WESTS TIGERS LOSE 28-24 IN FOUNDATION CUP TRIAL
By Wayne Cousins
18/02/2012 9:15:15 PM
Wests Tigers finished their pre-season trials with a 28-24 loss to the Sydney Roosters at Campbelltown Sports Stadium tonight in the annual Foundation Cup.
The reformed halves combination of five-eighth Benji Marshall and half-back Tim Moltzen showed how dangerous they will be this season with Marshall in sizzling form at times in front of a crowd of 7426.
Marshall also had a hand in winger Beau Ryan’s three tries. Rising young full-back James Tedesco was again impressive at the back as he aims to secure the number one jersey for round one against Cronulla Sharks at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday, March 4.
Tedesco enjoyed a golden dream to his first appearance at Campbelltown Stadium in the Wests Tigers NRL side when he outleapt Roosters full-back
Alofa Alofa to catch a Marshall bomb to score near the posts in the 2nd minute. Marshall converted the try for a 6-0 lead.
The Roosters, fielding a weakened team in the first quarter, opened their account in the 8th minute when a crossfield kick by half-back Mark Kheirallah saw second-rower Jack Bosden score. Kheirallah converted the try for a 6-all scoreline.
Wests Tigers took a 10-6 lead when the ball was spread right for Marshall to send a pass to winger Beau Ryan to score in the corner in the 12th minute. Marshall converted the try for a 12-6 lead.
The Roosters put on their main side in the 20th minute featuring the likes of Mitchell Aubusson, Sam Perrett, Daniel Mortimer, Mitchell Pearce, Jake Friend and Mose Masoe.
Ryan scored his second try in the 29th minute when he ran onto another perfect cut out pass from Marshall to bring the ball behind the posts. Marshall converted the try for an 18-6 lead.
The Roosters got back to 18-10 when second-rower Boyd Cordner beat off Marshall to use his strength to score 10 metres from the posts. Five-eighth Daniel Mortimer converted the try to leave the Roosters trailing 18-12 after 37 minutes.
Roosters half-back Mitchell Pearce then sliced through the attempted tackle of Nathan Waters to score in the 39th minute for an 18-16 scoreline. Mortimer failed to convert the try after the half-time siren.
Ryan bagged a hat-trick in the 44th minute when he finished off a backline play involving Marshall and centre Blake Ayshford to extend Wests Tigers lead to 22-16. Marshall converted the try for a 24-16 lead.
The Roosters got back to trail 24-22 in the 61st minute when strong running forward Mose Masoe scored under the posts despite a desperate attempt by Tedesco. Mortimer converted the try.
Two minutes later, Mortimer dived over out wide after the Roosters kept the ball alive through the hands before putting a kick through for the five-eighth to score. He converted his own try to give the Roosters a 28-24 lead after 65 minutes.
The Roosters held on to take the first leg of the Foundation Cup which will also be played for twice this season in the premiership rounds.
Wests Tigers NRL team
1 James Tedesco
2 Beau Ryan
3 Blake Ayshford
4 Chris Lawrence
5 Matt Utai
6 Benji Marshall
7 Tim Moltzen
8 Aaron Woods
9 Robbie Farah
10 Keith Galloway
11 Adam Blair
12 Gareth Ellis
13 Chris Heighington
14 Liam Fulton
15 Matt Groat
16 Matt Bell
17 Tom Humble
18 Joel Reddy
Roosters come from behind to beat Tigers
February 18, 2012 - 9:54PM
The Sydney Roosters survived an early Benji Marshall masterclass and a massive change of personnel to score a 28-24 win over Wests Tigers in the Foundation Cup NRL trial at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Saturday night.
The Tigers cruised to an 18-6 lead in the second quarter but from there were outscored 22-6 on the run into fulltime.
The Roosters scored five tries to four and exposed some deficiencies in the defence of the Tigers, who have been installed as the early NRL favourites.
Tigers winger Beau Ryan stood out in a losing team, scoring a classy hat-trick.
Roosters coach Brian Smith opted against fielding his listed team for the first quarter, instead sending out close to a reserve grade line-up.
Early on in the match, Marshall threatened to take complete control of proceedings.
The mercurial New Zealander set up the Tigers’ first three tries, including one for highly touted young fullback James Tedesco inside the first 70 seconds.
Tedesco claimed a pinpoint Marshall bomb and Ryan capitalised on two perfect cut-out passes from the five-eighth.
Marshall was also involved in the build-up to Ryan’s third try, passing to Blake Ayshford, who put his winger over.
The Roosters charged back into the game late in the second quarter with tries to Boyd Cordner and Mitchell Pearce to trail by just two at halftime.
Ryan’s hat-trick try and Marshall’s fourth conversion from as many attempts put the Tigers up 24-16 early in the third quarter.
Converted tries to Mose Masoe and Daniel Mortimer either side of the final quarter break enabled the Roosters to sneak ahead on the scoreboard.
New recruit Mortimer put in a solid shift at five eighth and backed up his try with four goals from five attempts.
SYDNEY ROOSTERS 28 (J Bosden M Pearce B Cordner M Masoe D Mortimer tries D Mortimer 3 M Khierallah goals) bt WESTS TIGERS 24 (B Ryan 3 J Tedesco tries B Marshall 4 goals) at Campbelltown Sports Stadium. Referees: G Reynolds G Badger. Crowd: 7,426.
Magician Marshall fails to pull a win out of hat
February 19, 2012
THE Sydney Roosters upset premiership favourites Wests Tigers by four points last night but it was the Tigers’ Benji Marshall and rookie fullback James Tedesco who stole the show. Marshall was at his brilliant best at Campbelltown Sports Stadium, while little-known Tedesco put his case forward for round-one selection with a faultless night at the back for the Tigers, including an opening-minute try.
Tedesco showed glimpses of the football which many say will help him become one of the game’s elite, but it was Marshall who thrilled the 7426 crowd, playing a hand in all four of the Tigers’ tries.
His passing game was on song and he had the ball on a string off his boot. There was little sign of the jitters that have plagued the perennial slow starters in the past few seasons.
‘‘We spoke about patience and repeat sets and I think we came up with about four or five, with Benji going to the line and putting it behind the wingers,’’ skipper Robbie Farah said.
‘‘For us to do that, it makes teams second guess because Benji’s got that really good cut-out pass, too, that he showed putting Beau [Ryan] over for a few [tries]. It does become really hard for those edges to defend against. Benji can kick, can pass, can run. We’ll just keep mixing it up and keep teams guessing.’’
Marshall and Tedesco combined for the first try of the night, with Marshall putting up a perfectly weighted bomb at the end of the first set of six, allowing Tedesco to leap above his opposite number to grab the first points of the night.
Tigers assistant coach Steve Georgallis, who saw the emergence of Lachlan Coote during his time at the Panthers, said there were plenty of similarities between the two.
‘‘From what I’ve seen so far of the kid, he’s handled it,’’ Georgallis said.
‘‘They’re a good team the Roosters, and they tested him out a few times. That take he took to score his try, that reminded me a little bit of Lachlan Coote out at Penrith, and he was an 18-year-old [when he debuted].’’
Roosters coach Brian Smith, who is enjoying flying under the radar in 2012, was more delighted to come away from the match with no injuries to report rather than the win.
The veteran coach said the win meant little in the scheme of the season but the way his young side defended was a positive just a fortnight out from the first round.
‘‘Pre-season scoreboards are for the uninitiated,’’ he said. ‘‘We’ve all been around too long to take too much notice of that. But our performance and the way our boys, particularly, defended there for a long period, I think for four or five sets in a row, it was great that our boys stuck to the task.’’
The Roosters hit back through former Dragon Jack Bosden to make it 6-6 after eight minutes, but a lovely cut-out ball from Marshall put Beau Ryan in for his first of three tries for the night.
Marshall produced the identical pass 15 minutes later to put Ryan in for his second, before the Roosters reduced the margin to 18-16 at half-time through Boyd Cordner and Mitchell Pearce.
Marshall played a hand in Ryan’s hat-trick, but up 24-16 mid-way through the second half, the Tigers fell asleep with Roosters prop Mose Masoe and Daniel Mortimer both crossing in the final 15 minutes to give their side a four-point win.
SYDNEY ROOSTERS 28 (D Mortimer, M Masoe, M Pearce, J Bosden, B Cordner tries; D Mortimer 3, M Kheirallah goals) bt WESTS TIGERS 24 (B Ryan 3, J Tedesco tries; B Marshall 4 goals) at Campbelltown Sports Stadium. Referees: G Reynolds, G Badger. Crowd: 7426.