Gus Gould Match Report

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Gus Gould Match Report

Post by Newtown » Mon 21 Jul, 2014 11:15 am

Wests Tigers underline beauty of the underdog to beat Canterbury Bulldogs at their own game
DateJuly 20, 2014 - 10:42PM
Phil Gould
League Columnist

It's the beauty of sport. The big man up against the little man. The favorite versus the underdog. We've seen these scenarios so many times before. Just when you think you have seen it all, BOOM, this great game of rugby league throws up yet another twist to the tale.

The Bulldogs came into this match as heavy favourites. Competition co-leaders, boasting the biggest lack of forwards in the NRL, and having beaten competition heavyweights Manly and Melbourne in their two most recent outings, the Dogs were expected to have little trouble with the understrength, and in some cases even "under-aged" Wests Tigers.

However, things didn't quite work out the way they envisaged. This match was a story about youthful exuberance. It was about emerging young talents playing in the big time with a confidence that belies their tender years.

This match was a victory for skill and flair over sheer size and power. It was a victory for letting the ball do the work rather than simply relying on muscle to make the metres. Watching the Tigers play was like watching a team of kids playing after school in the local playground; simply enjoying the moments, throwing the ball around and showing off their skills without the pressure of scoreboards, competition tables and newspaper headlines clouding their thinking. They were simply brilliant.

So too was their game plan. Coach Mick Potter should also take a bow. They took the Bulldogs on where they were perceived to be strongest. Through the middle of the forwards around the play-the-ball area. They may have scored most of their tries out wide down the edges of the field. However, the foundations for success were established in the middle of the park. The speed of the Tigers' play-the-balls and the skill of Robbie Farah in continually bringing his own forwards onto land over the advantage line, kept the Bulldogs on their heels.

Once Farah had his opponents on the back foot he would swing the ball to his young playmakers and let them do their thing. And didn't they excite the crowd. It was exhilarating stuff. The trio of halfback Luke Brooks, five-eighth Blake Austin and rookie fullback Mitchell Moses, simply ran the Bulldogs ragged with their swift passing movements, probing runs and inch-perfect execution of set plays. Austin has been around for a while, but is now starting to realise the potential he showed as a teenager. This is his third season since graduating from the National Youth competition in 2011. Some kids just take a bit longer to mature and find their feet in the top grade. Let's hope this is the start of something big for Blake.

The other two boys are teenagers. They are kids. You look at them and think they should still be at school. But man, they are ready to play. They fear no one. The reputations and the size of opposition players appears to mean absolutely nothing to them. They have waltzed into first grade football and taken over like they have been playing at this level all their lives.

Brooks is a "great" in the making. This kid has the gifts of a playmaker that really can't be taught. These special gifts have been blessed upon only a rare few in the history of this game. He has anticipation, vision and spacial awareness. These attributes give him time to play. To the spectator it all appears to be happening so quickly. To a player like Brooks, he sees the action unfold before him like it was in slow motion. He has the ability to "feel" a defensive line, to calculate their movements, anticipate their reactions, and punish their misreads. He also knows when his job is done so he can move the ball to a fellow playmaker to do his own thing. Brooks knows he doesn't always have to provide the absolute pass. Sometimes he just needs to provide space for a team mate to set up the try.

Enter young Moses. There's not much of him; but he is all footballer. He is quick, skilful and confident. He knows the game, the angles, the opportunities. For one so young this lad has either been well-schooled, well-coached, watched a helluva lot of football himself; or all of the above. Somehow I think it is the latter.

He has a jockey-sized frame that suggests he should be riding track-work at Randwick rather than battling with monsters on the rugby league field. However, he attacks the physicality of the game without fear or hesitation. I wonder how many times during his junior years he has heard people say, "yeah, nice kid, but too small to make it in the big time"? Well, he made it in the big time yesterday. He destroyed the competition leaders with his enthusiasm, skill and brilliant passing game. It was pretty to watch.

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Post by Cultured Bogan » Mon 21 Jul, 2014 11:29 am

Ol' Gus was popping his cork all afternoon yesterday over that game. Came out with a cracker burn on Rabs as well when they were discussing Rabs' two titanium hip replacements and how they set off the metal detectors at the airports. Gus comes up with "sometimes I wish they wouldn't let you on the plane Rabs."

I don't know about everyone else, but he speaks for me there... :lol:
"This club means a lot to me and I really love this club, I love playing here, I love playing with all of the boys, it's what I've known for pretty much all of my life and I'm happy to be here." - Luke Brooks.

Cuando llegue el día, y estoy parado a las puertas del cielo, será Dios pidiendo mi perdón...

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Post by Demps » Mon 21 Jul, 2014 6:45 pm


He should be banned from commentating.
He's a gronk.

"I never lie because I don't fear anyone. You only lie when you're afraid" - John Gotti

Wests Tigers Forum's most brilliant mind.

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Post by underdog » Mon 21 Jul, 2014 7:49 pm

Demps wrote:Yawn.

He should be banned from commentating.
He's a gronk.


Black., Demps. :mrgreen:

All jokes aside, he might come across as borderline creepy uncle on TV with his Keefy love, but the guy is one of the smartest Rugby League Brains associated with the game.

If only we'd be so lucky as to have someone like that directing our Football Operations - and this isn't a sledge at Meyer.

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