Tigers have one paw on league’s crown of thorns

Rigor Sportis Roar Rookie

By Rigor Sportis, Rigor Sportis is a Roar Rookie New author!

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    Friends, a momentous event is happening before our very eyes. Like a solar eclipse, or the attempted monetisation of a Shane Warne thought bubble, the Crown of Thorns is moving.

    The Crown of Thorns is a perpetual trophy awarded to the club adjudged to be the most bafflingly incompetent and disastrous rabble in the great game of rugby league. To claim it, and the accompanying Sceptre of Shame, requires a mix of glorious stupidity and tragicomic misfortune. The honour roll is long and distinguished.

    Parramatta appear most regularly, on account of their 30-year search for the next Sterlo (Tim Smith is a genuine contender), their habit of signing players five years after their prime, and their constant, dizzying internal feuding, with board elections that Zimbabwean democracy enthusiast Robert Mugabe once described as ‘a bit too vicious for my liking ‘.

    Last year, when they were caught a lazy $174 million over the salary cap and had noted probity advocate Eddie Obeid working his magic behind the scenes, the Slippery Eels had the famous Crown pretty well sewn up. I mean really, nothing says Crown of Thorns like your dream signing being linked to Eddie Hayson.

    That sort of thing attracts high marks from the Crown judging panel. They must have thought they had it wrapped up for a while.

    They didn’t count on the tenacity of fellow honour roll regulars Newcastle, boldly finishing runners up in 19 consecutive games and having their captain fail a drug test to firmly seize the title. Again, the Mullen doping scandal is pure Crown material, not least because there was so little evidence of enhanced performance on his part. The Knights had the Crown firmly wedged atop the armour, with the plume poking up the middle.

    Now though, I venture, there is another firm gravitational pull on the prized title. All the ingredients are there. Bitter internal strife. Staggering recruitment and retention decisions. A player skimming a bit off the top of his own charity auctions then dumping his teammates in it for getting on the Colombian marching powder.

    A coach once arrested for *allegedly* weeing in a cup and hoiking it over fellow spectators at the SCG. And of course, early optimism followed by anguish and deflation. All the ingredients are there. The Tigers are poised to seize the crown.

    The Knights have had a win and come close in their other two games. The green shoots are obvious. At the very least they look likely to reach a point where they can lose by less than twenty without being described as ‘courageous’ and ‘gutsy’ in the media. The Tigers, by contrast, are facing all the stuff listed above, and have been linked with a $1.7 million deal to sign Chris McQueen.

    Their coach, in addition to his penchant for sending urinal gravity defiance, has Crown pedigree, and will stop at nothing to wear its jewels. He heroically led his South Sydney side to the prize in 2009, when he managed to convince the famously passive David Fa’alogo to punch his lights out.

    He made a dramatic charge for the title last season with his power struggle against the famously conflict-shy Robbie Farah, and his revolutionary decision to play a three-man hooker rotation against Parramatta (not a coincidence) on Easter Monday.

    The club have strong form too. For one thing, their recruitment and retention gurus have notably allowed Andrew Fifita, Blake Austin, Martin Taupau, Marika Koroibete and Josh Addo-Carr to move on saner pastures. It is genuinely surprising that the Roosters haven’t convinced them to hand over James Tedesco in exchange for some magic beans.

    It’s all there. The time is near. Soon the mighty Crown will travel to whichever of the Tigers’ 46 home grounds they elect to host it. Alert the Governor-General and book the Cathedral.

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    The Crowd Says (10)

    • Roar Guru

      March 20th 2017 @ 8:44am
      Mark Young said | March 20th 2017 @ 8:44am | ! Report

      I’m just so happy that JT finally has the team he wants.
      Knowing he is happy makes this all worthwhile.

      • Roar Guru

        March 20th 2017 @ 9:58am
        Mark Young said | March 20th 2017 @ 9:58am | ! Report

        And It could be worse!
        Imagine how bad we would be going if we weren’t paying the Origin hooker to play for another team.
        Dodged a bullet there.

        • March 20th 2017 @ 10:17am
          Bugs said | March 20th 2017 @ 10:17am | ! Report

          Ha! Too true.

          $1.7mil for McQueen?? I hope that’s over about 8 years…

        • Roar Rookie

          March 20th 2017 @ 10:39am
          steveng said | March 20th 2017 @ 10:39am | ! Report

          Thanks Mark, Robbie is going very well at Souths and we thank the West/Tigers for his pay, keep it coming lol

    • March 20th 2017 @ 9:07am
      andrew said | March 20th 2017 @ 9:07am | ! Report

      All off season – “Defence will be the key” , “we have improved our defence”, “our focus is defence”…. Three games in and their against is 72 points worse than the Storm….

      That is some high quality coaching when not only have you failed to improve your defence, but you actually thought it was better and clearly it is not.

      • Roar Rookie

        March 20th 2017 @ 12:01pm
        Joe said | March 20th 2017 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

        Exactly. I’ve been hearing that all off season and was thinking if they improve their defence they are in with a chance considering the strike power they have at their disposal. The defense in the last two games have been diabolical!

    • March 20th 2017 @ 9:54am
      Oingo Boingo said | March 20th 2017 @ 9:54am | ! Report

      Early days .

    • Roar Rookie

      March 20th 2017 @ 10:30am
      steveng said | March 20th 2017 @ 10:30am | ! Report

      Don’t worry all you West/Tigers fans, JT has got a master plan???

    • Roar Rookie

      March 20th 2017 @ 1:16pm
      catcat said | March 20th 2017 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

      Need bigger forwards, and halves having no “bad” games. Not sure if he will last that long though…all the other “coaches under pressure” had a win on the weekend so all the focus is on JT this week…..

    • March 22nd 2017 @ 12:24pm
      Mike L said | March 22nd 2017 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

      Nice article Rigor.
      Obviously with the events since your article was published, I think you can take credit for being the straw that broke the camels back and getting JT the boot…

      Well done…

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