We’ll be right” Farah concluded.
Roosters edge Tigers in stunner
By Joel Zander
Updated September 11, 2010 22:23:00
The Sydney Roosters have ridden home on the coat-tails of some Todd Carney inspiration, a Braith Anasta field goal and Shaun-Kenny Dowall intercept try to snatch a dramatic 19-15 golden-point NRL finals win against Wests Tigers at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Centre Kenny-Dowall scored the winning four-pointer in the 100th minute of a truly memorable game, intercepting a Liam Fulton pass to streak 60 metres and break the hearts of the Tigers, who ultimately shot themselves in the foot after blowing a 15-2 lead in front of 33,315 fans.
Dally M medallist and man-of-the-match Todd Carney was instrumental in the Roosters’ fight-back, having a hand in second-half tries to Braith Anasta and Mitchell Pearce.
That preceded the most dramatic period of a game this year, which saw Anasta send the match into extra time with a 35-metre field goal after the Tigers lost a scrum against the feed, and then several one-point attempts in golden point either go wayward or charged down before Kenny-Dowall’s intervention.
“In the box we were saying to each other ‘we’ve got to get the ball to (Shaun Kenny-Dowall)’ - if we get the ball to him, the law of averages this year is that he’s the gamebreaker,” Roosters coach Brian Smith said.
“I just said to him ‘you could have saved us half an hour’.”
The Roosters ensured their finals campaign remained alive while the Tigers will live to fight another day provided one of the Dragons and Panthers win their games.
Pearce likened the encounter to a State of Origin match for intensity.
“It was really physical, you’re out there with your best mates, we’ve had such a great year coming from behind, that’s our best one,” he told Grandstand.
“All the odds were against us but once against we fought back like we have all year and it’s just a credit to the boys.”
The beginning to the match was almost as wacky as the end, with Tigers second rower Gareth Ellis denied the chance to open the scoring on three separate occasions inside the first 13 minutes.
With father Ken watching on in the stands after making the trek from Great Britain, Ellis had the ball knocked out of his grasp by a desperate Carney, was held up by some equally desperate defence and then had his third effort disallowed after team-mate Benji Marshall was penalised for fighting with Roosters playmaker Mitchell Pearce.
Ellis’s pain was then compounded by being put on report for a high shot on Carney, while the Tigers will sweat on the fitness of Marshall after he limped off with a right knee injury with five minutes remaining in regular time, leaving his team a man short.
The Tigers were the dominant team of the first half and duly took a 10-2 lead into the sheds, answering Carney’s opening penalty with tries to Lote Tuqiri and Beau Ryan, the latter coming after the Roosters had performed their fifth drop-out of the opening 40 minutes.
Wests’ half-time lead could have been much greater, with Blake Ayshford adding to Ellis’s list of misses when he too was held up by Anthony Minichiello’s knees.
Ayshford however would not be denied eight minutes into the second half and when captain Robbie Farah potted a field goal six minutes later, it appeared the Tigers were kicking away with a 13-point buffer.
The Roosters however were not done and came home on the back of some Carney brilliance, the mercurial five-eighth setting up Anasta and then laying on the last pass to put Pearce under the sticks as Marshall limped off.
Interchange forward Simon Dwyer seemingly tipped the match back in Wests’ favour when he put a mammoth hit on Jared Waerea-Hargreaves in the dying seconds, only for the Tigers to inexplicably cough up possession from the scrum and hand Anasta the chance to extend proceedings.
The Roosters ultimately had enough mettle to beat the Tigers for the third time this season and they remain a chance of becoming only the second side to go from wooden-spooners to premiers - Wests having performed the feat 76 years ago.
TIGERS GO DOWN 19-15 IN A THRILLER
By Wayne Cousins
11/09/2010 11:49:59 PM
Wests Tigers suffered a heart-breaking 19-15 Golden Point loss to the Sydney Roosters at the Sydney Football Stadium tonight in the second qualifying final.
In an epic battle in front of a patriotic Wests Tigers crowd, the Roosters recorded victory in the 100th minute in front of a crowd of 33, 315.
Roosters centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall scored the match winning try from an intercept pass by Liam Fulton in a cruel way to lose the match.
From the opening minutes of the match, the Tigers were in the ascendancy. Second-rower Gareth Ellis stepped past two defenders on the end of a backline play and looked set to score before losing the ball in a try saving tackle by Roosters five-eighth Todd Carney. It was ruled no try and a goal-line drop out.
A minute later, Ellis was held up over the line. The Tigers kept the pressure on before a grubber kick by hooker Robbie Farah saw the Roosters scoop on the ball.
Ellis was over in the 11th minute but a fight erupted between five-eighth Benji Marshall and Roosters half-back Mitchell Pearce. The try was denied after it was ruled Marshall threw the first punch.
Marshall has been on song early, breaking the line and producing his trademark flick pass.
Ellis was placed on report in the 18th minute for a swinging arm in try to tackle five-eighth Todd Carney 10 metres out from the tryline.
Carney converted the penalty attempt for a 2-0 lead.
Wests Tigers centre Blake Ayshford found his way over in the corner in the 27th minute but couldn’t ground the ball in a tackle made by winger Sam Perrett. It was ruled no try with the Roosters taking a drop out.
A minute later, Wests Tigers opened their account when the ball was spread left through Farah, Robert Lui, Ayshford for winger Lote Tuqiri to dive over in the left corner for a 4-2 lead after 28 minutes.
Marshall magnificently converted the try from the sideline for a 6-2 lead after 30 minutes.
Video referee Steve Clark ruled a try to winger Beau Ryan in the 35th minute after a well constructed backline play involving decoy runners and good passing from Marshall and fullback Mitch Brown for Ryan to score in the right corner for a 10-2 lead.
Marshall narrowly failed to convert the try from the sideline.
The score remained that way until half-time.
Wests Tigers stretched their lead to 14-2 when Ayshford took an intercept pass from second-rower Mitchell Aubusson and raced 70 metres downfield to score. He was chased by Carney before being grabbed by the collar just short of the line but Ayshford held the ball up with one arm in the air before slamming it down on the line with one hand in the 45th minute.
Marshall failed to convert the try from the sideline.
Farah took the opportunity to land a field goal in the 54th minute to extend the lead to more than two converted tries at 15-2.
The Roosters got back to 15-6 when a chip kick on the last tackle by Carney saw him regather the ball to offload to second-rower Braith Anasta to score out wide.
Carney converted the try for a 15-8 scoreline after 62 minutes.
Clarke was called on to rule whether fullback Anthony Minichiello had scored in the corner in the 66th minute. It was ruled no try.
Pearce got the Roosters back to 15-12 when he scored under the posts after running off a short pass from Carney from a break at dummy half by hooker Jake Friend. Carney converted the try for a 15-14 scoreline after 75 minutes.Marshall left the field with a knee injury.
Lui pulled off a great tackle when he tackled Mitchell Aubusson into touch. Marshall has left the field with a right leg injury, leaving Wests Tigers to play the final minutes with 12 men after they used all their interchange.
Simon Dwyer pulled off a massive hit on second-rower Daniel Conn inside the final minute 20 metres from in front of the Wests Tigers tryline.
The referee ruled a fair hit with Conn leaving the field after the clock was stopped at 79.27.
Wests Tigers got the scrum feed but lock Chris Heighington was too slow to react to picking the ball up with 20 seconds left with Roosters prop Frank-Paul Nuuausala diving on the ball.
Farah fed the ball but Nuuausala at hooker got the ball with a big question mark as to whether he was offside.
With the Roosters desperately throwing the ball around, Anasta kicked a 35 metre field goal that sailed right between the posts on full-time to lock it up at 15-15 to send the game into golden point.
1st Half of Golden Point
Carney went for a 45 metre field goal but it was charged down by prop Bryce Gibbs to give Wests Tigers possession inside the Roosters half.
From the ensuing set, Farah had a field goal attempt from 20 metres out but it went wide off the posts, leaving the hooker to thump the ground in frustration.
Anasta had a shot from 45 metres out in the last seconds but it went wide as Lui gathered the ball and took it over the sideline.
2nd Half of Golden Point
Wests Tigers kicked off.
Lui went for a field goal attempt in the 88th minute from 20 metres out but the ball sailed narrowly to the left of the posts to give the Roosters possession from a 20 metre tap.
Carney went for a field goal attempt in the 89th minute from 15 metres out in front but prop Todd Payten charged the ball down before fellow prop Keith Galloway jumped on the ball.
Pearce then went for a field goal attempt in the 90th minute from 10 metres out in front but missed.
Payten threw a forward pass to Lui 35 metres out from the Roosters tryline in the 91st minute to give them a scrum feed.
Pearce then went for another field goal attempt in the 93rd minute but the ball sailed away from the posts to give Wests Tigers a 20 metre tap.
Farah then produced a great 40/20 attempt with Roosters winger Sam Perrett touching the ball in trying to catch it before the ball went over the sideline to give Wests Tigers a scrum feed 28 metres out from the Roosters tryline.
Ayshford was then taken into touch in the 95th minute just metres from the tryline after Lui sent the ball right to Fulton. The Roosters got a scrum feed 10 metres from their own line.
The Roosters won the game in the 100th minute when centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall took an intercept pass from Fulton to race 60 metres to score in the corner for a 19-15 victory.
The loss leaves Wests Tigers with just one win from eight matches in Golden Point.
Night of misses for Tigers’ Ellis at SFS
September 11, 2010 - 9:19PM
Less than a quarter of the way into Saturday night’s NRL qualifying final at the Sydney Football Stadium, Ken Ellis had every right to think he was a jinx.
Ken had made the 17,000km trek from England to see son Gareth line-up for Wests Tigers in their clash against Sydney Roosters, and to say the opening 20 minutes didn’t go Gareth’s way would be an understatement.
Not once or twice but three times in the opening 13 minutes Gareth Ellis was denied the opening try of the match.
First Todd Carney knocked the ball from his grasp as he reached out to score in the seventh minute, then just minutes later the hard-running backrower was held up.
Finally Ellis upheld his side of the bargain by chasing down a Robbie Farah grubber only for the video referee to make it third time unlucky when he took the try off the Englishman after teammate Benji Marshall was ruled to have thrown the first punch in a fight with Mitchell Pearce.
While the lack of points provided costly in the final washup - with Wests Tigers pipped 19-15 in golden point extra time, Ellis may have more pain following his next involvement.
With the Roosters on a rare raid on the Tigers’ line, Ellis collected Carney with a high tackle which was put on report.
Anything greater than a grade one careless high tackle charge will leave Ellis in danger of missing the Tigers’ next finals encounter.
Shaun Kenny-Dowall scores in golden point as Roosters pip Wests Tigers
By Ian McCullough
September 11, 2010
Shaun Kenny-Dowall scored an intercept try deep into extra time as the Roosters battled back from 13 points down to beat the Wests Tigers 19-15 at the SFS.
Kenny-Dowall’s 60-metre run after intercepting a Liam Fulton pass sealed the win in front a crowd of 33,315.
However, the Tigers will wonder how they lost a game they dominated for the opening 55 minutes before letting the Todd Carney-inspired Roosters back into the contest.
Braith Anasta’s monster 35-metre field goal from just inside the left touchline took the game into golden point - for the first time in finals history - and after both sides missed two field goal attempts, Kenny-Dowall pounced to seal a magnificent fightback from Brian Smith’s men.
The Roosters spent almost all of the first half camped in their own half as the Tigers dominated but only had a 10-2 lead to show for their efforts after four tries were rubbed out by the video referee.
Gareth Ellis was at the thick of things in the opening quarter, having three four-pointers ruled out and placed on report for a high shot on Carney.
The resulting penalty was converted by former Canberra man but the Tigers continued to dominate with Blake Ayshford held up by Anthony Minichiello when he looked certain to score.
Tempers flared in the 13th minute when Benji Marshall threw a punch at Mitchell Pearce in the build up to a try that looked to have been scored by Ellis and was subsequently ruled out.
Lote Tuqiri finally got the Tigers off the mark in the 27th minute with a try in the left corner after good work from the impressive Robert Lui and Blake Ayshford before Beau Ryan added a second just prior to half-time.
The second half started in a similar fashion with Ayshford intercepting a Mitch Aubusson pass eight minutes after the restart to race 70 metres to the line.
Robbie Farah then kicked a field goal after to open up a 15-2 lead after Benji Marshall missed his second conversion of the game.
However, the Tigers dominance started to wane, and with Carney becoming more involved in attack, the Roosters started to come back into the game.
Carney regathered his own grubber kick and then switched the ball to Anasta who charged over for his sixth try of the season.
Mitchell Pearce then brought the Roosters fans to life with a 40-metre run to the line with Carney adding the extras to make it a one-point game.
With Marshall forced to limp off, the Tigers headed towards the end of normal time with 12 men having used all of their interchanges and hanging on for dear life.
A controversial decision by referee Shayne Hayne to not penalise Simon Dwyer for a bell ringer of a hit on Jared Waerea-Hargreaves appeared to have secured the Tigers victory.
But from the resulting scrum Tigers’ back-rower Chris Heighington failed to pick the ball up, the Roosters pounced and the ball went wide to Anasta who bisected the posts as the clock struck zero.
Roosters coach Brian Smith believes Wests Tigers will struggle to recover from the match.
"That was unbelievable,‘’ Smith said.
"The Tigers owned us in the first half and my guys just hung in there and I reminded them that they came back from the same deficit against Manly a couple of weeks ago.
"It will be a fair job for them to get up for next week the Tigers, and it will be a fair job to get us up next week, too.
"The devastation of losing that game will be hard for them. I heard of the radio that (Tigers coach Tim Sheens) had said my boys would find it hard to get up for tonight. Well I think he got an answer.
"We had a bit of luck in the game, but we had a lot of guys who competed really hard we were not at our best, but were in terms of courage and effort.‘’
Anasta’s said he knew his field goal was good the moment it left his boot.
"I have been practising field goals all week, and I have felt good, as soon as I hit it I knew it was over, and I got a bit excited … I was stoked,‘’ he said.
Meanwhile, Tigers coachTim Sheens said Marshall would be a doubt for next week after he limped off with a serious-looking injury to his right knee.
"We have come out of it a bit worse for wear some of the guys who played the full game are out on their feet,‘’ Sheens said.
"Benji has a knee issue and I will leave it to the docs to decide, but I don’t know, but I would say no he probably won’t be available at the moment.‘’
"We had the game won with the last scrum there, but I was as proud of the effort playing with 12 men at the end it is the best I have seen from any team since I have been here.‘’
Marshall full of fire, but can’t go the distance in thrilling bout
September 12, 2010
IF WE needed further proof that Benji Marshall had overcome his five shoulder reconstructions, the Wests Tigers playmaker went about showing it last night with a flurry of punches that would have made Western Suburbs cult figure Tommy Raudonikis proud.
But in a brutal night, the Tigers are counting the cost after the New Zealand superstar left the field in the final five minutes with what looked like a knee injury - suffered after an encounter with the same man he fired his flurry of punches at, Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce.
The star of the night with a hand in everything, Marshall couldn’t return to the field. The Roosters took advantage of the man down to equalise the scores and send the match into extra-time before finally claiming an amazing victory with a try to Shaun Kenny-Dowall.
The mercurial New Zealand skipper has been criticised in the past for not showing enough emotion in games, but Pearce can attest to Marshall’s new-found fire. And should the No.6 recover from his knee injury, there’s every sign the Tigers can be the real deal come next week.
With the Tigers on the attack and Marshall on the second of his three first-half line breaks at the 18th minute, he was brought down by a feisty Pearce and didn’t take too kindly to the fashion in which the No.7 carried out the apprehension.
There was a bit of push-and-shove as Marshall got to his feet before the Tigers playmaker launched a flurry of punches on 21-year-old Pearce 10 metres short of the Roosters line.
Marshall landed two punches on Pearce’s chin as the Tigers crossed for a four-pointer on the ensuing play - rampaging English back-rower Gareth Ellis crossing the line for his third disallowed try in less than 15 minutes.
The referee did not award the try on account of Marshall’s brain snap, but the fire the classy five-eighth displayed set the standard for his side’s performance for the remainder of the night. Marshall has showed more consistency this season, the Tigers initially squeezing the life out of the Roosters with cunning patience.
But in his absence, the Tigers stuttered not just in attack but struggled for momentum.
If he can’t return in time for next week’s semi-final - should they survive this weekend - the Tigers could be in grave danger of a hasty exit given he hasn’t missed a match all this season.