Cleary bemoans Tigers’ drop in NRL form

By Matt Encarnacion, Matt Encarnacion is a Roar Guru

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    The Wests Tigers’ sudden NRL downturn cannot be narrowed down to a single issue, according to coach Ivan Cleary.

    The early-season surprise packets are in danger of falling out of the top eight for the first time this year after being shut out by Penrith 16-2 at Panthers Stadium on Thursday night.

    The defeat was their fourth in their past five matches, stripping Cleary’s side of any momentum they gained from opening the season with five wins in six weeks.

    Asked whether there was a common trend in their losing run, Cleary said: “No, not really. They’re all different. All different circumstances.

    “It was a different game tonight. They were too good. Not many teams are going to get two points up here. Next game’s a different game.”

    Cleary bemoaned the poor kicking display from his halves, whose forwards were kept on the back foot for most of the night by a dominant Panthers pack.

    Bench forward Alex Twal was the only forward to crack the 100-metre mark, while Cleary also lamented the combined 22 penalties that denied any real fluency in the match.

    “It was the sort of game where we never really found any rhythm in our attack,” he said. “We started OK, but the rush of penalties didn’t allow us to find rhythm and after that, their line speed did the same.

    “We got to halftime and we just hadn’t really found any rhythm. They just got a sense that they could smell the game from there. Second half we just spent the whole half in our end.”

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • May 18th 2018 @ 8:04am
      Forty Twenty said | May 18th 2018 @ 8:04am | ! Report

      Great work by the Tigers this year but they don’t really have the cattle to keep it up. Their early season success was based on a work ethic and effort that was always going to fade. You can’t play above your selves for a whole season.

      If my team played as well as the Tigers this year we would be in the top four without a doubt but we are second last basically.

    • Roar Guru

      May 18th 2018 @ 8:08am
      BA Sports said | May 18th 2018 @ 8:08am | ! Report

      Normally i am against self promotion but in an article yesterday about “Bold Rd 8 predicitions i said
      I will predict that if the officials are doing their jobs to the letter of the law there will be more penalties than points (or more penalty goals than tries if you prefer) in the Panthers v Tigers game. Both teams are very happy to give a way penalties in their own 20m
      Wish I could have bet on that…

      This game was pretty predicable to me. Panthers have a pretty good defence though they tend to give up the offload a fair bit. Other than Martsers, the Tigers don’t really have an offload game, so I really didn’t see how the Tigers were going to break the Panthers down.

      And both teams give away penalties at nausium, particularly when defending their line, so the penalty count and sin-binning’s were pretty predictable as well. Killed the game of any fluency as Cleary says, but the game needs to come up with a way to punish teams more for the deliberate penalties because right now, there is nothing to discourage it. .

      • May 18th 2018 @ 10:37pm
        Brian George said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:37pm | ! Report

        Well done you xx

    • May 18th 2018 @ 9:05am
      kk said | May 18th 2018 @ 9:05am | ! Report

      When the first half penalties went 4-9 and knowing referees penchant for the even up
      it meant that WT would be up against it. Sure enough the count went 7-2 to tally 11-11.

      The Panthers erred 14 to WT’s 11. That was the only segment they won all night.

      I have always regarded Ben Cummins highly. Last night he appeared to be refereeing
      the game to instructions from HQ. He did not appear to be enjoying the experience.
      The crackdown is the reform we had to have. Consistent application would be nice.

      It may help if the Ref had a three way pep talk with the captains in the sheds before
      kick off, so they could relay the need for discipline to their respective teams.

      Despite all that I enjoyed the game and was relieved to see Cleary and Maloney
      come through without injury. Glad I bought two tickets to Penrith. All aboard!

    • May 18th 2018 @ 9:24am
      souvalis said | May 18th 2018 @ 9:24am | ! Report

      Cleary will be hoping that the Naquaima to Barba trade has fruition cause the backline isn’t threatening enough as it stands to make the finals…

      • Roar Pro

        May 18th 2018 @ 2:33pm
        Davico said | May 18th 2018 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

        Have heard that it might be a 3 way with Barba going to the Sharks and Holmes to the Tigers

    • Roar Rookie

      May 18th 2018 @ 10:27am
      Joe said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:27am | ! Report

      I don’t think the Tigers should lose heart going down to this Penrith team. I mentioned last week I don’t know why they aren’t up in the Premiership conversation considering they kept winning even with a massive injury list. Lo and behold this morning out come the articles on Penrith being the real deal. The game against the Dragons coming up is going to be a blockbuster one. I think both teams are top four material this year and will likely go deep into finals.

    • Roar Rookie

      May 18th 2018 @ 1:47pm
      steveng said | May 18th 2018 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

      The Tigers were going ‘nowhere’ last night, surely Ian Cleary didn’t expect to win this game after dropping ‘Mahe Fonua’, what was he thinking? I know that discipline is very important but, dropping a guy like Fonua is suicide and surely there must be another way of punishing these guys instead of punishing their fans like that! Fonua is their best player (and he would have made a difference) as last nights game was a rabble in the centres where Fonua was so devastating, both in defence and offence in their last game this season! Good weather up here in Townsville boys, waiting for the big one tomorrow at 5:30pm, the Bunnies are specials for this one! Go the Bunnies lol

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