Today’s Rugby League saw the in-form Wests Tigers make it 4 wins back to back and amazingly shoot to 5th position on the 2007 NRL Points Ladder. This has been a stunning turn around for Tim Sheens’ men – considering they lost their first four matches of NRL in 2007.
Not only are Wests winning, but their style has improved considerably. They are executing impressive set plays – most notably the late switch play against the Dragons today. A beautiful angled dummy run from Payten sucked half the Dragons defenders in and Hodgson threw a nice ball wide which eventually got to Fitzhenry who scored untouched 7 metres in from the sideline. Chris Lawrence continues to grow and grow for the Tigers, the young winger fielding a late kick on the full about 20m out from his own line, and proceeded to charge upfield – showing good strength to beat a Saints tackle and streak away – out sprinting Morris and several other Dragons to score a try to seal the match.
The Dragons today were simply a team so woefully low on confidence. While the fact they have been fielding so many youngsters has hurt them in recent games, they really can’t blame the loss on this today. With Woolford a late starter and helping things, poor play from experience Ryles and Head were the catalyst for the loss. The Matt Head failed try put-down was a major turning point in the game, momentum swings in NRL these days can happen off penalties, basic errors and even heavy defence – when something like Head’s failed put down occurs its the equivalent of giving the opposition 4 points it hurts that much.
The St George Illawarra Dragons face the Gold Coast Titans next week at WIN Stadium – and they will need a huge home crowd to help them get over the line. The form of Chase Stanley and the ever willing Ben Hornby were the only positives for the Dragons today. Good luck Browny you’re going to need it.
Sydney Roosters 24 def Gold Coast Titans 18
Roosters fullback Anthony Minichiello, who along with hooker Craig Wing were the standouts in the gritty Roosters win – with the cellar dwellars getting an injection of confidence with a much needed win.
A referee blunder was the talk of this match with Sean Hampstead aka Mr Bean overruling a touch judge call as a forward pass allowed the Titans to score and a Scott Prince engineered fightback was on the cards.
The other talking point in the this game was the shockingly low crowd attendance at Aussie Stadium. Mothers day combined with poor Roosters form of late – saw a crowd of just over 6,000 people turn up.
The face of the NRL 2007 points table is starting to change now, with the points table looking much better for the likes of the Wests Tigers, Sharks and Knights who all move firmly into the top 8.
With the bye being handed out to 4 teams next week, all eyes will be on State of Origin and how the impact of injuries affects the NRL teams.
Exciting games next week should be the Warriors vs Wests Tigers in New Zealand, and the Bulldogs vs Cronulla Sharks at Telstra Stadium.