South Sydney have continued to keep their best talent off the NRL’s open market, handing a contract extension to back-rower Keaon Koloamatangi.
Before I wrap up the Tigers-Cowboys clash, I would like to say well done to former Warriors coach Stephen Kearney on a great coaching career.
Today it was revealed that the Warriors have parted ways with Kearney, which is sad to see, but he will be back.
Now, back to the Campbelltown game. The Wests Tigers put a clinic on the Cowboys, who were missing Michael Morgan (halfback) and Valentine Holmes (fullback) and had two debutants in Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and Connelly Lemuelu.
The Wests Tigers went into the halftime break with a lead of 34-0, which is their equal halftime record margin. The Tigers have to thank Moses Mbye, who scored one try and set up two others with five-eighth Josh Reynolds also producing two try assists.
The props were having a day out with both Josh Aloiai and Zane Musgrove scoring tries. And once again David Nofoaluma had a field day in the first half, having 129 running metres with six tackle breaks, one line break and no errors.
Jason Taumalolo – despite making an error in the opening set of the game – ran for 112 metres and came up with 15 tackles but you won’t believe the first-half stats for the Cowboys.
The possession was 50-50, the Cowboys’ completion rate was better by two per cent, they made one less tackle than the Tigers – but this is the really worrying stat, because the Cowboys missed 18 tackles compared to the Tigers’ eight.
In the second half, with help from Kyle Feldt’s double in the corner, the Cowboys reduced the 34-0 halftime score to just a 36-20 win for the Tigers. But once again, errors plagued the Cowboys.
Taumalolo improved his running game with an enormous 259 running metres and five-eighth Scott Drinkwater scored a 90-metre try off a Josh Reynolds pass, which helped Drinkwater finish with 173 running metres along with centre Esan Marsters, who ran for 175 metres.
Nofoaluma improved a lot with 215 running metres along with eight tackle breaks. Fullback Adam Doueihi ran for 134 metres with one try assist.
The Cowboys finished the game with 53 per cent possession, an 87 per cent completion rate, 27 missed tackles and seven errors, which really let the Cowboys down in attack.
I could not leave out Harry Grant’s performance. He was very good with one try assist, 42 tackles and only two misses and one error. He really put on a show in defence.
The Cowboys take on Kalyn Ponga’s Knights next Saturday and the Tigers take on the Bulldogs next Sunday.