It is never a good sign for a team when their opposition has an intimate relationship with the same in-goal area as they do. The pity for the New Zealand Warriors was that their opposites, West Tigers, made forays into this poorly secured enclosure with monotonous regularity.
Tigers Centre Jeff Daniela was a major contributor with a hat trick and Lote Tuquri chimed in with a double in the Tigers 50-6 demolition job of the Warriors in Sydney tonight.
What was more remarkable was after thirty-seven minutes the Tigers were down 6-4 and the Warriors looked to be gaining momentum after having scored in the 26th minute with a try to Joel Moon. Then, suddenly, the match turned with the Tigers scoring at more than a point a minute over the final forty-four minutes.
In this time they added a further eight tries with seven of them converted by captain Benji Marshall. And these weren’t tries from kicks either. No, there were numerous tries that started from their own twenty. Show-offs.
They threw the ball around, broke the line with ease at times and showed a healthy portion of élan in their work. No need to kick on the 5ft tackle for this lot. Why indulge in such an activity when they could entertain themselves and the crowd with sweeping movements from one side of the field to the other. Several of their tries came on the last tackle. Most teams would put a kick of some description in, but not the Tigers. They chanced their arm and it paid dividends with three tries coming on the 5th tackle.
Even the keen observer would never have seen the havoc that the Tigers unleashed coming. Despite being the first to score they made a multitude of errors. All in their own half, too. They did their damnedest to help send the Warriors home with a victory. Fortunately for the Tigers their foe didn’t appear to have any ideas worthy of try scoring feats on their mind. Hence, they were unable to take advantage of the opportunities afforded them by the Tigers.
So it turned out to be somewhat of a cake walk for the home team.
For the Warriors, though their defence was sound for most of the first half and, yes, they had looked to be getting on top of the contest for the second quarter of the match, their attack was minimal. It looked flustered with no one appearing to have any ideas. There was a lot of sideways movement at times with no one really putting a dent in the Tigers defensive line.
There were no decoy runners to be seen and the Tigers were able to shut down any attack with relative ease. To add to this the last tackle kicks invariably disappeared over the dead ball line, so they were unable to mount any pressure on their opposites by trapping them in-goal.
So it wasn’t their night. And to add to their woes, not only were the Warriors pummelled on the scoreboard, their already high injury toll this season continues to get worse. Early in the second half Brett Seymour came from the field with a knee injury.
With Seymour now potentially out of next week match against St George, the Warriors will be hoping that James Maloney’s back injury recovers in time to allow him to play.
Because they are going to need all the help they can get.