They started the year as favourites and full of promise, only to fizzle out and miss the finals â€“ as their loss to the Melbourne Storm was the nail in the coffin for the Tigers 2012 season.
They needed some other results to go their way just to make the finals, but it was never to be â€“ as they were extinguished by a swift, yet at times sluggish Melbourne side.
The Storm whilst clinical at times, were also rather sluggish â€“ but it was the Tigers who continually shot themselves in the foot, as they turned over far too much possession both in attack, and on their own line.
The Tigers clearly missed injured hooker Robbie Farah, as well as workhorse back-rower Liam Fulton â€“ heaping even more pressure on half Benji Marshall to perform, who had a poor game by his standards.
The Storm will face a nervous wait on centre Will Chambers, however, with the in-form centre suffering a hamstring injury that may keep him out of the Stormâ€™s clash with South Sydney next weekend.
Although they were not at their best, and it may not have been the ideal game for the Storm heading into the finals, Bellamy saw his sideâ€™s defence as a big reason behind the victory.
“I wouldn’t say it was the perfect tune up, obviously we got a couple of injuries out there that’s a bit of a worry for us but the actual game itself was (the perfect tune up),” Bellamy said.
“I was really happy with how we defended in that second half, the first 20 minutes they had a lot of ball and field position and to keep the Tigers to six points here is a pretty big effort.
“If you’re going to play well in the finals you need to defend well so that was a really strong part of our game.”
Tigers coach Tim Sheens had little positive things to say, highlighting that the loss was a disappointing way to end an inconsistent year.
“It’s disappointing, we’ve been in the eight most of the season and to finish off in that fashion the last two weeks has obviously been very disappointing for us and for our fans and, something we’re really going to have to address in the off-season,” Sheens said.
Tigers half Marshall was critical of his own game, citing errors from him and across the board at crucial times that stilted any momentum for the club.
“We were in the game for a while but there were just too many mistakes and they were just too proficient in finishing us off,” he said.