Solid Tigers shut out Eels

The Wests Tigers mixed their usual exciting attack with some solid, enthusiastic defence tonight to defeat the Parramatta Eels 23-12.

The Tigers started with plenty of possession, but while they had all the ball they could only rack up 8 points from two tries in the first period.

There was a late first half Benji field goal for good measure, but there was a feeling that if they Eels got any ball they could make a run at the Wests lead.

Sheens had the Tigers extremely up for this game, the consistent rushing defence was frustrating the life out of the Eels – who again looked flat and a little disorganised.

But as they did last week, the Eels warmed to the task late in the piece.

Midway through the second half, Parramatta got some ball and got some momentum. Jarryd Hayne was again at the centre of their charge, line busting and throwing quality passes to set up team-mates.

For the Tigers, their go-to guy Benji Marshall was at his absolute best.

Looking more like he was playing touch footy, Marshall was flick passing from inside his own red zone, running solo into tiny gaps near the sideline and getting out of jail and creating all out chaos for the Eels defence.

The Eels like early last year are struggling for cohesion and structure. Missing Mortimer tonight made things even more messy, while Kris Keating played well – the Eels lacked a strong leader to organise the attack.

Hayne is key and can generate points, but they need a halves general that can really control this team and get through the sets consistently and smartly.

For the Tigers, they looked great with Tim Moltzen in the halves.

Feeding of Benji’ energy – the team really looked better with the likes of Payten and Gibbs back on deck. They were turning the Eels forwards away and allowed Marshall to run proceedings.

Lote Tiquiri was again impressive, his touches were quality and he scored twice for the Tigers.

Wests face the Raiders in Canberra next week and the Eels travel to Cronulla to meet the Sharks.

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