When you watch the Wests Tigers, it can be like watching Dr Jekyll and Dr Hyde. In one half, they look in all sorts, as if there is no chance of winning the game. In the other, things click, and they get on a roll to win the game.
This was exactly the case last night, as the Wests Tigers defeated the New Zealand Warriors 24-22 at Leichhardt Oval – despite a rather lazy and lethargic first-half performance.
As the Tigers had a game of two halves, it can be said that the Warriors had the same to a lesser extent, after leading 10-0 at half-time, only to see the Tigers score 4 tries in the second half.
The Tigers win was marred however, by a hamstring injury to make-shift five-eighth, Chris Lawrence.
Although acting captain Benji Marshall said that it was his teams best win of the year, he says that they still have a lot of work to do, following their five-game losing streak earlier in the year.
“We’ve still got a lot to work on,” Marshall said.
“Our defence has been pretty outstanding, I think, but our attack’s probably not as good as it has been the past few seasons.
“… These big games, games without Robbie there … you gotta get the two points any way you can.”
With the Tigers normally a flamboyant, creative, attacking style – for coach Tim Sheens, their wins of late have been in stark contrast to the Tigers that we expect to see.
“They haven’t been classic Wests Tigers … We’ve had to grind the win out,” Sheens said.
“Earlier in the year we were criticised for not grinding it out.
“Now of course we’re being criticised for not being Wests Tigers.”
Simon Mannering, the Warrior’s captain, was critical of his side’s soft defence in the second half, and saw the loss as a missed opportunity.
“This one was a big opportunity for us, going into the bye, to get a bit of momentum.
“We didn’t play that well in the first half but we led at halftime and had every chance in the game to get the two points and just got soft at the start of the second half.”