<big>Not toothless, Tigers just not ruthless enough to worry the Warriors when it really mattered</big>
Phil Gould - September 19, 2011
The Tigers just weren’t ruthless enough. They led the Warriors 18-6 at half-time. They had the game in their control. They just never delivered the killer blow.
For the first hour they had the Warriors’ measure. The Tigers’ speed and constant ball movement was proving far too much for the visitors. No team in the NRL gets the ball from one side of the field to the other quite like the Tigers. Hooker Robbie Farah, half Robert Louis and five-eighth Benji Marshall fire the ball to each other with these speeding spiral passes that stretch the very best of opponent’s defensive lines. It’s certainly pretty to watch.
The Tigers looked like they were going to score every time they got to the Warriors’ end of the field.
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The Warriors’ defensive line saw tired forwards struggling to get back into position. They conceded two of the softest tries you would ever see in a big game.
In a way, I guess it was all happening too easily for the Tigers. So, when the Warriors actually started to lift their game, it took the Tigers by surprise.
Big Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei delivered a couple of strong charges that were not welcomed at all by the Tigers. Front rower Jacob Lillyman started to bend the Tiger defence line back with some bustling runs of his own. Five-eighth James Maloney was becoming a real menace.
Suddenly the Warriors realised “this isn’t so bad!” and they were soon back within striking distance. They didn’t get the match winner until the 78th minute but by then there was an air of inevitability.
It was a sad end for the Tigers because I think a lack of respect for their opponents allowed disappointment to creep into their lives.
The Warriors showed tremendous team spirit to hang in there before mounting a late surge.
It wasn’t a high class game of football, but when it mattered most, the Warriors found a way.