Tigers will clay their way back: Morris
August 22, 2009 - 11:40AM
An optimistic John Morris says Wests Tigers’ NRL season is still very much alive and kicking despite Friday’s 26-18 loss to Parramatta.
The Tigers utility, who ended the pulsating encounter on the wing in place of Taniela Tuiaki who has a broken leg, believes the 2005 premiers can take great confidence from a losing cause.
“We really have something to play for over the next couple of weeks,” Morris told AAP.
"If we are going to make the finals, then we will have to beat a couple of good sides on the way (Gold Coast and the Bulldogs).
“But if we play like we did (on Friday night) we will be OK.”
As well as losing their first game in seven, the Tigers were dealt a hammer blow in the first half when Beau Ryan (knee injury) joined Kiwi international Tuiaki on the sideline at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Club doctor Donald Kuah said on Saturday that Tuiaki, the NRL’s top try-scorer with 21, would miss the rest of the NRL season and the Four Nations tournament.
The powerhouse winger also has an unstable ankle that requires surgery.
Ryan and second-rower Chris Heighington (knee) and fullback Tim Moltzen (suspected fractured collarbone) will undergo scans on Monday.
Morris pointed out that despite the disruptions due to injuries, the Tigers kept the pressure on a surging Parramatta at a packed SFS.
“We were down on troops and we nearly won the game against one of the form teams in the competition so our season is not gone by any stretch of the imagination,” Morris said.
"Now we have to win our last two games.
"It was always going to be tough with both sides in good form and there had to be a loser and unfortunately it was us.
“I think it was a good game for the spectators, but a bit ordinary for us.”
A crowd of almost 35,000 were treated to some stunning technical play from both sides, with Benji Marshall brilliant for the Tigers and freakish fullback Jarryd Hayne again shining for the Eels, with his stunning kick and chase to score the try that sealed victory.
Morris, who played alongside Hayne in a three-year stint with Parramatta, said the 21-year-old was in the form of his life.
“I thought we did a pretty good job on him. We contained him for the first 50 minutes,” he said.
"Then they started getting off-loads away and that is when he is so dangerous, chiming in on the back of those big forwards.
“But that is what he can do to you. He is so unpredictable and he’s in the form of his career.”