Media Reports

Wests Tigers extend winning streak to six
August 16, 2009 - 3:53PM

Sharks 10 Tigers 56

Wests Tigers stretched their NRL winning streak to six games on Sunday with a record 56-10 thumping of Cronulla at Toyota Stadium.

The Tigers piled on five first half tries and five more in the second stanza to claim a 46 point victory in front of 12,982 fans and move to fifth place on the NRL table.

It is the Tigers’ biggest-ever victory over Cronulla, surpassing the 46-6 mauling they dished out in 2005 on their way to the NRL premiership.

Winger Taniela Tuiaki scored a hat-trick to claim the club’s tryscoring record in a season, his 21st try of the year in the 78th minute moving him past the 20 tries Pat Richards bagged in their premiership season of 2005.

Five-eighth Benji Marshall, winger Beau Ryan and centre Blake Ayshford also bagged doubles, while hooker Robbie Farah and fullback Tim Moltzen were among the Tigers’ best players with a hand in almost everything.

Marshall celebrated his 100th NRL game with 24 points coming from two tries and eight conversions from 10 attempts.

Farah and Moltzen cut the Cronulla defence to shreds through the middle as the Tigers ran to a 28-0 half-time lead.

Moltzen then highlighted his stunning performance with an 85m solo try just three minutes after the break.

A wayward offload from Cronulla’s Anthony Tupou on the last tackle landed with Tigers prop Keith Galloway who passed to Moltzen and he weaved through some traffic before sprinting clear to score.

Cronulla eventually put points on the board, but it took a dose of luck with centre Mitch Brown scoring after he dropped the ball but quickly turned the error into a drop kick and regathered to score in the 55th minute.

The Sharks added another consolation try in the 69th minute to Matt Wright after the Tigers produced a string of long-range efforts to Ryan, Marshall and Ayshford.

But while Tigers coach Tim Sheens would be pleased with the performance, he has some judiciary concerns ahead of next Friday’s blockbuster with fellow form side Parramatta.

Second rower Todd Payten was put on report for an off-the-ball lifting tackle late in the second half, while English import Gareth Ellis was cautioned for an attempted trip, which could attract the attention of the match review committee.

Rampant Tigers roar into fifth
By Joel Zander

Posted August 16, 2009 16:03:00
Updated August 16, 2009 18:23:00

Benji Marshall dined out with a career-best 22 points in his 100th NRL match as West Tigers leapt to fifth spot on the NRL ladder with a 56-10 demolition of Cronulla at Shark Park.

The rampant Tigers extended their winning trot to six matches with a nine-tries-to-two romp which featured a hat-trick from winger Taniela Tuiaki, who took his NRL leading tally to 21 for the season, a club record.

Marshall and centres Beau Ryan and Blake Ayshford all bagged doubles as the Tigers backline toyed with the Sharks defence at times.

Tim Moltzen, returning to full-back to make way for debutant number seven Robert Lui, had a hand in several of the four-pointers while also scoring one himself.

The bulk of Wests’ tries were built on scintillating backline movement which had the Sharks’ defence at sixes and sevens for the majority of the contest.

“There were times when I didn’t know if I would make it to 100,” said Marshall, who has had five shoulder reconstructions.

"There was times I wanted to stop training, give up and go on a holiday and (my family) brought me back down to earth and kept me there.

"You always doubt yourself but I’m lucky I’ve got a competitive nature where I want to get back and be the best.

“In the back of my mind it meant something getting (100 games) after the setbacks I’ve had.”

Forward Gareth Ellis told ABC Grandstand the Tigers saw the encounter as a tricky one.

“We’ve been playing pretty good football, we’re stringing wins together and it’s nice to get that one under the belt,” he said.

But he insisted the best is still to come from the Tigers.

“Despite the scoreline, I don’t think we played any way like we can do, so we’re building. But there’s still a lot of work to be done,” he said.

“That’s what I’ve noticed since coming to the Tigers, just the capabilities of certain individuals to score tries from anywhere on the field.”

Moltzen and Marshall combined on many occasions to run the Sharks’ defence ragged, with their backline understudies on hand to finish off.

The pair combined for the opening four-pointer, with Marshall feeding the ball to Moltzen in broken play before receiving it back again to score under the black dot.

Lui then grubbered to the righthand corner where Sharks winger Misi Taulapapa failed to control the ball and Ayshford cleaned up the scraps.

The Tigers were making it look all to easy and had their third try in the 25th minute when an unmarked Ryan was put over by Robbie Farah after fine lead-up work from John Skandalis.

That made it 16-0 and when Tuiaki bagged a double to close out the half, the match was as good as over.

It was a procession for the visitors in the second 40 minutes as they put on another five tries, Tuiaki strolling over for his third in the dying moments.

The win was the Tigers’ biggest over the Sharks, eclipsing a 46-6 result on their way to the premiership in 2005.

Marshall said the Tigers will really be able to measure themselves in coming weeks when they take on Parramatta, the Gold Coast and the Bulldogs.

“If we want to be serious about semi-final football you’ve got to match it with the tough teams and they’re three of the toughest teams going around at the moment,” Marshall said.

"It will test our form, if we’re good enough to make it they’re three teams we’ll be playing that we need to beat.

“It’s still a long way to go. We could go fifth this week and next week be back to eighth or ninth.”

WESTS TIGERS BEAT SHARKS 56-10 IN NRL
By Wayne Cousins at Toyota Stadium
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Wests Tigers made it six consecutive wins with a thumping 56-10 victory over Cronulla Sharks at Toyota Park on Sunday, August 16, in round 23 of the Telstra Premiership.

The win moves Wests Tigers to 26 points and in fifth place, depending on the result of the Brisbane-Penrith match. A Penrith win will see Wests Tigers in sixth position.

Wests Tigers half-back Robert Lui had his parents, Wasse and Phillip, and grandmother Anima at the game after the club flew them down from Mt Isa and Townsville respectively to watch his NRL debut.

The Sharks dominated the opening five minutes through posession and attacked the Wests Tigers line on three separate occassions through consecutive penalties but the defence held firm.

Wests Tigers opened the scoring in the 10th minute when an inside ball by five-eighth Benji Marshall saw him link up with full-back Tim Moltzen who then drew in the full-back for Marshall to score under the posts in his 100th game for the club.

Marshall converted the try for a 6-0 lead.

The Sharks did not help their cause when they failed to find touch 10 metres out from the sideline from a penalty kick downfield.

Wests Tigers stretched their lead to 10-0 when a grubber kick by Lui was spilt by Sharks winger Misi Taulapapa for centre Blake Ayshford to score. Marshall failed to convert the try from the sideline to leave it at 10-0 after 18 minutes.

Some good lead up work by international second-rower Gareth Ellis and prop John Skandalis saw play taken to 10 metres short of the Sharks line.

On the next play and the last tackle, the ball was spread right with hooker and captain Robbie Farah delivering a long cut out pass for winger Beau Ryan to score.

Marshall converted the try for a 16-0 lead after 26 minutes.

The Sharks went close to scoring in the 28 minute when an inside pass from a crossfield kick saw Marshall take an intercept on his line. A few plays later, Wests Tigers dropped the ball to give the Sharks a scrum feed 25 metres out.

Video referee Phil Cooley was called on in the 31st minute to rule if Taulapapa scored in the corner after a short raid by second-rower Paul Gallen and full-back Nathan Stapleton. Replays showed Taulapapa had a foot on the line and had dropped the ball in diving over, so the try was not awarded.

A dummy half break by Farah five metres out from his own line saw him race to the 40 metre line before offloading an inside pass to powerful winger Taniela Tuiaki to race the length of the field to score behind the posts. Marshall converted the try for a 22-0 lead after 34 minutes.

Tuiaki grabbed his second try on the siren when he finished off a crossfield run from Ryan that saw Marshall throw a long cut out pass for the winger to score. It came after Ryan had received the ball from Ayshford.

Tuiaki’s second try now sees him equal Pat Richards’ record of most tries in a season of 20 set in 2005. Richards achieved his 20 tries in 28 games which included the finals. Tuiaki has achieved 20 tries in 21 games.

Marshall converted the try from the sideline to give Wests Tigers a 28-0 lead at half-time.

2nd Half
A loose pass from the Sharks saw prop Keith Galloway pick the ball up and pass it to Moltzen who stepped and weaved past a few defenders to race 85 metres to score under the posts for his second try. Marshall converted the try for a 34-0 lead after 44 minutes.

The video referee denied a try to Ryan in the 53rd minute after it was ruled the ball had touched Ryan and into Taulapapa for Ryan to catch and race away to score.

Two minutes later, the video referee was called on again to rule whether centre Mitch Brown had grounded the ball after he put a grubber kick through to score. The try was awarded for a 34-4 lead. Covell missed the conversion from the sideline.

Ironically, Brown scored against the team he will play for next season.

Ryan was not to be denied in the 58th minute when a Farah grubber kick on the run saw the ball bounce up over Taulapapa for Ryan to regather and score in the corner.

Marshall failed to convert the try for a 38-4 lead.

John Morris has taken to the field for the first time to replace Farah, who has been given a rest by coach Tim Sheens.

Marshall grabbed his second try when he easily stepped past full-back Nathan Stapleton to race 45 metres to score under the posts. The try started after Moltzen fielded a kick, passed to Tuiaki who passed it back to Moltzen before he offloaded to Marshall to run down the sideline before stepping Stapleton.

Marshall converted the try for a 44-4 lead.

Two minutes later, Ayshford grabbed his second try when he scored out wide after a long cut out pass by Moltzen. It came after an intial break by Marshall and support play by Moltzen and Lui.

Marshall converted the try to give Wests Tigers a 50-4 lead after 67 minutes.

The Sharks gave those supporters still at the ground a reason to cheer when five-eighth Matt Wright stepped past some tired defenders to score under the posts. Covell converted the try for a 50-10 scoreline after70 minutes.

Wests Tigers prop Todd Payten was placed on report after the try for a lifting tackle.

Sharks centre Ben Pomeroy made a break down the right flank only to send a poor pass to Covell into touch.

Tuiaki scored his third try when he finished off a backline play to score behind the posts to set a new record of most tries in a season with 21 tries in 21 games to break the record of Pat Richards.

Marshall converted the try for a 56-10 lead with a minute remaining.

The final minute saw Marshall attempt a 45 metre field goal but it went wide.

@willow:

Rampant Tigers roar into fifth
By Joel Zander

Posted August 16, 2009 16:03:00
Updated August 16, 2009 18:23:00

Benji Marshall dined out with a career-best 22 points in his 100th NRL match as West Tigers leapt to fifth spot on the NRL ladder with a 56-10 demolition of Cronulla at Shark Park.

The rampant Tigers extended their winning trot to six matches with a nine-tries-to-two romp which featured a hat-trick from winger Taniela Tuiaki, who took his NRL leading tally to 21 for the season, a club record.

heres a bit of maths for joel zander:
benji 2 tries + 8 goals = 24 points
tigers scored 5 tries in the first half + 5 tries in the second half = 10 tries

Wests Tigers outplay Cronulla Sharks to return to NRL’s top eight
By Todd Balym From: AAP August 16, 2009 3:59PM

WESTS TIGERS 56 CRONULLA 10

THE dust was still settling on the Wests Tigers’ demolition of the poor old Sharkies yesterday when the attention turned to next week.

Tigers v Parramatta. Fifth v eighth. Jarryd Hayne v Benji Marshall. The mouth waters at the mere thought of it.

“Parramatta are the form team of the comp right now,” said Marshall, who produced a blinder in his 100th match for the club.

"Whether they’re placed eighth, or wherever they are, doesn’t matter.

“This game is a big one.”

And as for Hayne?

“He’s the freak of the comp right now,” Marshall said. “Some of the stuff he did (against the Warriors) with the chip and chase. He’s unbelievable. We’re going to have a job to shut him down.”

Hayne might be the form player of the competition, but Marshall reminded everyone that he is capable of turning it on with the best of them yesterday.

After struggling at halfback, he has relished the decision to place the No. 6 on his back again. It was no more evident than yesterday.

And no more evident than the 62nd minute, when he smoked down the left touchline before producing the massive left-foot sidestep to snap inside Sharks replacement Nathan Stapleton and run away to score.

The try was Marshall’s second and took the visitors out to a 42-4 lead. All the damage had been done in the first half - and much of it by tank-like winger Taniela Tuiaki who scored three tries.

After sinking to second-last at one stage, yesterday’s result was the Tigers’ sixth in a row and they are sitting pretty in fifth position.

But whatever you do, don’t tell them they are starting to resemble the side that snatched the premiership in 2005.

“The devastation of the last three years and not making the semis has put things into perspective,” Marshall insisted. “We’re a better team than what we have been in the last three years and we want to prove that.”

Captain Robbie Farah also dismissed comparisons.

“It’s a different team,” he said. “Even though we’re in a good position now, we’re not guaranteed a semi-final spot. It’s so close around the bottom of the eight. A couple of losses, you’re straight out the back door. We’re not getting too carried away.”

Besides, the Eels are fast approaching in the rear-view mirror. Then come the Titans and Bulldogs on the run home.

Even though Sharks coach Ricky Stuart sat with his arms folded and slunk deeper into his seat on the sideline with every try, he couldn’t help but be impressed by what he had seen.

“There was some fantastic attack today,” he said. "What Benji Marshall and young (fullback) Tim Moltzen did, and some phases of their attack, were excellent. They were really good.

“I’m very critical of our defence, but the attack was exceptional. Some of the best I’ve seen for some time.”

But that’s as far as the praise went. Asked for a prediction in the clash between the Eels and Tigers, Stuart snapped: “You’re asking the wrong bloke. We just got beat by 50. Do you think I really care about Balmain or Parramatta? Please.”

The football purists will when the two sides meet in a blockbuster at the SFS on Friday night.

The renaissance of Marshall, in particular, is something to relish.

“A lot of people still underestimate what he went through - five shoulder dislocations,” assistant coach Royce Simmons said.

“It’s amazing he’s even playing the game. He’ll keep getting better for the next 18 months. He’s still getting confidence back, and a game like that certainly pushes him a bit further again.”

Tigers blow hapless Sharks out of water
Glenn Jackson | August 17, 2009

Tigers 56 Sharks 10

Fifth place. Sixth win in a row. Ten tries. Biggest win against Cronulla. Taniela Tuiaki breaking the club record for tries scored in a season. But the most significant milestone occurred before any of this had even happened.

Well before Benji Marshall scored two tries and eight goals for a 24-point haul, and showed shades of 2005 with a vintage performance a few weeks out from the finals, against Cronulla, the five-eighth did something he has wondered before if he ever would. He ran on to the field for a century of NRL games.

‘‘There’s times I’ve wondered whether I’d make it to a hundred,’’ Marshall said. ''In the back of my mind, it meant something, just getting that far after the setbacks I’ve had. I’ve questioned myself a couple of times, whether I’d make it there.

''Hopefully, there’ll be a hundred more to come.

‘‘You always doubt yourself, but I’m lucky I’ve got a competitive nature. I want to get back and be the best. There were times I wanted to stop training, give up and go on a holiday, but my family brought me back down to earth and kept me there.’’

They may be called on this week to keep his feet on the ground, because those very shoes were dancing and stepping to a beat that was eerily familiar. In 2005, Marshall’s brilliance against Cronulla at Toyota Park announced the Tigers as premiership possibles, before his flick made them premiership certainties.

Yesterday, he toyed with the Sharks with the same disdain and disregard for the opposition that will have a number of teams looking over their shoulders.

Tigers assistant coach Royce Simmons played that down. It was only Marshall’s shoulders that he could bring himself to discuss.

‘‘A lot of people still underestimate what he went through - five shoulder dislocations,’’ he said. ‘’[It’s] amazing he’s even playing the game. He’ll keep getting better for the next 18 months. He’s still getting confidence back, and a game like that certainly pushes him a bit further again.’’

Marshall said the Tigers could also only get better, saying the team was being driven by the ‘‘devastation’’ of missing the finals for the past three seasons.

‘‘We’re a better team than we have been in the last three years, and we want to prove that,’’ Marshall said. ‘‘But we did it the tough way. It wasn’t pretty out there.’’

That’s like saying Elle Macpherson looks bad in the morning because the Tigers were still absorbingly entertaining. Which is a turnaround of fortunes to rival Marshall’s, considering the Tigers were second last earlier in the season. ‘‘In the back of your mind, you always believe you can make it, but sometimes you’ve got to face reality and think, ‘Can we really do it?’’’ Marshall said.

‘‘We went into camp at Kiama and really had a good look at ourselves, and we started playing for each other. You can tell that the way we’ve been playing the last few weeks. But we can’t stop here. If we lose next week, this week means nothing.’’

While the attacking acumen of Marshall and fullback Tim Moltzen - lauded by Sharks coach Ricky Stuart as ‘‘the best I’ve seen for a long time’’ - was at times breathtaking, it was defence that laid the way for it.

Again, it paints a picture of a different Wests Tigers side. In recent years, the Tigers have been consistently inconsistent. In the three years the Tigers have missed the finals, they have conceded 565, 561 and 560 points (at least they could say they had been gradually improving). But with three rounds left, they have conceded just 409 points, which means only a significant implosion could prevent them from a significant improvement.

‘‘We’re consistently showing up,’’ skipper Robbie Farah said. ‘‘In the past we’ve probably struggled with our consistency - we’d show up with the right attitude, and then we’d drop off. But in the last six to eight weeks, we’ve had a really good attitude to our defence, showing up, wanting to make tackles, wanting to work for each other.’’

Stuart, on the other hand, questioned his side’s commitment.

WESTS TIGERS 56 (T Tuiaki 3 B Ayshford 2 B Marshall 2 B Ryan 2 T Moltzen tries B Marshall 8 goals) bt CRONULLA 10 (M Brown M Wright tries L Covell goal) at Toyota Stadium. Referee: Steve Lyons, Alan Shortall. Crowd: 12,982.

Tears flow as a family lives out its dream
Glenn Jackson | August 17, 2009

About 20 years ago, Phillip Lui made the long trip from Townsville to Sydney to play at Endeavour Field, representing a Queensland A team.

Last week, he travelled the same distance, and found himself at the same destination, for his son’s NRL debut.

‘‘After the game I played, I watched Steve Mortimer against Perry Haddock for the Sharks,’’ Lui recalled. ‘‘I told him [Robert] all about that.’’

And so Robert Lui played on the same grass his old man graced many years ago, even if the ground is now named not after an English shipping relic but a Japanese car company.

At Toyota Park yesterday, a destiny was realised, one which began when Phillip Lui put a Brisbane Broncos supporters football in his three-year-old son’s hands and continued last week when the son, now 19, used those same hands to phone his father.

‘‘He rang up and I said, ‘What’s happened?’’’ Phillip said. ‘‘He said, ‘Dad, pack your bags, you’re coming to Sydney.’ We all started crying.’’

So Phillip and Wasse Lui packed their bags, leaving Mt Isa at 4am last Thursday, driving the 10 hours to Townsville.

‘‘It was us, the semi-trailers, the road trains and the kangaroos,’’ Robert’s mother Wasse said.

''At one stage, Phil was feeling tired at the wheel, but I told him about the sacrifices Robert had made. We’ve been dreaming about this. He promised me this when he was 12 - he said he was going to be a professional footballer.

''I’m still crying about this.

''When he was three years old, his father put a Broncos football in his grip. When he was four he was playing with it in the front yard.

‘‘The whole family’s watching, in the Torres [Strait], Burdekin, Sarina, Mt Isa.’’

The Tigers first spotted Lui when he was 15, and sent him to Gold Coast’s Keebra Park High School, the same nursery that produced Benji Marshall. The club then brought him to Sydney for last year’s Toyota Cup season.

He is now a first grader, but certainly hasn’t forgotten where he came from. On Friday night, he was given a traditional island dinner of sop sop - pumpkin and sweet potato cooked in coconut milk - and island pancakes the following morning.

He stayed with his parents in the Drummoyne unit the Tigers organised for them on Saturday night.

‘‘He’s showed us all around Sydney,’’ Phillip says.

‘‘We went to Coogee Beach, and the SFS, obviously. I wanted to see that place.’’

There is one downside to this story, if you could call it that. Robert was meant to return home next week for his grandmother Anima’s 69th birthday celebrations.

Although Anima, a Townsville resident but at Toyota Park yesterday, didn’t mind that. ‘‘As long as I came here to see him play,’’ she said.

And the party will ensure Phillip, Wasse and Anima won’t be at the SFS next Friday night when the Tigers play Parramatta. But it appears likely Lui will be there, if his assistant coach’s words are anything to go by.

‘‘He’ll feel more in the team next week,’’ Royce Simmons said. ‘‘He’ll feel a bit more like he should be in the side, and that’ll help him.’’

Today, Phillip, Wasse and Anima will attend a Wests Tigers fan day, where their son will give his father a piece of rugby league memorabilia, a signed jersey. They will return home, surely knowing their next trek to a Cronulla footy field will be less than two decades away.

Tuiaki show rolls on with hat-trick, and he has more tricks in the tank
Jacquelin Magnay | August 17, 2009

Taniela Tuiaki’s hat-trick of tries in yesterday’s demolition of the Sharks brought his season’s tally to 21 - a Wests Tigers season record. This powerhouse winger, with his size and pace and a nose for a defensive hole, is just one try shy of the all-time Wests Tigers record of 43, held by Daniel Fitzhenry.

Amazingly, Tuiaki has scored as many tries this season as he did for the previous 2½ seasons.

So what has the quiet giant with the gold teeth been doing differently?

Certainly the milestone is particularly rewarding after being snubbed for Kiwis selection in the World Cup late last year, but it also allows him some bragging rights over dinner.

For Tuiaki now shares a house with Benji Marshall and the Wests Tigers’ other season bolter, Tim Moltzen. The trio moved in together in May, and coach Tim Sheens reckons that the domestic harmony has worked wonders for Tuiaki and Moltzen.

Tuiaki formerly shared a residence with the Parramatta front-rower Fuifui Moimoi.

Sheens said: ‘‘Particularly [it’s good] for Tim, because you can see how he interacts with Benji through the game, but also for Taniela because he has moved out from Fui, he would eat himself out of the house.’’

While Tuiaki insisted he cleaned the house and washed the clothes while the others cooked, Sheens believes it is the discipline of Marshall that keeps the household humming.

‘‘Benji is very good with them, he is very strict with them about their diet and the place is spick and span,’’ Sheens said.

Within the team Tuiaki is also the Tigers’ funster, the bloke always ready with a jokes. Assistant coach Royce Simmons said Tuiaki seemed quiet, but, ‘‘He is a bit of a character and he brings joy with his humour, he keeps the place sparked up, he is a very funny man.’’

But Tuiaki reckoned his teammates ‘‘laugh at me, not with me … I think I am the joke of the team’’.

It is no joke for opposing teams to see Tuiaki running over their tacklers or linking up with Marshall or Robbie Farah to score. Such plays have become almost expected at every Wests Tigers game this year.

‘‘My speed is the same, but I think I have improved my acceleration, probably I have done more speed work and running technique and speed technique,’’ Tuiaki said.

‘‘I just want to play good footy for the club and take another step. This year there is the Four Nations Test, and I would like to prove myself for that end of year tour.’’

the media reports are nice to read.
.
now lets focus on the match which I believe to be the one which controls wests-tigers destiny for season 2009. on fri night, against the eels, when the chance arises, late in the first half kick a field goal.

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