The Tigers pulled off an upset to topple the Bulldogs 18-12 Sunday, but it was not without controversy; nor was it without twists and turns.
Woods hammers it out the hard way
The subject of much speculation in the lead up were the futures of Aaron Woods and James Tedesco; and while the latter was kept relatively quiet by his standards, Aaron Woods was given the best on the park award for an immense performance. While he is all but confirmed to leave Concord next year, the prop was able to churn out 218 metres against a much bigger Bulldogs pack. Certainly puts all the questions over whether he’s fully committed to the Tigers to bed in a professional showing.
Cleary’s first as a Tiger relieving
Meaningless stats in the pre game are a favourite of television networks since they eat up time before the kickoff. One stat in this vein was Des Hasler’s record coaching against Ivan Cleary. Nevermind how all the teams Des has coached have been man-for-man superior to Cleary’s almost each and every time they’ve played – nor that this was Des’ first meetup with this new Cleary side – this was an allegedly key stat. The win for the Tigers was Ivan’s first in the black and orange and will hopefully put Wests on course for stability.
Bulldogs clunk out a stinker
Canterbury tried far too hard to catch Tigers flyer David Nofoaluma somewhere out of position on the wing like he was against Parramatta last week – a rainbow from Sam Kasiano, kicking on the first tackle from a scrum, and having your second rower try kicking it deep and in behind – though in all fairness he was out of position there and the fullback cleaned up – and this gave the Tigers three turnovers at crucial junctures. It was as if the Bulldogs saw that it happened a lot against Parramatta and went in predetermined it would happen again. Never premeditate.
Graham calls for Consistency
Brenko Lee was given a ten minute spell to sit in the naughty corner after committing a professional foul against Chris Lawrence – fair enough, and it was an illegal play. James Graham however had a bone to pick with the referees and rightly so. Why was it Lee was sent to the bin when it happens at least once a game – most of the time going unpenalised at all? If you were to watch every game of every round you would see players pulling each other back in a jostle for the ball going under the radar frequently. James Graham wasn’t disputing the call – he took an issue with the greater underlying inconsistencies in the refereeing system and rightly so. Watch out for when it happens next round for not even a penalty.