The Wests Tigers have got their season off to a bang, beating the heavily favoured Sydney Roosters 10-8 at ANZ Stadium.
The first half of this encounter didn’t go the way most fans may have expected. A penalty goal for the Tigers courtesy of Tuimoala Lolohea gave them a 2-0 lead at halftime, with both sides defending strongly. The second half started with Luke Brooks being sent tot the sin bin, and Latrell Mitchell levelling things for the Roosters. Another Tigers penalty goal and a try to Roosters winger Blake Ferguson had the score at 8-4 with time ticking for the Wests Tigers. With just a few minutes left in the game, a Lolohea cut out pass collected the head of Tigers second rower Michael Chee-Kam, and bounced into the arms of winger Corey Thompson. With just Tupou to beat, he accelerated down the touchline and equalled the score at 8-8. Lolohea then stepped up, kicking the sideline conversion to hand the Tigers a 10-8 victory.
TEDESCO NOT SO FLASH AGAINST FORMER CLUB
All the headlines leading into this game were centred around former Tigers star James Tedesco facing his old side. However it seems Tedesco may still have to get used to his new colours, as he had a less than impressive outing in his sides loss. A dropped ball with a try begging, an error that almost lead to a Marshall try for the Tigers, and barely any chances created. ‘Teddy’ is definitely a star, but he didn’t shine against the Tigers.
MARSHALL STEPS UP
The sin binning of Luke Brooks in the 42nd minute had the potential to open the proverbial floodgates for the Roosters, who had struggled to put points on the board. The work of Tigers five-eight Benji Marshall in this 10 minute period I believe went a long way to winning the Tigers this football match. His experience shone through as he showed great composure and lead his side from the front.
THOMPSON PERFORMANCE LEAVES NOFOALUMA IN THE DARK
Star Tigers winger spent Saturday playing in the Wests Tigers reserve grade side. Touted as one of the best attacking wingers in the league, it came as a shock to many Tigers fans when he was omitted from their first grade side. However the performance of stand in right-winger Corey Thompson may leave Nofoaluma in the ISP for a while longer. Thompson was fantastic against the Roosters, even scoring a vital try to set up their late win.
BOTH SIDES NEED TIME TO GEL
Neither side looked very dangerous with the ball on Saturday. There was glimpses but no one really stepped up and executed their plays to full effect. This may have just been the case as both sides defended brilliantly throughout the game, but with new faces in key positions for the Tigers and Roosters, it’s just going to take time. The 10-8 scoreline was the lowest in the NRL over the opening round.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
“It’s good to get the win, start the season off with a bang, especially against the Roosters. They’re a top quality side.” – Wests Tigers match winner Tuimoala Lolohea.
“We tried to do what we wanted to do in attack, but there wasn’t enough combinations, and high errors.” – Roosters coach Trent Robinson.
WESTS TIGERS 10
Tries: Corey Thompson
Goals: Tuimoala Lolohea 3/4
SYDNEY ROOSTERS 8
Tries: Blake Ferguson
Goals: Latrell Mitchell 2/2
Wests Tigers: 1 Tuimoala Lolohea, 2 Corey Thompson, 3 Esan Marsters, 4 Kevin Naiqama, 5 Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, 14 Benji Marshall, 7 Luke Brooks, 8 Russell Packer, 9 Pita Godinet, 17 Matthew Eisenhuth, 11 Chris Lawrence, 12 Robbie Rochow, 13 Elijah Taylor
Interchange: 10 Ben Matulino, 15 Alex Twal, 16 Michael Chee Kam, 18 Matt McIlwrick.
Roosters: 1 James Tedesco, 5 Blake Ferguson, 4 Joseph Manu, 3 Latrell Mitchell, 2 Daniel Tupou, 6 Mitchell Cornish, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9 Jake Friend (c), 10 Sio Siua Taukeiaho, 16 Ryan Matterson, 12 Mitchell Aubusson, 13 Isaac Liu
Interchange: 11 Boyd Cordner (c), 14 Dylan Napa, 15 Zane Tetevano, 17 Victor Radley