Tigers v Dragons preview

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willow
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Tigers v Dragons preview

Post by willow » Wed 08 Aug, 2012 7:44 pm

Tigers v Dragons preview
Nigel Wall NRL.com Wed, Aug 08, 2012 - 3:25 PM


Wests Tigers v St George Illawarra Dragons
Allianz Stadium
Saturday 7.30pm

The smoking Tigers will be red-hot favourites to end the premiership campaign of out-of-sorts St George Illawarra who offered little against the Roosters last Friday night; however coach Tim Sheens will be wary of a potential ambush given the Red V secured their best win of the season when taking down his side 36-12 back in Round 3.

Although the Dragons have been stuck in first gear when it comes to scoring points in 2012, with their 15.2 per game easily the fewest of all sides, the win over the black-and-golds featured the most points they have scored in a game all season.

Recent form suggests they are some chance – they took down the Storm just two weeks ago and Sharks four games back – but everything hinges on how many points they can manage against one of the best attacks in the league. The Tigers average 22 points per game… can the Dragons keep up? Will their attack fire tracer bullets… or will the cork pop out of the end of the gun on a piece of string, as it has for most of the year?

Perhaps their biggest problem this week however is the venue – Steve Price’s charges have the worst ‘away’ record in the competition, having won just one of eight games on the road.

Meanwhile the bits-and-pieces Tigers recovered from an early scare to swamp the Eels 51-26 in Campbelltown last Monday night. Just as veteran Lote Tuqiri looks set to exit the NRL stage they unearthed another Fijian star in towering speedster Marika Koroibete who scored four tries (equalling the club record) in just his second first grade game.

The surging win elevated the Tigers to outright eighth place on the ladder, but with just shallow breathing space to a swarm of chasers including the Dragons who sit two competition points adrift.

After a largely horror year with injuries it’s good news for the Tigers this week: with all players pulling up well Tim Sheens has been able to stick firm with the 17 who got the job done against the Eels last Monday night.

Meanwhile Dragons coach Steve Price hasn’t declared his hand on the possible return of five-eighth Jamie Soward; the playmaker has been named on the bench, with Nathan Fien slated to start in the No.6 – although there’s every chance that scenario will switch. Meanwhile Jack Stockwell is a new face on their bench.

Watch Out Wests Tigers: If Brett Morris gets clean ball and space to move he can go a long way towards securing the win. Wearing the No.1 jersey last meeting Morris set up two tries and made six damaging offloads to rock the Tigers back on their heels. Back on the wing ‘B-Moz’ will be an even bigger danger and short odds to add to his 11 tries for the year.

Nathan Fien has added spark in the No.6 recently; he gave the final pass for Matt Prior to score last week and also delivered the pinpoint cross-field kick for Ben Creagh’s try. Fien’s only other try assist for the year came against the Tigers in March.

Powerful running from Ben Creagh and Trent Merrin will need to be contained. Without Matt Cooper on the left edge Creagh has been more of a target in attack recently, while Merrin’s galloping charges (134 metres) and offloads (a team-high 37) can ruin the Tigers’ night.

Daniel Vidot will be keen to test out the defence of opposite winger Marika Koroibete. Vidot scored against the Tigers in his club debut for the Red V back in Round 3 and since then he has proven to be a valuable contributor with 147 metres each match.

Danger Sign: If the Dragons start making inroads through the middle third of the field. They scored four tries near the goal posts in the first half of their Round 3 victory, exposing a soft underbelly. Tigers fans will feel anxious if the Dragons spend a lot of time camped inside their 10-metre zone – they have leaked 40 tries within the region (fourth most) – including an NRL-high nine tries from dummy-half. Meanwhile the Dragons have crossed for eight tries from dummy-half (second most). Dean Young, Mitch Rein and even Nathan Fien are the men most likely to have a ‘dig’.

Watch Out Dragons: The Red V will need a benchmark effort in defence if they’re to limit the scoreboard attendant’s involvement this week. The Tigers are hot off making seven try assists against the Eels, with Benji Marshall adding three to take his season tally to 30 – four ahead of next-best Cooper Cronk. Marshall is the key: the Dragons can’t allow him to skip across the field and put the outside and inside defenders in two minds about where the ball will end up. (Marshall also leads the NRL for line-break assists with 24.)

Makeshift five-eighth Liam Fulton could pose a scoring threat – he has six tries from 12 games against the Dragons, along with Marshall the equal most scored by a Tiger.

The Tigers’ wingers should figure prominently – left-side rookie Marika Koroibete was a sensation scoring four tries against the Eels and busting through 12 defenders, while Matt Utai scored a double and broke nine tackle attempts. He may be only 168cm but Utai is averaging more than six tackle busts every game on the right flank.

Danger Sign: Grubbers and short kicks could hasten the Dragons’ downfall. The Tigers resort to grubbers more than any team, with the Dragons third worst at defusing them, and second worst at negating short kicks. The Tigers have scored 19 tries off the boot, while the Dragons have conceded 19 tries, the sixth most.

Robbie Farah v Mitch Rein: Farah will be keen to show Rein who’s boss after being outplayed when they met back in Round 3. On that occasion the Dragons’ rookie sent his big forwards crashing through the Tigers in midfield and scored a wonderful try from dummy-half. Rein is proving tough to contain at the ruck, leading all players for line busts from dummy-half (8). Meanwhile Farah has helped nine team-mates into space in just 13 appearances in 2012. His scoots from the ruck have yielded five breaks. Clearly the battle of the No.9s will go a long way to determining the winner.

Where It Will Be Won: Improving on their weaknesses. The Tigers need to take some concrete pills – they miss the most tackles in the league, averaging 37 a game. And they were worse than average last week, missing 39. Meanwhile the Dragons have to find a way to get over the try-line… and early: they have won all seven games when leading at halftime, but lost nine of 11 when trailing at the break.

The History: Played 24; Dragons 13, Wests Tigers 11. The Dragons hold the advantage in recent clashes, winning five of the past eight. However the Tigers dominate at Allianz Stadium, losing to the Red V just once in five match-ups.

The Last Time They Met: The Dragons scored their most points in 2012 back in Round 3 when they smashed the Wests Tigers 36-12 at WIN Jubilee Oval.

Dragons hooker Mitch Rein scored the first of his side’s six tries, dummying inside and out in a 10-metre scoot from dummy-half.

Brett Morris, in his first game at fullback in 2012, carved the Tigers open from close range and looked certain to score their second try in the 14th minute before being wrestled to a halt on the goal line – but he was still able to promote the ball to Dan Hunt who plunged over under the posts for a 12-nil advantage.

Beau Ryan stopped the bleeding for the visitors when he pounced on a Benji Marshall grubber kick for a 12-6 scoreline with 20 minutes gone; however it didn’t take long for the Dragons to again expose some flimsy defence up the middle, with Trent Merrin breaking through from 20 metres out then offloading to Nathan Fien who plunged over to the right of the posts for an 18-point buffer five minutes from fulltime.

Ben Hornby completed the Dragons’ first-half scoring onslaught, grabbing a precise and smart Nathan Fien pass to dot down under the posts for a 24-6 lead at the break.
Returning from the sheds, Jamie Soward ensured the visitors would need to score four times when he booted a penalty goal for a 26-6 lead at the 47-minute mark, before Joel Reddy breathed hope into the Tigers’ cause with a left-edge try in the 54th minute.

That was all the joy there would be for Tigers fans, with tries to Daniel Vidot (70th minute) and Ben Creagh (77th minute) rounding out their misery.

The Tigers returned a low count for missed tackles (28) – but unfortunately they missed the ones that mattered. Errors also cruelled their cause, with a whopping 19 dropped balls throughout the 80 minutes.

Both sides were guilty of not respecting the football, with the home team completing their sets at 67 per cent and the Tigers a lousy 50 per cent.

The Dragons dominated the line-breaks 5-1 and missed just 10 tackles all evening.

Second-rower Matt Prior had a huge game with 20 hit-ups and three offloads, while Morris added two try assists and six damaging offloads to go with a rampaging 195 metres.
Liam Fulton was the best of the Tigers with 51 tackles.

Match Officials: Referees – Gerard Sutton & Adam Devcich; Sideline Officials – Jeff Younis & Nick Beashel; Video Referee – Bernard Sutton.

The Way We See It: With both sides eyeing off eighth spot in the playoffs this should be a cracking game, played at pace and with plenty of niggle. However, when push comes to shove we anticipate the Tigers’ blistering attack will post too many points for the Dragons to match. Tigers by eight points.
Televised: Fox Sports 2 – Live 7.30pm.

• Statistics: NRL Stats


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Post by hellman » Thu 09 Aug, 2012 7:42 am

Our blistering attack hey. I think the first time we saw that was last week.

I hope we see it again.

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Post by westTAHger » Thu 09 Aug, 2012 4:44 pm

i hope and pray that wests-tigers defense its much tighter this week.
eels split the team up the middle up alot.
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Basil, our rescue dog, is wondering when wests tigers will win 25 - 18 :D

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Post by smeghead » Thu 09 Aug, 2012 4:59 pm

It is easy to forget how long we went without Farah this season
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Post by happy tiger » Thu 09 Aug, 2012 5:07 pm

Smeg I'd be happy if Farah found some of his Pre Origin form and passion

I know its probably understandable , but he has been way down on form the last two weeks in my opinion

Time to step up Robbie


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Post by smeghead » Thu 09 Aug, 2012 5:16 pm

He has been down but I have confidence he will bounce back. All the Origin players are only now starting to find some form and fitness again. This series was brutal
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Post by Tiger Watto » Thu 09 Aug, 2012 5:19 pm

These nuffies at NRL.com forgot the secret to us winning... Tiger Watto is coming down.

Its in the bag guys... We will SMASH them!!!

C'mon Tigers... Lets put these pretenders to bed for 2012!!!
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Post by Flippedy » Thu 09 Aug, 2012 5:25 pm

The smoking Tigers??? Have I missed something?
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Post by smeghead » Thu 09 Aug, 2012 5:37 pm

Flippedy wrote:The smoking Tigers??? Have I missed something?
Well I have seen Beau in a smoking jacket before. Does that count?
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Post by foreveratiger » Thu 09 Aug, 2012 5:49 pm

My question is : If we do lose to the Dragons are everyone gonna admit our season is dusted or we are still gonna be reading about this mathematical chance?
It depends who you talk to on this Forum, if you are Optimistic? it's because your delusional and need a reality check. If you are Pessimistic? Your accused of being a negative Nancy and to go and follow another Club.

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Post by Tiger Watto » Thu 09 Aug, 2012 6:01 pm

foreveratiger wrote:My question is : If we do lose to the Dragons are everyone gonna admit our season is dusted or we are still gonna be reading about this mathematical chance?
Get a grip mate... 'Wishing' or 'Willing' the Tigers to lose is for dingbats!

I understand some people may be frustrated or even angry with factors that relate to the Tigers, but don't cheer for the Tigers to lose... Grow Up!
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Post by kh_canada » Thu 09 Aug, 2012 6:35 pm

37 missed tackles average! Yikes, didn't realize how bad they were!


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Post by kh_canada » Thu 09 Aug, 2012 6:37 pm

"Red hot favorites" :s


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Post by willow » Thu 09 Aug, 2012 7:30 pm

Preview: Tigers v Dragons
John Greco

VENUE & TIME: Allianz Stadium, Saturday, August 11, 7.30pm (AEST), 9.30pm (NZT)
COVERAGE: Fox Sports/Sky Sport
HEAD TO HEAD Played 23, Tigers 11, Dragons 13
LAST TIME: Dragons 36-12, March 16, 2012

MISSING IN ACTION:
No fresh injury concerns for the Tigers with Tim Sheens naming an unchanged line-up from the one that demolished Parramatta on Monday night.

Under-fire Dragons five-eighth Jamie Soward is back in the NRL squad after a week with the Illawarra Cutters in the NSW Cup. Soward has been named to start on the bench but it's likely he will be in the run-on side, with Nathan Fien becoming the interchange utility. Jack Stockwell has been named on an extended bench.

FORM:
The Tigers hope they have put an inconsistent couple of months behind with their 51-26 win over the Eels on Monday night. While they should get plenty of confidence from posting a half-century of points, the match did expose their deficiencies without the ball. The win, just their second from their last seven matches, has put the Tigers back in the top eight on 24 points but only two ahead of the Titans, Knights, Raiders and Dragons, who are all hoping to capitalise if Tim Sheens' side falter over the last four rounds.

St George Illawarra's finals hopes nose-dived with their disappointing 26-10 loss to the lowly Sydney Roosters last Friday night. After comprehensively beating Melbourne a week earlier, it was a surprisingly meek performance from a side fighting for their finals lives. With no second chances now, Steve Price's side should be a whole lot more desperate in this match. The Dragons have the worst away record in the NRL this season, winning just one of eight matches on the road into 2012.

FOR THE TIGERS TO WIN:
We wouldn't be surprised if Tim Sheens had his players sleeping with a tackling bag this week. The Tigers are a side that can always score plenty of points but big games are won on defence and if they can stiffen up that part of their game they became a very dangerous side. Benji Marshall was back to his brilliant best against the Eels and he'll be looking to step up again to guide his side into the play-offs. Jamie Soward is back for the Dragons and will have a point to prove so the Tigers need to shut him down quickly and minimise the impact of his kicking game.

FOR THE DRAGONS TO WIN:
They simply must be more clinical. When your attack is as toothless as the Dragons' has been this season then they need to take every chance that comes their way. Against the Roosters last week Brett Morris got over the line on two occasions only to be denied by forward passes. If they squander opportunities against the Tigers it could be a long night. With Soward back look for St George Illawarra to go heavily down their left-hand side with Ben Creagh, Morris and also full-back Jason Nightingale chiming into the backline there. Hooker Mitch Rein is having a strong season and his battle with Robbie Farah could be vital.

WE THINK:
With so much at stake this should be an absolute cracker, full of intensity, desperation and commitment. While the Tigers looked flimsy in defence against the Eels they probably won't be asked as many questions in that area this week against a Dragons outfit that has the worst attack in the NRL. There's still plenty of feeling between these clubs over the whole Tim Moltzen saga and while the Dragons got bragging rights earlier this season, this time it's the Tigers' turn. Tigers by 10 points.

TEAMS:
Tigers: 1.Tim Moltzen, 2. Matt Utai, 3. Blake Ayshford, 4. Beau Ryan, 5. Marika Koroibete, 6. Liam Fulton, 7. Benji Marshall, 8. Aaron Woods, 9. Robbie Farah, 10. Keith Galloway, 11. Adam Blair, 12. Gareth Ellis, 13. Chris Heighington
Interchange: 14. Junior Moors, 15. Ray Cashmere, 16. Matt Bell, 17. Tim Simona

Dragons: 1.Jason Nightingale, 2. Brett Morris, 3. Chase Stanley, 4. Nathan Green, 5. Daniel Vidot, 6. Nathan Fien, 7. Ben Hornby, 8. Dan Hunt, 9. Mitch Rein, 10. Trent Merrin, 11. Matt Prior, 12. Ben Creagh, 13. Dean Young
Interchange: 14. Jamie Soward, 15. Josh Miller, 16. Will Matthews, 17. Jack de Belin, 18. Jack Stockwell (one to be omitted)

Referees: Gerard Sutton, Adam Devcich
Video Referee: Bernard Sutton

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Post by foreveratiger » Thu 09 Aug, 2012 8:35 pm

Tiger Watto wrote:
foreveratiger wrote:My question is : If we do lose to the Dragons are everyone gonna admit our season is dusted or we are still gonna be reading about this mathematical chance?
Get a grip mate... 'Wishing' or 'Willing' the Tigers to lose is for dingbats!

I understand some people may be frustrated or even angry with factors that relate to the Tigers, but don't cheer for the Tigers to lose... Grow Up!
Big tough words from Tiger Watto , yeah well said, I'm cheering for them to lose (can't find where ive made that comment) :crazy . i suppose you also think on current form we are a top 4 side aswell , take me to fairy land with you . We have 7 internationals in this side and i suppose in your books that's where we should be sitting on the ladder . :brick:
It depends who you talk to on this Forum, if you are Optimistic? it's because your delusional and need a reality check. If you are Pessimistic? Your accused of being a negative Nancy and to go and follow another Club.

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Post by Tiger Watto » Thu 09 Aug, 2012 8:40 pm

yep, as I said... Grow Up!
"Did someone buy you the internet hero play book for Christmas and you've only just started reading it?" - Nelson 21/04/2017

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Post by Cultured Bogan » Thu 09 Aug, 2012 8:59 pm

I'll be there, hope the lads embarrass them!
#penaltyTigers

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Post by foreveratiger » Thu 09 Aug, 2012 9:09 pm

Tiger Watto wrote:yep, as I said... Grow Up!
So you must be one of the ones that feel very powerful putting people down on a forum , cause they can't put there views across . Because you written 5,000 posts here your superior to everyone else (please).
It depends who you talk to on this Forum, if you are Optimistic? it's because your delusional and need a reality check. If you are Pessimistic? Your accused of being a negative Nancy and to go and follow another Club.

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