The Wests Tigers are back in action tonight when they take on the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park.
Check out our preview of the match, but also hit play or download this edition of the Wests Tigers Podcast for more discussion on how we can take down the high-flying Storm on their home turf.
Did you know Michael Maguire has only ever one won game over Melbourne’s Craig Bellamy? We talk about that and give our predictions on the game.
On this edition we also talk Rhyse Martin and whether the Tigers should target the goalkicking Bulldogs backrower, we look at the rest of the NRL Round 10 action and go down mystery lane with two Wests Tigers players from the past in our ‘Blast from the Past’ segment.
Don’t miss it!
Hello welcome to the West Tigers podcast episode number 30. And it’s a Thursday afternoon and Eddie Otto not long to go now to the match against the Storm. We have a lot of Thursday night games this year jostling or five or six in total. I’m not a huge fan of them I suppose it doesn’t make too much difference when it’s in Melbourne. There won’t be many targets fans tonight.
No but I think we do get a pretty good representation. I think a few people have read like on the forum. We’ll be down there. They went to the Brisbane game. Then on the road down to Melbourne that’s really following the team. I wouldn’t mind being down in bleak city to see the game. I think we’re going to put a pretty good performance in how he has your feeling at this early stage.
Yeah well I think for one we’ve already had two wins this year in Brisbane and a win in Tamworth. So we’ve proved we can we can go on the road and win. Obviously it’s a step up in class tonight But I feel historically at least we tend to match up better with the storm as a heavyweight compared to a Roosters or South Sydney or Brisbane when they’re really strong. Even when we’ve gone down in the past they often sort of low scoring struggle. So I’m expecting a close game I wouldn’t say I’m confident of winning. I definitely think we’re going to be blown away like we were against the Roosters.
Right cool we’ll come back to the storm game in just a moment or two before that a little bit later on in this broadcast. We’re going to continue on with our blast from the past. We’ve got two players from the past and a bit of a guessing competition any of a signal singled out a couple of things that that our listeners can have a think about before we reveal who they are.
Now they both played in the halves. One of them debuted for the Wests Tigers in 2009.
The other one debuted in 2000 and eight. And interestingly every one of these players is still playing. So that’s a couple of clues there.
Yeah you and they both had interesting interesting sort of careers the way they ended up leaving the club but we’ll leave it at that and see see the viewers and the listeners get up.
Exactly. I’ve got an interesting is that for you here Eddie something I didn’t realize. Michael Maguire has only ever won one match but in the 80s when his team has come up against the team coached by Craig Bellamy coming one out of ten and that came in 2013 with Souths in the semi-finals I think it was. That’s a pretty interesting figure especially given that Michael Maguire spent a whole lot of time down at the storm and in fact used to coach the storm and Craig Bellamy was often State of Origin duties and things like that. It’s quite an amazing step.
Yeah it is I do remember that Souths had a particularly poor record against Melbourne over the years and that’s probably surprising given the fact that Maguire was you know he presided over rain near where I think I made the top for three years in a row and won a premiership. So I don’t know what to make of that. But you’d think McGuire and Bellamy to me look like very similar sort of style of coaches very intense hard on wrestling not afraid to make changes not afraid to call out players. So I’m sure the TV cameras will be panning to the booth plenty of times and either the viewers will get some entertainment there.
Yeah absolutely I was just going to say maybe it’s a case of you know McGuire cut out now Bellamy Bellamy. Definitely there are a lot of similarities between the between the two coaches and they would have gone on like a house on fire of course there. Their history goes back to playing for Canberra together. So they they knew each other from from those those that the association at Canberra. So yeah we’ve definitely it’s interesting how history revolves and rotates because if you go back what is it 18 years ago when we were looking likely to get Bellamy and it didn’t happen and now we’ve got McGuire and rugby league it’s a story that continues to evolve and change and people come and people go in the influence they have on the club that’s quite interesting something else that I thought I’d like to mention about Michael McGuire that he said during the week.
Quite an interesting comment. He said he was talking about the Wests Tigers becoming more consistent building consistency week in week out and talking about how they’re training and that he said there’s a level now that we’ve got to go to that’s probably above and beyond where this club has been. I really like that. And it’s interesting isn’t it. It really is the feeling that I get that we’ve come along and under MCGUIRE So far we’ve we’ve improved a little bit here and there but you know he really is talking about taking things to the next level.
Yeah I think that’s that’s music to Tigers fan D. I’m not saying we’ve had bad catches in the past but we’ve had coaches that add more on the softer side but they’re just moments more measured I suppose in McGuire in terms of Tim Sheens and Ivan Cleary whereas Maguire he’s more that guy that if you’re not working hard and if you’re not the hardest training team in the competition he’s going to be disappointed and we saw at Souths and at Wigan that it might flame out in the end but it got to the ultimate success and I think the Tigers would might be a few players away from doing that.
But we’ve definitely got I think the best catch that seems to be James then that comes back to what I was just saying about the Bellamy time is you get the feeling that if Bellamy had come in and he wasn’t a first grade coach when he was being offered the job at the Wests Tigers he went to Melbourne we saw what happened there. The Wests Tigers history would have been so different had Bellamy come now who we are we’re talking about finally doing it ironically sort of under under McGuire under Bellamy’s creation of Michael Maguire. It’s very interesting isn’t it.
Yeah it is and it was I suppose not too many Tigers fans were shattered in 2003 because like you said Craig Bellamy was a bit of an unknown even though he was sort of an assistant at the Broncos and even though in hindsight you’d think now geez what a missed opportunity. The fact that I think Bellamy ended up knocking back the job but it’s saying that within three years. TIM Sheens won a competition not short Craig Bellamy could have done that playing that style of football because that certainly wasn’t his style of football that teams Ange played.
Yeah I would have been completely different wouldn’t it. I mean how would have players like Ferrer and Marshall Allan Fulton and all the other young guys that came on. How would they have performed and how their careers of have turned out. If Bellamy had been at the controls instead of sheens. Very interesting to think about isn’t it.
You’ve seen what Bellamy thought in Melbourne with players like you know I wanted to press Tigers fans but a player like Adam Carr who wasn’t the finished product at the Tigers had speed had ability. But Craig Bellamy just tends to mould players a certain way and guys like Farrell or Marshall might have they’ve been even more consistent throughout the younger days to be carries on under a catch all that perhaps.
Yeah exactly. We can’t change that now. Another interesting stat for this game against Melbourne it’s Benji Marshall who moved to 227 games for the Wests Tigers and that’s equal with Chris Lawrence. The key really I think for this game is the performance over Robbie Farah against Cameron Smith and the performance of Luke Brooks and Benji Marshall for the Wests Tigers because we’re going to have to score some points aren’t we.
Yeah particularly down in Melbourne which we all saw what they did last week. Now no one is expecting them to repeat that scoring 60 points. But like you said I’ll go through it at Melbourne side and the back line this Speed to burn Cameron Munster has been on far in arms and Cameron Smith still as crafty as ever so you’d think we’d need at least 20 points to win job. But in saying that last year we beat the Melbourne Storm twice in the scores with 8:00 and 11:00 ten.
Now I think we probably played them at a better time last year it was really early in the season coming off the back of a World Cup you said they would put a lot of ball down in both games but we household and we scrambled and we didn’t dominate in the forwards but we sort of frustrated them into a grinding sort of game and we may have to do that again to mind given the discrepancy in sort of speed and power at least in that backlog.
Yeah that was gonna be my point about this game because we’ll be night-time it’ll be cool down there the ground to be a little bit greasy of course and as you say in those two games last year. And realistically against any real quality opposition that any of the games that we’ve won over last couple of years it’s been two to sort of getting that arm wrestle and frustrate them. But I like what we’re seeing this year and that’s our ball control now. And if you know we’re finishing off our sets our completion rates Excellent. If we can get into an arm wrestle with them and continue to to complete the sets and be in it at the 70 of minutes I don’t I don’t believe that it’s impossible although obviously you know Melbourne are the favourites but to get a feeling we’re going to push them right to the end.
Yeah I’ve been quite down on our attack this this year but you’ve got to say last week we scored some really good tries. There was some fluency in that back line and the changes that Maguire made in the centres in the wing positional switch switching left and right with that combinations tended to look better. I know Penrith were a very very poor opposition last week but our boys would have gained confidence from some of those combinations coming together in some nice tries because we haven’t really seen that this year apart from last week. Yeah absolutely. The team has been named obviously that that.
It will line up number wise the same as last week. Do you think that Maguire will shift things around again in the back line like you do. I mean it’s not I was expecting the changes that he made for the game against Penrith to be there officially this week.
Yeah I think that’s just a smokescreen Ibish. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t go out with last week’s combination. Jennings on the left look better masses.
I think it’s better ball on the left hand side and you know for newer a little bit of a worry for me in the sentence but he did a solid job on the right last week in and Corey Thompson played on the right wing plenty of times last year.
So given the fact we strung together five tries in 20 minutes and won convincingly unless he’s seen something you know I know he perhaps made those changes with an eye to the fact that Penrith were missing one the blight but I think given the way we played I think you’ll see the same position last week even though it hasn’t been named that way.
How do you feel about the bench. We’ve got little we’ve got McKay Leigh we’ve got Elway and check him no room for all of a clock this week and of course a big absentee once again Russell.
Russell Packer might be on the outs now. That’s what for weeks straight. Where he hasn’t come back into the side and I like both Katie an alleyway off the bench.
I think there are more impacts players now than starting players and Jake knowing he’s been getting small minutes but I still like the fact he’s in the team.
I think at the moment you know Robbie Farah I think he’s been excellent this year but we are getting to that point on that sort of midseason grind where you need a little bit more spark and attack and I think having Liddell on the field 15 or 20 minutes could potentially add to that as he grows in confidence.
And again probably a sign that he is definitely first cab off the rank. You would think for further number nine jersey in 2020 providing as we assume that rugby won’t go round again.
Yeah. Who knows the way Robbie’s going I think he’s got the bit between his teeth I don’t know Michael Maguire might have other ideas with them.
Obviously we’ve heard rumours about AP cars sailing no doubt Jacob Liddell will think it’s his time next year but I think I think it will depend on how we go for the rest of the year. If we make the finals and Robbie fireplace 20 or 22 games I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he wants to play on because I think he feels like he’s making up for lost time a little bit. Your longtime retired and I get a different vibe around him than Benji I think Benji might be happy to hang him up but you know it a long way to go.
Yeah well I think Benji has got that role with Fox Sports waiting for him so that that could be a small factor in it. Yeah when you’ve got a job straight in the game you can move into it might speed things along different positions on a different set of requirements on the body. I’ve heard some things about Robbie’s back. He has had persistent back issues for it for for quite a while. I wonder if that might be a factor in it. You don’t see it maybe in potential he’s as you say see how we go as well for the next to the next couple of months if things are going along nicely. He might just go around again but I think it would be pretty unlikely at this stage. The rumour talk or the US the contract discussion is heating up of course all the click golfers and talk Parramatta. We’re going to enter the swimming season. Do you think that there’s any chance that we might sign someone before June 30. Is that. A realistic thing do you think. Oh of course. Again we don’t know what the salary cap situation is because we have the salary cap reduced by the NRL as part of that punishment over the Robbie Farah situation. Would you be looking to sign another player if you were Michael Maguire.
You’d be keeping your options open. I mean last year we did a good job you have to say because we fell in a big hole mid season and managed to pick up Robbie Farah and majors and by with sort of injected some life into our season. So it may depend on the next month of football how we’re going how the teams flowing injuries things like that.
All I’d say is I wouldn’t rush in to a you know try and assign a marquee player mid season because at that might you know I think last time we went on a big recruitment drive there was a a touch of panic about it where I think we rushed into a number of long term deals and I think patients would be required for our next sort of recruitment drive where we just need to be a little bit more selective I think. So we don’t end up in a situation where we’ve got too many guys on long term contracts sort of in their late 20s or early 30s.
You know it’s interesting just as a bit of a side note on the Wests Tigers podcast dot com on a website. We’ve got the full list of the West Tigers players thrive through history and they’re playing numbers and we have given debuts and NRL debuts to so many players over the years and if you look at many of our years we were debuting five or six guys a year or thereabouts and I was looking at the last couple of years just how much that’s actually dried up. Now we’ve obviously debuted all of a clock last week and Thomas McIlroy in round one but I think last year were only one or two players. We’re not seeing that influx of young talent coming through the Wests Tigers or we haven’t in the last couple of years doing maybe that’s something that might change under McGuire. Do you think that you know we’re going to find some spots for some decent young players and bring them through. What do you think his strategy for 2020 and beyond is going to be to buy more established players.
I think it has to be both. I think we have to try and take advantage of the fact we’ve got a big junior area compared to some some other clubs in Sydney and I don’t know why that’s dried up. Whether the Pathway system is a little bit broken or whether we don’t have the money in our football department to structure it where in fact we can identify talent. But it’s disappointing job because you say it’s a club like sort of Cronulla who are in a similar boat to us with a lot of sort of veterans who are turning their roster over and as a Sharks fan you’d sort of be really excited that moment because I got a call floating in Brunson cheery and bright like Riley with three young players who sort of really emerged on the scene and we’ve sort of had a couple of young forwards come through but no one really in the outside backs which is where we sort of need someone to come through because that can sort of be a position you know winning Santa where you don’t have to spend much salary cap if you get a young player coming through your ranks.
Yeah yeah exactly. Well getting there seems to be a couple of good good prospects down in the Canterbury cup so you never know again it’ll be interesting to see how it all unfolds and what Maguire does.
I think it’s getting to the point we’re going to start seeing some talk about the West Tigers recruitment for 2020 and beyond. One player that I think we alluded to mentioned last last week Reese Martin he’s definitely still somewhat. I’d like to see the club have a look at that nose on the Wests Tigers forum a bit of discussion on race. Martin has kicked off upon it only the thread about our podcast Eddie and it seems that well there’s at least one rumour there GMR for life saying that word is he signed a four year contract with para but there’s been no confirmation of that. He’s the first player that comes to mind for one I think he’d look right at the number 13 Jose in kicking the goals.
Yeah I think kicking in the goals is a big thing. I’m not convinced he’s a better background than some of the guys we got there. But if he’s on a level playing field then something like you know an 85 percent goal kicking especially the way we’ve been kicking goals the past couple of years would be valuable. But like you said he’s he’s back on the bench for Canterbury this week after being dropped. So maybe there’s a bit of ducks and drakes going on there. I probably know there’s a bit of interest around so maybe a bit to play out there.
Yeah exactly. All right well we’ll keep an eye on it and I have a look every day for contract talk though the Wests Tigers so we’ll always keep everybody updated as to any rumours or links to any potential players that come along through the next couple of months before we move on. We’ve got to get to our blast from the past and we’ve got to also look at the games for the for the whole of the NRL. Your prediction for the storm gate. Do you have anything else to add.
And are we going to win. Look up Tigers fans probably getting annoyed with me always predicting we’re going to lose but I try and keep with my head at my heart. I think we’ve had a wretched record in Melbourne over the years just to win. Since the joint venture was formed in 2009 I still think there’s no harder road trip in the game.
I think we’re going to be a lot more competitive because I think we match up a lot better with style. But I still think they can have a few too many points among.
I’m going to go 24 16 Melbourne 24 16 to the violent crumbles for Eddie. I’m going to go Wests Tigers by 1 and I’m going to go 13 twelve.
That sounds good to me jobbing would be more than happy with it. With a one point win there.
Be nice to come back with two points from south of the border for sure. Let’s go to Blast From The Past Players number 115 and player number 125 for the Wests Tigers going back a few years.
We’re talking about two halves that had interesting careers and interesting sort of exits from the Tigers as well. Tim Moltzen and Robert Lui I think Eddie was Well I think he partnered as well with Benji Marshall as just about anyone.
Yeah well you’ve taken the words in my mouth I think aside Scott Prince he was the only real ha to really gel with Benji Marshall and we gotta remember Benji Marshall was was in his pop back when Robert Louis was playing and we’d had you know John Morris and we tried to mix and match. Chris Lawrence in halves like Asia and all these guys and then Robert Lui came onto the scene in 2000 and nine he actually played in the NYC team that made the Grand Island lost to Melbourne that year. But I thought he was a really good foil for Benji Marshall and the two years that he played. 2010 2011 we made the top four. So I think it was unfortunate and obviously had some off field issues two years in a row. We ended up having to release it pretty much but if it wasn’t for those off the old issues you know he could have been a long term halfback but we were really craving alongside that Marshall Farah combination.
Yeah definitely were good teams 2010 2011 and he was a vital part of that. He was a product of the keebra Park Association as well. One of the one of the really good players that we’ve got via that pathway played 43 games for the Wests Tigers and yeah it was in the end of 2011 where those allegations came up in regards to the domestic abuse and that was the end of his time at the at the Wests Tigers.
It was a shame to see him go because he he really did you know after the loss of Scott Prince he he did sort of compensate for that it didn’t hurt so much that we’d lost this really good halfback because we were blowing jump in and he took us to some pretty high places really disappointing when he did leave Oh unbelievably Eddie he’s still playing and he’s only twenty nine and he’s playing for Salford and Tim Sheens is the coach of Salford and a twenty nine Yeah really I would have said if you asked me be thirty five I’ll drop it let me know but yeah I just I looked it up before we we come on and play 104 games for Salford and the team change connection he recruited quite a number of ex West Tigers to Salford and he’s obviously had a good career there to play over 100 hundred games and yeah he was just a guy for me who wasn’t totally dominated by Benji Marshall We saw other halves dominate and whereas Robert Lui I thought he actually had his best game of his career in that 2010 preliminary final and that we lost to the Dragons 13 12. He was really good that night Marshall was a big mix and I think Lui scored a try and was I thought his best performance of his career but it sort of ended all too soon for photography.
Yeah absolutely. I think at times his defence was a little bit questionable from memory.
Yeah fair point.
The other player number one hundred and fifteen made his debut in 2008. Say tim Moltzen played 90 games for the Tigers were a bit of a love him or hate him sort of player wasn’t the forum certainly different times was not in love with Tim multiple especially when he played with the number one on his back.
Yeah I remember that that was a really he was a really divisive player and I was always more in the camp of I was frustrated the team also because I get more frustrated guys who I think have all the talent in the world but not quite the mongrel in the game and some others have especially in a position like fullback and I thought he had bucket loads a speedy at Great ball playing ability. He could read the game but for me too often he was not willing to run the ball back. That was a huge frustration at Tiger’s fantasy but just a little bit timid which is sounds a bit harsh in our field it’s a battleground out there but in terms of the top fullbacks I’d never really felt like he was willing to put his body on the line all the time in saying that I thought he had a dynamic combination with Benji Marshall and his career certainly didn’t reach the heights it could off because he had a couple of years there where he was on fire at times yeah absolutely. He did partner well with with Benji Marshall he was seen as the replacement for Rob Louis in the halves didn’t quite work out of course you can’t really talk about team ultimate out talking about the injuries the injuries definitely were a factor in I think in the confidence and as you say he had plenty of ability and he just never got really to be able to string a whole whole lot of games together did he is always knee issues and him me hamstring issues and I think that that had to have been a huge factor on his career Yeah I remember following a story even a year or two ago and he seems like he was a really a really popular guy and it sort of Hamoudi malaise injuries because he sort of admitted himself that he wasn’t taking for granted but all of a sudden you’re this first great emerging superstar alongside Benji Marshall and then you get to knee injuries and although the mental sort of trauma that sort of goes with that and he never got back on on the part really I mean he got back a few times I think even reserve grade he might have got a shoulder or something and he just had rotten luck those past three or four years ended up signing for Manly. But I don’t think he played a first great game it is they kept blowing up so you got to feel sorry for him in that respect. Yes. B talent no doubt he had it all. I was just a little bit frustrated the way he played fullback. Maybe he was more natural natural hot.
Yes I think he was definitely more more natural half of course. I’m pretty sure that St George Illawarra don’t send him a Christmas card every year. Pretty sure that doesn’t happen.
Yeah well I actually forgot about that and that’s that’s that big contract controversy that was probably one of the first ones shall we say quite often now where players sign and reneged. We saw it with James Tedesco and other guys and that was probably one of the first where it was midway through two days and Lebanese he saw Mr George Illawarra and he was he was one of the four players at the back end of 2011 that was probably the peak of his career. Yep and then in October it was announced that Stephen Harper came up. Our CEO at the time and said that he’s not going to St George Illawarra and of course their fans were live it at a time and probably death writing in member states and having a baby is a doll that worked.
It does. It does work sometimes it’s worked for the Dragons for Tim moats and it looks like it’s working for us with Ivan Cleary. But if you go back to places like Glen Morrison it didn’t necessarily work. So it happened. It works sometimes the voodoo sometimes it doesn’t.
Absolutely. We want to preview these games quickly now. Let’s do it.
I’ll ask you just quickly who would you if you had a choice in the site they were both 21 again. Tim Moxon or Robert Louis and you had to sign in for three or four years. Which play would you sign currently to the west Tiger Rob Louis.
You just have to try and make sure that he really looks after himself off the field and doesn’t do anything silly.
Yeah. I’m like the odd guy Robert Louis. I think he was a better better overall player. Yeah but yeah had his issues throughout his career. This week’s round round 10 obviously we’re playing the storm tonight. Friday night a very interesting game. Huge game for Penrith. They’re imploding at the moment two and seven up against the Warriors who are 3 and 6.
I’m just going that same theory team off a flogging you were getting flogged in the papers. I just got a feeling Penrith are going to win this game at home. Even now it probably won’t be pretty.
Yeah I probably tend to agree. The Warriors they fought back and won that game last week and did okay. But this they’re so hot and cold in themselves. Yeah. I’m expecting Penrith to finally bounce back.
Yeah and Ivan made some big changes. Job Josh Mansoor and Rachel Regan Campbell Gillard some interesting to see how that plays out.
Yep Friday night as well Broncos play the Roosters Broncos got a scratchy win last week but they’ve lost that bird for the season versus were involved in an interesting game against Cameron I’ve got a couple of injuries and came through it I think races will still be too good I’m tipping the Broncos I think the Roosters are due for a loss yes I do.
But they they’re on fire at the moment. Titans and Bulldogs a bit of a bludger of a game on Saturday afternoon up in the Gulf Coast.
I’m gonna go for the Titans I think even though they have the same record I think they’ve been closer to winning games in that category you’re probably probably right it’s going to go Bulldogs you’re not Saturday Night cowboys.
You’ve been struggling this year as well up against Parramatta. This is one of my sort of upsets for the round. I think this is a danger game for Parramatta. I think you’re a bit distracted the moment they’ve been flocked to the last three games. Some of those guys haven’t resigned and I think the Cowboys are due a good performance at home.
I’m going to get cowboys Parramatta Parramatta.
We’re not a great match with moment big game Saturday night raiders and Rabbitohs in Canberra on potentially a cold Saturday night.
Hard to tip against them there but Souths applying yeah probably Souths I’m going to go south.
I think I’ve got some gears to go through on the way down and I watched him last week.
That spine combination Coke and Reynolds Wolf and I got a lot of points you know Cameron got a few injuries. I got her partner out lower out and John Bateman outside. I’ll get soused. Yeah. Dragons and knights both teams are training opposite directions. Knights have won three in a row dragons of lost rain around this games. Maggie.
Yeah. There’s only one point between them last time they played. So yeah no home advantage for either team. Newcastle on the basis that they’re getting a little bit of momentum behind them.
Yeah I’m going to go with momentum. Dragons are still missing. Corey Norman Newcastle in their fourth game in a row. And to round out round 10 both play side sitting inside the top eight at five and four and both have been impressive. The key to shocks and mainly missing key players but continuing to win win more than they lose.
Yeah absolutely. I’ve been impressed with the sharks there. They don’t look fantastic at times of a pretty darn awful at times but they just seem to keep scrapping and getting you through and getting the win so I’m going to go for the sharks.
No you have a grand advantage and the fact that I think they’ve got better young players to cover the key injuries. Cronulla one man a tall guy Cronulla.
Yeah okay. Another good round of NRL that’s only a matter of hours away. Fingers crossed for tonight for the Wests Tigers and will catch up again post mentioned and get another put on maybe towards the end of the weekend Eddie.
I’ll be watching the game tonight at West Lakes club so anyone that wants to go to the Wests Leagues club usually a good atmosphere there at Ashfield expecting hopefully a hopeful hopeful of an opposite leading male with fingers crossed.
Be very very sweet. Take it easy Eddie enjoy the game.