Media Reports

From the SMH:

Titans leave Tigers hopes in threads

August 30, 2009

Titans 36 Tigers 24

Wests Tigers’ NRL season is hanging by a thread after they slipped to a 36-24 defeat to Gold Coast at Skilled Park on Saturday.

The Tigers can still make the finals, but they would have to beat the high-flying Bulldogs next week and then hope for other results to go their way in the last round to scrape in.

Tim Sheens’ side led 16-12 at halftime and clawed back to 24-24 before some magic from Mat Rogers put the game out of their reach.

Rogers, 33, showed his silky skills to slide over the try line and pick up a pinpoint Preston Campbell grubber kick in the one motion to break the deadlock in the 70th minute.

Rogers called to Campbell for the kick pointing to the goal posts and then timed his run to the ball perfectly, just beating Tigers fullback Tim Moltzen.

A rare error from hooker Robbie Farah who took a 20-metre tap and kicked for touch, allowed Rogers to sweep downfield and offload to an unmarked Sam Tagataese whose try pushed the lead out to 34-24 before Prince slotted a penalty goal from right in front.

A Tigers hero in 2005 when he teamed with Benji Marshall to land the club a premiership, Prince collected 20 points against his former club, scoring two tries and kicking six goals.

A creative Marshall also crossed for a try while Farah burrowed his way over twice from dummy-half in a highly entertaining clash.

The victory was the Titans 11th win at Skilled Park from 12 games this season, re-affirming their finals opponents will face a tough assignment travelling to the Gold Coast.

TITANS BEAT WESTS TIGERS 36-24
By Wayne Cousins at Skilled Stadium
Saturday, August 29, 2009

Wests Tigers suffered a 36-24 loss to the Gold Coast Titans at Skilled Stadium tonight in round 25 of the Telstra Premiership.

The loss leaves Wests Tigers in 10th position on 26 points, two points outside the eight.

Wests Tigers forward Danny Galea started the game at prop for tonight’s must win match against the Gold Coast Titans at Skilled Stadium.

Galea replaced the suspended Bryce Gibbs with Dene Halatau coming onto the interchange bench.

Wests Tigers opened the scoring in the 3rd minute when a short ball by hooker and captain Robbie Farah found full-back Tim Moltzen in support. Moltzen ran 30 metres before offloading an inside pass to five-eighth Benji Marshall to score next to the posts for a 4-0 lead.

Marshall converted the try to give Wests Tigers a 6-0 lead.

A great kick to the left corner by Farah saw five-eighth Matt Rogers tackled by winger Rhys Hanbury who rolled Rogers into touch to force a scrum and give Wests Tigers the feed 10 metres out from the Titans line.
Wests Tigers kept plenty of pressure on and a grubber kick by Marshall saw winger Kevin Gordon force the ball dead for a goal-line drop out.

Referee Tony Archer called on video referee Paul Simpkins in the 9th minute to see if Farah had scored from dummy half in a three man tackle. Simpkins ruled try, much to the huge roar of approval by the large army of supporters at the game.

Marshall converted the try for a 12-0 lead.

The Titans had a good chance of scoring in the 12th minute but centre Jordan Atkins knocked the ball on in a 2 on 1 overlap.

A missed tackle by Farah on full-back Preston Campbell saw the full-back made a break before drawing in Moltzen to send Titans captain Scott Prince over for a try against his former club.

Prince converted the try for a 12-6 scoreline after 18 minutes.

Marshall and half-back Robert Lui have both gone for 40/20 kicks early in the tackle count but have not found touch.

An offload in a two man tackle by second-rower Mark Minichiello saw the ball find Prince and then Campbell who raced 20 metres to score near the posts. Prince converted the try for a 12-12 scoreline after 27 minutes.

Farah pulled off a trysaving tackle on Gordon after he raced 60 metres from a loose pass before being taken into touch in the 31st minute after an initial break by Lui went astray.

A grubber kick by Prince saw Moltzen trapped in-goal in the 35th minute to give the Titans a repeat set. A droped ball took the pressure off Wests Tigers.

Simpkins was again called on in the 37th minute to see if centre Chris Lawrence had scored or was held up after a 10 metre charge to the line off a Marshall pass. It was ruled held up, forcing Lawrence to play the ball. On the next play, Wests Tigers got six more tackles after the ball was touched in flight.

A short pass by Lui to Galea saw him loose the ball and injure his leg in a heavy hit in the 38th minute. The next play, the Titans lost the ball to give posession back.

The pressure finally told on the Titans when an offload by Galloway to Farah found second-rower Gareth Ellis who flicked the ball behind his back for Moltzen to hit a gap before drawing in the winger to send Hanbury over for a try in the corner.

Marshall failed to convert from the sideline to leave Wests Tigers with a 16-12 lead at half-time.

2nd Half
A kick downfield and a hard chase by Campbell saw Moltzen trapped in goal forced a goal line drop out.

In the next set, a grubber kick by Prince saw the ball bounce off the pad with Moltzen and Prince both putting a hand on the ball. Simpkins was called on and he ruled a try to Prince, claiming he touched the ball first. Prince converted the try to give the Titans an 18-16 lead after 45 minutes.

Simpkins was again called on to see if forward Luke O’Dwyer had scored or held up over the line by Marshall. The try was awarded to give the Titans a 22-16 lead after 49 minutes.

Prince converted the try for a 24-16 lead.

Simpkins was again called on to see if Farah had forced the ball down in a three man tackle in the 53rd minute. The try was awarded. The try came on the back of an initial break by Galea before the Titans were penalised for being offside in front of their posts.

Marshall suprisingly missed the conversion attempt near the posts for a 24-20 scoreline.

Once again, Simpkins was called on to rule whether Hanbury had scored in the corner or lost the ball in trying to place it down. It came on the back of an acrossfield run by Marshall who found support in Lawrence who passed the ball on to Hanbury.

The try was awarded on a benefit of the doubt to make it 24-24 with 61 minutes remaining. Marshall failed to convert the try.

John Morris and Dene Halatau have entered the field for the first time.

The Titans bombed another good tryscoring opportunity when centre Sam Tagatese beat Lui only to throw a low forward pass that went into touch instead of the arms of Gordon in the 65th minute.

Lawrence made a great break and looked like a chance of scoring, only to be pulled down 10 metres short of the line to lose the ball. Lawrence made up for the mistake when he forced the ball lose from Prince 10 metres short of the Wests Tigers tryline.

A kick out on the full by Farah saw the Titans get a play the ball on the halfway line. The Titans scored in the following set when a grubber kick by Campbell saw Rogers follow it through to score next to the posts for a 28-24 lead with 10 minutes remaining.

Prince converted the try for a 30-24 lead.

A tap restart saw Farah kick the ball downfield but the ball found to find the sideline. Rogers picked the ball up and beat the tackle of centre Dean Collis before running infield to hook up with Tagataese to race away to score for a 34-24 lead. Prince failed to convert the try with five minutes remaining.

Prince kicked a penalty goal in the 78th minute to secure victory for the Titans with a 36-24 lead.

A kick by Farah saw Ayshford score in the corner but the try was denied to leave the score at 36-24.

Titans end Tigers’ finals fight

Posted August 29, 2009 19:38:00
Updated August 29, 2009 19:57:00

The Gold Coast have condemned Wests Tigers to yet another season without finals football with an exciting 36-24 win at Skilled Park.

The game was locked at 24-24 with 10 minutes remaining before Mat Rogers scored a try and set up another for Sam Tagataese to register yet another home victory for the Titans.

Two points would have bumped Wests temporarily into the top eight, but defeat means they will likely miss out on the finals for a fourth straight year since winning the premiership in 2005.

The only way the Tigers can still qualify is if they beat the Bulldogs in the final round and hope Manly loses its final two matches - against the lowly Sharks and the Titans.

The captain of the successful 2005 Tigers side, Scott Prince, was this time a damaging rival, piling on a club record 20 points.

While the result al but ends the Tigers’ race for the finals, it was perfect preparation for the Gold Coast as it embarks on its first foray into the post-season in its short three-year history.

But the hosts were made to look off the pace in the opening exchanges as Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah crossed for an early 12-0 lead to the Tigers.

Marshall was on hand to support a Tim Moltzen bust through the ruck while the crafty Farah dived over from dummy half.

Preston Campbell instigated the Gold Coast riposte, setting up Prince for his first try of the night before splitting some tiring Tigers defence after some great second phase lead-up by the Titans.

The Tigers then stole a 16-12 half-time lead when a skilful off-load by Moltzen put Rhys Hanbury over in the corner on the siren.

It was all the Titans after the restart though, as Prince grounded his own sneaky grubber under the posts before Luke O’Dwyer bustled his way to the line for a 24-16 lead.

But Wests replied with their familiar ad lib football and levelled the scores with 20 minutes left as Farah and Hanbury picked up their second tries of the night.

With the contest on tenterhooks, the Tigers dominated possession but spurned a number of chances before Rogers pounced on a Campbell grubber to break the visitors’ hearts.

When Farah’s audacious kick for touch from a 20 metre restart came up short, Rogers returned with intent and the resulting Tagataese try wrapped up the result.

Tigers on the brink after Titans victory

  • By David Riccio
  • From: The Sunday Telegraph
  • August 29, 2009 8:01PM

Wests Tigers Vs, Gold Coast Titans

GOLD Coast wizard Mat Rogers thrust two late daggers into the Wests Tigers’ season last night, leaving Tim Sheens’ men needing a miracle to make the finals.

Rogers relished a rare outing at fullback, scoring a try, saving one and creating another for centre Sam Tagataese in the final 10 minutes.

But he said the Titans must improve or risk being "hammered’’ in the finals despite staking an unlikely claim for the minor premiership.

Sheens said the Tigers lost the game rather than the Titans won it.

The Tigers led 12-0 early and the game was in the balance when the teams were locked at 24-all until Rogers upped the ante late on.

Sheens said the preparation had been spot-on but his players failed to turn up. "I think we lost the game rather than they won it. We presented them too many opportunities,’’ he said.

Tigers skipper Robbie Farah scored two tries in a sharp individual performance but took responsibility for the season-ending loss.

But Sheens said the Tigers’ problems ran much deeper.

"We’re better then we were last year but we keep saying next year,’’ Sheens said. "Obviously we’re disappointed in the ifs, buts and maybes … that’s been us all year. A game lost here, play lost there. It’s made the difference.’’

Rogers, captain Scott Prince and hooker Nathan Friend helped keep their team in touch when the Tigers landed several early blows.

Coach John Cartwright said Tagataese could provide the X-factor in the finals. "He’s a weapon,’’ the coach said.

Tigers need a miracle after Titanic loss

Wayne Heming | August 30, 2009

Titans 36 Tigers 24

HE KEPT them in the game with two tries but West Tigers skipper Robbie Farah apologised to teammates for some costly errors after his side’s season almost certainly ended at the hands of the Gold Coast at Skilled Park last night.

The Titans probably nailed the Tigers’ 2009 coffin closed with an entertaining 36-24 win which leaves the Tigers having to beat the Bulldogs next week and hope for a few miracle results to go their way.

One of Farah’s errors resulted in former Melbourne forward Sam Tagataese scoring a crucial second-half try after Farah booted a 20-metre tap and failed to find touch.

Veteran Titan Mat Rogers, who switched from five-eighth to fullback with Preston Campbell, swooped on the ball, wrong-footed the short-side defence and sent the powerful Tagataese away for his first try for the club.

Rogers, 33, had earlier displayed his silky skills to regather a Campbell grubber kick and score to break a 24-24 deadlock with 10 minutes remaining.

The Tigers had flown out to a shock 12-0 lead after tries to Benji Marshall in the third minute and Farah six minutes later.

Tigers coach Tim Sheens wasn’t making any excuses.

‘‘We lost the game rather than they won it,’’ he said.

‘‘We jumped to the lead but we didn’t play well. We score tries every week but we’re not strong enough defensively.’’

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