Roosters get out of jail
It almost turned into a monumental collapse for the Sydney Roosters as they gave up a 16-0 lead to trail 18-16 heading into the last 10 minutes of the match.
Only a try from Latrell Mitchell at the 72nd minute was able to save them. Through the early stages of the match they had looked like a team on track to post 50 points on the Tigers.
They opened the match on fire, scoring 3 tries within an 18 minute period before taking the foot off the gas late in the first half and for much of the 2nd half. The Tigers took full advantage of this and were on the verge of causing a tremendous upset but the Roosters found a way to win in the end.
Tedesco’s performance bittersweet for Tigers
The Tigers were able to play well above their 15th placed ranking to take it directly to the 3rd placed Roosters. A lot of it was due to the amazing performance of James Tedesco. Any bitter Tigers fan that may have thought he wouldn’t be giving it his all for the team for the rest of the season was sorely proven wrong.
It was one of his best games at club level for the entire year. He made plenty of try saves and determined runs that kept the Tigers going. A knock down on a pass to stop a certain try here and a chase down on a winger in space there.
The strength of his running game produced a try for himself right on half-time and two line breaks. On one of them he got a ball away for Lolohea to sprint to the try-line to get the Tigers in the lead. The pass was forward but as is the case with all games, both sides got their fair share of bad luck.
It was a bittersweet reminder of the talent that Tedesco has and how the Tigers will only have 2 more rounds to savour it. For the Roosters it was an exciting preview of the future to come but almost at the cost of their current season.
Tigers spirited efforts has Cleary building for future
It wasn’t just the James Tedesco show for the Tigers, the whole team has shown an incredible new sense of mental toughness and resilience that hasn’t been seen in a Tigers side for a long time.
For the last two weeks they have come back from deficits of 14 and 16 points to end up taking the lead. In previous years and even earlier in the year, that was usually a sign they’d collapse and let the floodgates open.
However the miracle workings of Ivan Cleary has developed a tough, gritty Tigers side that doesn’t give up. With nothing to play for except pride, he’s done an exceptional job to keep his team full of young and unfancied players highly motivated.
It’s a great sign for the future of the Wests Tigers club as they have gone on a massive recruitment drive for 2018 where they can build on what they’re starting to develop in 2017. The Wests Tigers are on the bus.
Pretenders or contenders?
Last week’s performance saw the Roosters look like genuine contenders. This week they were back to looking potential pretenders.
Whilst the Tigers have been in good form recently and played very well, the Roosters were incredibly sloppy in their execution. They bombed 3 certain tries with errors that would have looked out of place in the U20’s.
Michael Gordon was clearly suffering from a bit of rustiness as he made very uncharacteristic errors at the back while the whole team seemed to clock off at periods.
When they get it right the Roosters look like a team that can match it with the competition heavyweights but consistent 80 minute performances still seem to elude them. Next week’s clash with the Sharks will provide a better gauge of their premiership chances as a spot in the Top 4 will likely elude the loser of that match.
In The Sheds
Elijah Taylor has struggled with a rib injury in recent weeks. He has played through pain but he had to leave the field against the Roosters with shoulder and rib problems, leaving him in a sling after the match.
Sydney Roosters- 22
Tries: Mitchell Pearce (12m), Aidan Guerra (17m), Mitchell Aubusson (29m), Latrell Mitchell (72m)
Goals: Michael Gordon 3/4
Wests Tigers- 18
Tries: Josh Aloiai (33m), James Tedesco (40m), Tuimoala Lolohea (60m)
Goals: Tuimoala Lolohea 3/3