Wests Tigers Podcast 0032

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Another solid performance from the Wests Tigers against the Bunnies on the weekend, but again no reward.

On this edition of the Wests Tigers Podcast we look at where the Tigers could have been better, where Souths had the advantage and discussing the some of the somewhat dubious refeering decisions.

We also look at the whole game day experience in 2019, particularly around the lack of lower grade games and ask whether rugby league is better for value for money and a better spectacle than it used to be?

Wests Tigers skipper Moses Mbye has been selected for the Queensland Maroons in State of Origin game one. We look at the selection and what it might mean not just for Moses and the Maroons, but also for the Wests Tigers.

Corey Thompson remains unsigned at the club, how big a priority is it for Wests Tigers to lock him up?

And we look at the possibility of New Zealand skipper Dallin Watene-Zelezniak wearing the black, gold and white of the Wests Tigers before June 30.

All that and more on this edition of the Wests Tigers Podcast with Eddie and Joel…

Wests Tigers Podcast 0032 Transcript:

Hello and welcome to West Tigers podcast episode number 32. Eddie Otto joined by Joel Helmes were playing a little bit of role reversal today. Joel how are you? I’m pretty good Eddie looking forward to having a fairly stress free weekend this weekend with the bye.

Yeah round twelve by I think we had to buy in round 12 this year and perhaps comes at a good time after a couple losses. Now we’re going to be discussing needs to ask game in depth of course 32 16 defeat for the Tigers some of the positives and negatives to come out of that game. But there’s also a little bit of news or in and around that margin by being picked for the quite and side subsiding rumors I guess some players unhappy in other clubs and just reviewing the rest of the round in NRL Round 11. Joel let’s start with the breaking news today Moses Mbye selected on the bench for Queensland. What were you surprised to. Do you think this is good for Moses and the Tigers.

There’s been a little bit of talk about Moses being in the mix. He certainly was last year if you remember back talking about him being a you know an extra player and pretty close to potentially a spot in the 2018 team. I was a little I suppose I was a little bit surprised that he got the role on the bench but then I think when you think about it it makes sense that he’s a versatile player who’s played first grade in a number of positions so I guess he is a you know a good super sub to have there. It’s gonna be really interesting to see how the game goes. A lot of the time in origin you know you do lose a player early on and even for all we know Moses will end up having a fair bit of game time. So I think it’s good for him. I think he’ll grow from it and it’s a pat on the back for you know a guy that most weeks you know generally performs pretty consistently.

I think you mentioned it with the utility role it can work against you sometimes in club football when you get pigeonholed into that. But in the Origin arena given at SABC physical when you do get injuries throughout the game the coaches are always looking for a player that can cover every position in the spine and I think that’s worked to his advantage here because you’d have to say all that his club form has been patchy at best.

But like you said I saw Michael McGuire in the postgame press conference really talking him up and I think if anything that’s not talking up his performance to date but trying to really build confidence into him and the fact that if he gets some game time for Queensland he’s going to come back a more confident better player for the second half of the year.

Yeah it’s I don’t think it’s going to do him any harm. Only for the fact that you know if he were to get injured in that in that in that space that would be the only possible detriment to what’s happened I think it’s good news and you know we’ll take it. We are so infrequently involved in origin so it’s nice that one of our own playing out there albeit for the Queensland team. Let’s hope that Ryan Madsen does manage to squeeze his way into the NSW end this talk of course about Madison and about Alex 12 being in the mix they both missed out at this stage but with guys like tyson Frizell being under an injury cloud you never know I think that I think that Ryan Matterson is deserving and quite frankly Eddie how he got picked to our Angus Chriton and got picked in front of him as that has me scratching my head because Angus Creighton has been a shadow of what Ryan Matterson has been doing this year. Yeah I think your accent right but I think it comes back to sometimes.

They erred on the side of caution a little bit in terms of picking players who’ve been at it for if it’s a 50/50 call and also picking players and playing the teams on top of the table and this is where I think guys like you know someone like Josh Jackson is really suffering I still think he’s a quality hard nosed Origon type player but he’s each side’s been down the bottom right eight months and whilst we’re not down the bottom we’re not that force that the Roosters or Souths are so you know I think Ryan Matterson is unlucky and I hate to say it but if he was playing for the Roosters this first half of the season he probably would be in the Argentine now Yeah yeah well I think you’re right.

I think that my philosophy is different to yours on this so I think that if I was in a position where I was picking a team if I was picking a team that had to win to save my life I’d be picking 17 the most 17 most informed players in the game and then working out where they play in the team after that. This whole he’s an Origin player Oh my God I hate that term I can’t tell you how much I hate that term he’s built for Origin you know.

Yeah but if he’s if his club forms terrible and he doesn’t perform in the origin space like we’ve seen from guys like Mitchell Pearce over the years and NSW are stuck and stuff I don’t think it’s the right attitude to have I think he’s got to pick guys who are here at the top of their game and who are you know they’ve got the good they’ve got some running with their legs you know oh that’s my that’s the way I do it my body picking the form goes Yeah I’m actually with you.

I’m just trying to explain what I think maybe their reasoning is up I agreed at red team should be based on your club performances and a reward. You have all of the incumbency So anyway we’ll wait to see as the series goes on because like you said it was carnage over the weekend and lots of injuries involved. So Matterson and Alex Twal I mean the picture if not this game later in the series. Yes. Let’s move on to the weekend’s game against you asking me now the reason we’re reversing roles that age you were out of the game I wasn’t. Before we touch on the performance itself you wanted to talk a little bit about ANZ Stadium and the game day experience itself for a fan. Your thoughts being out there Saturday night.

Yeah well my wife and I we decided we go out to the game. We got tickets online and I noticed. So I remember back in the off the oh this is gonna be a lot of in the old days talk but in the old days you got three games. So I remember we’d always been you know normally like that I’d get along too and the other twenty ones that start at midday or 12 or 30 and you had three games to sit there and watch and get settled in and the atmosphere to build wouldn’t the game at ANZ. There was no curtain raiser the curtain raiser was a there was the game that’s played between Wests Tigers and Souths their handicapped players and that was it was good to watch. I think it was only 10 minutes or 15 minutes each way. But then it was there was nothing the though Ehsan masters came on did a couple of practice gold kicks. A few of the Souths players ran on ahead a little bit of a warm up. There was no atmosphere any there was no buildup. There was value for money. I mean there was no value for money. We paid for one game. When you used to sit there and used to be able to watch three games and it was it was the actual proper diet. So I was disappointed about that and just disappointed all or just I suppose the real realisation of how bad ANZ Stadium is and how really how poor it is as a venue for watching a game like this with 20000 people. There was absolutely totally no atmosphere. And I’ve been to just about I think I’ve been to every ground except for AAMI Park and b Navy Park and there’s always a pretty good atmosphere in most venues the ANZ It was just absolutely dead and really surprised by how non vocal the sounds fins was. It was a really disappointing really disappointing value for money proposition I suppose you’d say. And even if the Tigers won I’d still be saying exactly the same thing. It was just a it was just a bizarre experience.

Yeah I’ve been out to plenty of those games at ANZ with a similar sort of crowds between between two Sydney rivals whether it be SAS tigers or tigers of Parramatta or tigers and Bulldogs and you just don’t get that that tribal sort of atmosphere.

So far from the action and like you said eighteen thousand is not the worst crowd but you put it in an 80000 seat stadium that’s not close to the action you know on a cold sort of Saturday night and the atmosphere can feel very very dead and maybe Souths fans have got a little bit bored by success or not or whether they’re just sort of you know I don’t think they’ve ever been in love with that ground south any I’ve always thought they should be playing at Allianz but yeah it’s it’s a bit of a problem for the NRL when you when you’ve got a marquee stadium that’s not very attractive given the way the game is now it’s so easy to watch the games on TV particularly when you’re paying money like you said for just one game.

Well the realisation to it is that the NRL doesn’t really want you to go to the games because if you think about it yeah they get the money upfront they get the cash up front what they want is they want you to watch it on TV because the bigger the TV ratings the more revenue they get from the TV deals and that’s where the big money is. So I don’t think there’s any great there’s no great desire to really encourage people to go to the games. Otherwise you know they’d be selling tickets for ten dollars instead of forty dollars and you’d get 40000 people instead of ten thousand. I mean that’s I think clearly that’s their strategy. They want people at home watching it on Foxtel watching it on Channel 9 watching those ads and there’s greater revenue that way.

I just felt that for a game that was you know that’s one of the top teams in the league and a team that’s battling away and trying to get into the top eight and twenty thousand people turned up I just thought it was just a just a disappointing sort of spectacle and I really don’t think the change has been for the better not playing the the younger players on the day one of the great things about going with football in the others was you’d sit there and you watch the other twenty ones and you’d watch the guys coming through. You’d watch reserve grade with some guys there that were on the fringe some guys and played first grade some guys have not been coming and was just so much more interesting and I just I just lamented how far the game’s coming and not for the better.


Agreeing always give you something to talk about I guess on the way I mean even if your first grade team had been flubbed you might come up from reserve grade or next 18 or 19 year old superstar so I think like you said the days of that are long gone unfortunately and the NRL have shown their hand by the Thursday night scheduling and Friday six o’clock and all this. And I think unfortunately it’s here to stay.

Yeah it’s sad it’s not not for the better not for the bill.

Okay let’s let’s talk about the game just in general thoughts on the scoreline 30 to 60 in south. Do you think that was a reflection of the game or do you think it played South Sydney a little bit.

Yeah I think it did to a degree. I mean a full absolute full credit to them for certain aspects of their game and yeah the biggest aspect of that is really it’s not South Sydney it’s the Burgess the Burgess brothers. You take those Burgess boys out of that team and they’re pretty they’re about where we are and that’s the difference of two or three really class players. And obviously Reynolds is a really good player and walks a good play on that they’ve got some talent around them for sure. But the amount of impact those boys have the amount of momentum that they are able to build for that team can’t be understated. It doesn’t quite come across on TV as much sometimes but really watching them in that game they just they just steamrolled us and that was the difference I kept getting the momentum. The refereeing I mean obviously the refereeing was. Was bizarre. You could see that it was the Tigers strategy to try and slow Souths down and slow the play the ball down it was really about all we could really do to stop them. Their game was so powerful upfront but I think some of the decisions were questionable at that last Troy as well and it came back. I just sat there sort of thinking Yep typical the better teams seem to end up on the right side of the penalty counts. It’s a strange phenomenon.

Yeah I think a few things aren’t just on the Burgess brothers. I’ve got the stats in primary and Sam Burgess 19 run hundred ninety nine is George Burgess 14 runs hundred fifty. Thomas Burgess 15 runs 75 metres set they combine their nearly 50 rounds in over 500 metres and our forwards in the game ran for over 100 metres.

Ryan Matterson so like you said that opening 20 minutes they earn those penalties when I was 14 I didn’t have any complaints at that point because they were steam rolling as I was getting quick flight of all. Yeah we were working on and you know if we’re going to sort of go to the next level as a team we need to wait and recruit a style player like that. Or develop one from wicked because it just seems like when the Roosters and Souths particularly are really on you know we can stick with a side like Melbourne to a more grinding side but they blew us away in that game early.

Yeah absolutely. If you if if there’s any benefit Souths have over the Roosters and Manly at this point I think it’s up front and that they do play they play the part they play the game that I love you know they really play that forward dominated game. That’s the way that I would like us to be and I don’t think we ever really have been bar some impact that we have. What was it 13 14 when James gave a Martin money to power and so things are just that’s what I want us to get to. I think that’d suit our style and I think Michael Maguire is the kind of coach who who’s going to want that and take us in that direction and you know maybe when you look at Russell Packer not being in the mix you know guys like Ben Matulino I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s change coming.

Yeah I think so.

MICHAEL MCGUIRE He would have looked on with a little bit of envy as he would have recognised obviously a lot of those players in the style of football that he played at Souths and that’s maybe where he wants to get this Wests Tigers team in the next couple of years. Having said Souths and some of those penalties like you said a couple of decisions geologist frustrated me obviously we got back to 14. Well when you was really considering how out of the game we were early.

And then there was a penalty there when Sam Burgess got roughed up by Josh Aloia why it was a good tackle. And Sam Burgess had a massive sort of we just went after him dummy up and they sort of everyone stopped and then the referee saw it all or penalised West Tigers I just couldn’t see a penalty there.

Souths go down the field and scored 20 points to twelve and it’s half time I just thought that was a massive turning point yeah there was a turning point absolutely no momentum so Souths at all the momentum to start with it was really turning back our way we were really in it and yeah it was just one of those situations where you can’t work it out like I can scratch my head I can I can think that maybe there’s some psychology of backing the better known player in the the higher ranked team or or you know thinking that maybe the Wests Tigers are sort of scrappers and they’re being dirty to try and stay in it or you know but it’s just bizarre and I think the refereeing not just in our game but in recent weeks across every game I’ve watched that dragons and sharks game last night a perfect example just oh they’ve they’ve lost their way the referees it’s in the game the quality of the games is so poor. You know I think what contributed to my dis content with the Saturday night experience at ANZ was just how crummy the actual game was I mean there were some good touches and good bits Benji obviously was a highlight but it wasn’t a game that you’d sit there as an impartial observer and think this is a really high quality game and so many of the games that I’m watching in the last three or four or five weeks have been like that just really low quality with on bizarre bizarre refereeing decisions and yeah just boring. I think it’s the wrestle the wrestle is the thing that I think is killing the game.

It’s a hard one because I mean last year they and they tried to crack down on it and they got absolutely no pole axed in the media for giving 25 penalties a game and this year they’ve they’ve tried to let things flow but the coaches are so technical these days like you said you get these wrestling thorns and a lot of the games and and even the rhythm of it like Gerard Sutton was blowing the whistle when we were defending and then it annoyed me that when we had the ball he was often the pocket referee.

So you’ve you’ve got two it. Yes. So yes if he’s going to blow the whistle when we’re defending then surely when we’ve got the ball he should be the main referee as well.

Absolutely 100 percent agree with you Eddie. And look I’ll never forget never forgive Bill Harrigan for what he did in the 89 grand final when he clearly got the Bruce McGuire penalty. He put his arm the wrong way. No doubt about it. But let me say that.

Bill Harrigan we need to go back to having a referee one referee and that referee is responsible for the flow of the game and how the game is going because that’s the only way you can have consistency if you’ve got one guy that’s making the same decisions for both teams so I agree with that. The bunker to some of the decisions at the bunkers making in recent weeks and just again it makes the game stop and slow. I’d rather go back and I think I have said this before. I’d rather go back to having single touch judges one referee and if they get it wrong they get it wrong. We live with it they get it right they get it right. You know the bunker is still not getting it right 100 percent of the time anyway and it’s just ruining the spectacle.

Yeah I don’t think it’s ever going to happen. I’m a little bit on the fence because I still think you need the technology but I thought they had the right balance earlier in the year. They were looking at things two or three times maximum. I think it should be capped at one minute because that last s try that was ludicrous because it was given no try on the field. You looked at it 15 times you couldn’t definitely say he didn’t knock it on or he wasn’t offside and it was a guy who was passively offside and all of a sudden after five minutes Jared Maxwell in his wisdom decides to overturn the decision. But why aren’t you sitting there for five minutes freezing your arse off and then do you get the wrong decision. Yeah right.

And as I’ve always said about the game of rugby league in every sport it’s not an exact science. You know you can look at whether the balls touched the line and you know there’s certain things that yes you can unequivocally say that is a black or white situation with so many things with the game that the features referee by feel and make decisions by. You know it was it was a scrappy really crummy little bit of blue a bit of play. There was enough you know the referee the wrong field had gone no try. I think from memory you know there’s enough there to think yeah. No this is this. This is not a drawing. I mean we just sat there and sat there and sat there and just there’s a lot about the game that I’d like to change at the moment that I just don’t think it’s just not working.

Are not easy way. Let’s let’s talk about a couple of the individual performance because despite the loss of thought there were some positives none more so than Corey Thompson at the back 19 runs 187 meters 14 tackle breaks.

Andrew Voss was waxing lyrical about him in the call and I guess no surprise some ice Wests Tigers fans we’ve seen this before whenever he gets a chance fullback he’s genuinely one of the best players on the field.

Yeah he’s got some some room to move in some space and he is he is quite elusive and is you know he’s got that good little turn of speed it’s not just the step into city. He goes from nought to 100 in just a couple of places which is such an advantage in that position and I think he he’s definitely be quicker over 20 meters than the most assembled. And he’s just all heart.

He’s good under the high ball. Well I think we close.

You know I know we can’t because we’ve got Benji there at five eight and you can’t really you can’t have your skipper sitting on the bench but if we were genuine if we were fair dinkum you’d you’d be playing Corey Thompson at fullback every week just giving him the number one and then just letting him own it. I think he’s up to it.

Yeah I think he is too.

MICHAEL MAGUIRE You got press a little bit after the game about about that Thompson advice situation and again he try to build up managers and saying perhaps scenes in marriages as game that you don’t see it like like organizing the defensive line and his chat from the back and stuff like that. But like you said a you know Corey Thompson is he’s a little bit quicker off the mark.

I think he plays with certainly a little bit more courage and that’s not a disservice to them by but I just thought you know 14 tackle breaks the way that that first try we scored was a beautiful try we haven’t seen that too often in the Tigers the past couple of years a really nifty sort of set to that Thompson hitting the ball at 100 miles an hour.

Yeah absolutely. Absolutely. So I don’t know if you if you’d be playing Moses Mbye in the centers or I don’t think Momorovski is the answer long term I think polls are a fringe first grader and fortunately I don’t I don’t see a lot there. I think he’s a solid player but I just don’t think he’s the the right player we need there in the centers. Maybe maybe slotting in and buying into the centers. You know I think the player we missed all albeit not all of his game but we missed me missed mark for Noah’s aggression just some some dirty some dirty meters that needed to be made and we didn’t we just seem to be lacking that little bit that he has been contributing in recent times.

Yeah perhaps. I’m like you I’m not really sold on mom Trotsky again.

Back line there’s a lot of players there that are of a similar standard and David not for Louisville Ky.

He looked a little bit out of shape to me. That’s not to say he didn’t have a go he really. He really put in I think he had 20 runs and nearly over 200 meters but. He sort of got pushed back and a few tackles and he was gassed a lot so I think he’ll be better for the run but it’s been interesting when I think you’ve probably got to stick with him by at fullback given he’s you Captain easy and your top two or three guys by players you just pick for Origin. He’s been scrappy but I think at least you know Corey Thompson given his off contract. From a personal point of view it couldn’t be a better time to put in a performance like that.

It’s a shame that Corey Thompson was not contracted to the end of 2021 and David not the Loomis contracted to the end of 2019. That would be my preferred position at this point. I think not north Luma needs a change of clubs I think this year. He’s always been a wholehearted sort of player makes the odd mistake in that but I’m just not sold on where he’s going in his career and I think it’s time for us to part ways Yeah I just think the style.

You look look at some of the top teams and the style of wing as an outside backside got and you know unless you’ve got a real sort of courage or sovereignty game as a small or undersized outside back it’s not easy every weekend.

David not only a sort of I didn’t think he was terrible but I could see why he’s sort of being reserved. He didn’t look fully fit to me. Yeah. Jacob liddle I actually thought this was by far his best game in the year offices have limited minutes and limited opportunities. But. I guess a big South Sydney pack although he made a number of really good tackles in the middle of the field and I thought he added some thrust through that middle period in the game.

Yeah. He’s also he looks really bulked up and grown. He was standing next to Ben Matuloni and it was kind of like they were pretty much the same size. He really seems to put on some bulk as well as a bit of hope. So he’s looking up to it he got a lot of game time a lot more game time than I was expecting which I think could be an indication that Michael Maguire is using the rest of this year as we started to use this year as a bit of a bit of a trial for 2020 and beyond.

That was kind of my feeling I don’t think there was anything really wrong with with Robbie. But it just appeared that Jacob got a lot of game time and as you say he did it for himself quite well.

Yeah. Put it put some guys over the advantage line and he’s running game was impressive yet nine runs for eighty seven meters. Robbie only runs for 20 meters and got nothing against Robbie I think he’s done a really good job this year.

But I think it’s game situation a little bit. You’ve seen in games so far like Melbourne when we’re in front and we’re trying to grind out a win. I think Maguire is more likely to stick with the safer more experience option whereas when you fall 10 or 12 points behind and you’re looking for a little bit more thrust and speed at a dummy half I would be surprised to see Liddell getting more minutes. He saw Damien Cook the difference. I know he’s got the Burgess boys there but to have a player that passed out a dummy car is a big advantage.

Yeah absolutely. I mentioned Matulino before but again disappointed with his game. I just I’m just not seeing it. I just I don’t know I don’t know what we’re going to do with Matulino and Packer. I just think that they’re just not giving us what they’re their check is what we’re paying them for.

Now I tend to agree and I’ve been underwhelming. I thought outside of Ryan Matterson I thought probably the other best thought for us was with Josh Aloia he he’s strong.

Yeah agreed. Agreed and Chris Macqueen a bit of a quiet game good defensively made some good reads in defense but yeah not a lot of highlights and look hard against the against that that s aspect to really shine. But you’re right about Matterson.

He just just continues to grow and I’ve got to make a correction I’ve been meaning to make a correction for a couple of weeks. I mentioned that I got my mom Grove’s keys on my Matterson’s mixed up medicine that played 60 games for the Roosters and mom Bruschi only a couple of games so yeah. Just in case anybody thought what’s he talking about that clears that up. But another thing quickly Eddie. Just this afternoon I was in the future and there was a customer in there at a West Tigers had on he was talking to the owner and I was eavesdropping and he said look I’m not upset because you know they’re trying their guts out and they’re playing pretty well so I can’t be too disappointed. And that’s how I feel. I wasn’t that disappointed at the South’s loss. You know it hurts it always hurts. But I thought that there’s there’s signs that where we are actually improving and sometimes you do lose you’d lose track and lose a little bit of perspective of where we might have been six months ago. I think we were doing. Maybe even a little bit better than we expected even though the winds may not be coming against some of these really good teams.

Yeah I agree I started sometimes listening on the radio or to the media and they say well the West Tigers these West Tigers are really inconsistent side and I actually don’t agree at all. I think our consistency is generally there. We’ve had one really bad performance against Parramatta and I just think like you said most weeks we haven’t got the cattle to compete with a team like Starsky. They’re at their best now.

I tipped us to win based more on the belief that I thought South Sydney would do for an off game but we got the opposite of that. I think Souths compete competed completed 19 in their first 20 set which was always going to make it difficult.

I guess my question is to you now given where running 10 I’ve seeks one game away from the half point halfway point of the year is this next game against the Raiders a must win.

It’s pretty much getting there. Coming off the bye It would be a very very sweet game. It’s our first game at the Western Sydney Stadium so I reckon that’s gonna give us a bit of a bit of a shot. It’s new territory for the club it’d be a big day. It’s on a Friday night which I think would be a great atmosphere I might try and get some tickets to that I think that’d be well worth getting along to and I’m pretty confident. I think that for us city it’s really you’ve got to say at this point it’s going to. We’re just trying to work out whether we’re going to finish seventh or eighth died for tenth really that’s that’s how I feel. I think we really are a middle middle of the table team at this stage.

Absolutely and I’d go as far as saying it’s it’s all biased. I had a look at the table a minute ago and you’ve got Newcastle who five weeks ago were wooden spoon material and I couldn’t believe it.

They’re sitting in fourth place so the thing about this year as opposed to last year Lassie had seven teams really or eight teams break away with 14 wins this year. You’ve got Newcastle you’ve got six wins in fourth I think in eight plot you’ve got Parramatta you’ve lost more games and they’ve won five and six same record as US and looked like they on a downward spiral.

So you know I look at some of those teams like Parramatta and George Illawarra and the Warriors cowboys and I think they’re all in the mix I still think it makes because I think eleven or twelve wins might be enough to get a seat.

Yeah look I wouldn’t be surprised that he I’m just having a look at the draw. I wouldn’t be surprised if you beat Canberra wouldn’t be surprised if we beat the Cowboys and I wouldn’t be surprised. We beat Souths over the next three games. I’m just feeling confident. I think we’re actually playing pretty consistently as you said before I think we’re you know where we’re playing inconsistent teams. Yeah we’re playing a really when we’ve played really good teams we haven’t been at that level but our actual individual performance the amount of points that we’re scoring it’s all pretty consistent.

I think that we’re I think we could go on a bit of a run at some station and it could be after the ball. I think the boys come just at the right time as well.

Yeah. And the draw. That’s another thing that frustrates me is it. I mean it’s like. But look look at you know we play Souths last week with a full strength South Side and this week we got Oregon and Parramatta get the chance to play in with without their best player. So it’s sort of. You know that’s that’s frustrating in a way when you get a direct sort of rival for a top eight spot playing a side that’s severely under strength at the top of time.

Yeah absolutely. And there’s been plenty of talk over these mountains of talk about how you make it fair you play everybody wants you and you go into different conferences or something like that. But it’s not fair the way it is I agree. And I don’t know why if we can’t change everything else about the game why can’t we change things like this you know to make it more interesting you you know you play your conference games you play Brisbane Gold Coast cowboys they all sort of play in a conference you break it up into into four or five different conferences and then you start your season proper something like that. You know I think it might make it even more interesting and grow those local rivalries even more as far as I’m concerned everything about the game is being changed and is open for negotiation so why not change them.

Yeah it’s probably a podcast we could do for another day but I think it’s gotten married. A big NFL fan and it’s for instance if you had sort of conferences of four or five say a West Tigers Parramatta Canterbury Penrith and you played those tapes twice it adds meanings to those sort of divisional games and you’d give the incentive of having more crowds because you’d have more local rivalries and probably not happen any time soon.

But anyway. Exactly. So let’s review just quickly the rest of Round 11 started off seems a long time ago Thursday night. It was a bludger of the game I watched. Pedro sixteen Parramatta tan it was awful.

Yeah it was the first of a number of awful games this weekend never reached any great heights and neither team really deserved to win that. The Panthers were just as bad as they’ve been in a number of losses. They don’t think Penrith are back on that performance.

Now I suppose the only thing you’d say to Penrith is there was a little bit more effort than some of those guys the winger just Mansoor and regal Campbell Gillard. But yeah awful awful game of football Friday night. A surprise result Gold Coast Titans 36 Eagles 8 this would be the frustration as a Titans fan because you watch it play that second half and they’ve got some speed and skill but you just don’t see it often enough.

No inconsistent and know guys like like the halfback. You know he’s Taylor he’s he’s good one week and then goes missing for a few weeks and then it looks like an orange play a real really a frustrating team to to follow the Gold Coast at the moment and manly.

But I think Manly at times they’ve overachieved a little bit of another another big Cronulla the week before but they’re there six or seven so the team I think yeah I think Manziel might be a sure thing.

Like you said they’ve been playing above themselves and that was a flat flat game for him and we’ll get some of their best players back second half of the year. Big Results for the Knights on Friday night 38 12 by the Roosters now. Good time to play the Roosters given a rest and Cronk and Kerry was knocked out of the game in the first 10 minutes. But my point I want to make it about Newcastle is you know look at some of their signings and the impact they’re having at the moment. Mitchell Pearce David Klemmer Connor Watson was the best player on the field and kind of player.

Now they were four signings I made over last 18 months. You look at some of the signings. Ivan Cleary made an impact they’re having on our club at the moment and it does doesn’t correlate.

Yeah but not making any any impact other than Corey Thompson. Corey Thompson was his best signing.

Yeah well I mean that’s the thing you sort of got back to it.

But if we had our time again in hindsight when you had those guys leave and you know pack enough money to spend maybe we just sort of were a bit willy nilly with the way we went about it.

Yeah and it’s not the first time you could say the 1999 2000 when when you know when we first formed we had a whole stack of money. I think it was eight million dollars and we had the best of Western Suburbs and Balmain to pick from and went out and bought the Terry hill and yeah didn’t didn’t quite work out that time either.

Now Ryan was a similar recruitment drive us I suppose it was a more bad boy element to it like John Hopoate, matt Seers and Craig Field. But again like if you’ve got five or six or seven players to buy makes not much sense to me that most of them are over 27 28 years of age.

Exactly. Cowboys twenty two Raiders 16 I didn’t see this game but I was surprised at result. They seemed to be winning ugly the Cowboys and that yeah surprised by the result as well.

Canberra is starting to sort of get the the the Canberra faders tags starting to come up. I think we I think we’re going to beat them I’m confident so yeah the Cowboys they’re performing pretty well I think given some of the problems that they’ve had so good on a bit of a rebuild period for the Cowboys.

I think it’s good time to play Canberra. Josh Hutchins out for two months with a broken hand and no lay lower partner and perhaps no so no excuses for that game against Cameron a couple of weeks I think we should win it. Yep. Barone Yep Broncos 8 warriors to hard game to watch.

Lots of errors scrappy physical I was sort of absorbing into an old folks sort of way if that my sentiment Baucus tackled well yeah I didn’t see the game either low scoring game unusual of such a low scoring game in the NRL today but you know you go through these games and he was there really was there a good game this weekend.

I think there was well in terms of terms of equality noted my closeness to the Games kept a couple of interesting but certainly none you’d be racing I have to watch on replay. Maybe Newcastle’s like individual yet as the team. Probably the highlight. Absolutely. Yep. Storm 28 Bulldogs 6. This was a bludger of a game category.

I don’t know they only get a couple of games at Belmore a year and they never seem to fire up at night about have much quality but they were they were lifeless in this guy.

Yeah I didn’t see the game. No but not surprised by the result. Both to the storm and the Cowboys. Other Bulldogs rather than they. They’re not dreadful but they just don’t have they don’t have that class. Do they have to perform against anyone much better than themselves at the moment.

No. They probably have Oh my sir. A lesser version of pasta. I looked across the park and there’s just not that speed and thrust forwards and in the back seat trying hard. Most weeks there are a couple of levels below.

Most teams that the Derby on Sunday afternoon again wasn’t a great game but Cronulla. I think they’re going to probably end up in full hold their position because they’ve won six games already. They get the likes of Johnson and Aaron Woods back soon. Matt Moylan returning home is one of the best players in the park and dragons lost five in a row there. They’re in freefall.

The Dragons have gone up. They just there was nothing about that performance other than the lay lower than the guy that came off the bench. He was impressive for the Dragons but here not much going on for them and the sharks they just know how to win ugly don’t they. They just they looked really dreadful at different times but they just managed to somehow jagged that dry here and there that they need and hold on and get the win there. Certainly for the absolute certainty for the top eight and I don’t think they’ve quite got it even with those guys coming back. But there’s certainly accounting for themselves better than than some might have thought.

Yeah definitely. That was round eleven now. We’re moving around 12 it’s a bit of a split round coming up this week no Wests Tigers game.

Just before we finish today darling we’re telling you to Lesniak is unhappy. Penrith requested a release. Is he the sort of player that we should be looking for perhaps a midseason trade. Probably be a couple of clubs interested as well given his his Kiwi connection with Michael and.

Absolutely look if I said 12 months ago to 80 you know we’ve got a chance of getting Dawe Z you’d jump at the opportunity wouldn’t you. Oh I think he’s a bit out of form and he’s had a couple of issues here and there. I think that he’s a he’s a quality winger is the new zealand Captain. I think we could do a lot worse especially if if he comes at the expense of trading a couple of guys who are contributing to what’s happening on the on the pitch for first grade at the moment you know the Russell Packers or or even on a larger title. I’m a fan of Alija but I don’t see a place for him here.

I think we’d be mad not to go for him.

Well I think that’s how our bargaining chip in that there was a few rumours and that obviously some other clubs might be more attractive but Penrith may be more willing to deal if there was some sort of trade given Ivan Cleary is there and he may have links someone like Elijah Taylor and Russell Packer and they’re out of favour here.

Yeah absolutely. I wouldn’t be surprised if it does happen and you never know. You could have some sort of element where there is a three way swap. There could be a a club that wants a Russell Packer and then it’s that they’re able to move on a player that can strengthen what Penrith needs. So I think the the horse trading is happening in the background and I’ve got a feeling it might happen.

OK interesting. But what would you say if done with Jennings or Lesniak said I’m only covering the targets like a play fullback.

I wouldn’t be signing any player if they’re coming in they’re demanding what position they play. That’s my blanket rule on that one no matter who they are unless it was a Tedesco or an absolute superstar.

Fair enough fair enough. Well anyway next week all we don’t have a game so I thought we might maybe do a podcast maybe sort of going through each player and reviewing it maybe a bit of a midseason review as well as looking at the second half of the season.

Yeah absolutely. I think that’d be good. And we can also look at what players might be on the on the dream list for next year who would like to look at and who is available off contract at the end of the year. That would be be worth having a look at and I think we’ve got a good blast in the past coming up with a couple of guys who had quite similar games both made quite different contributions to the Wests Tigers.

Yeah a couple of forward to wait. We won’t tell you where they are moved to play one play in a premiership side and one played a little bit earlier for a Balmain and West Tigers.

We’ll reveal all later in the week. You can catch us on w w w w Tigers podcast dot com that are you. Thanks for your comments and likes on Facebook and Twitter. Keep them going and have a good week Joe anything else we need to know that’s all.

Of course you can also leave us a message on the West Tigers forum. There’s a thread there that’s all about the point come so feel free to give us some feedback there as well.

Also see you next week guys. Thank you. Thanks.

About Joel Helmes 83 Articles
Joel lives in Sydney and has a vast background in journalism, radio, print and online. He previously worked in different roles at radio stations including 2KY, 2LT, 4KQ, 4BC and 2UE and is a qualified Radio Program Director (AFTRS). Joel has had a strong passion for the Tigers since the mid-1980's and has been a Balmain Tigers Football Club member for over 20 years.

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