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Wests Tigers is proud to bring back the popular Todds Blog for season 2013.

Written by Wests Tigers NYC Coach Todd Payten, the weekly blog gives supporters a personal insight into the U20s team and their preparations. Today he talks about how close he was to forfeiting the round one clash against Newcastle.

Todds Blog was introduced in 2012 in Paytens first year of coaching, a season that saw him deliver the Clubs inaugural NYC Premiership.

We hope you again enjoy the weekly Todds Blog column.

Todd's Blog

Its footy time again and I must say it cant come quick enough.

The last week has been upsetting to say the least with the tragic loss of Mosese Fotuaika, one of last years NYC heroes and a terrific kid with such a bright future.

It really rocked us. So much so I contemplated forfeiting this game but after more thought, I thought we would all benefit by throwing ourselves into this game and being able to get things back to something near normal.

We did speak as a group on Monday and we are aware that everyone grieves in different ways. I suggested we should all put our hands up to play but if anyone needed more time, I wouldn't hesitate them to let them sit footy out until they felt right mentally to be able to prepare for a game.

Everyone was determined to play and we made a pact to honour Mosese by preparing the best we can. I must say Tuesdays session was the sharpest weve had in a few weeks. We are fortunate that we play Monday night to give us more time to get ready with what has happened and the impending funeral on Thursday.

With all that has happened, it has taken the focus off Newcastle more so than any other game. I am more concerned about us and what we put together before, and on game day.

I watched Newcastle play a trial match against Cronulla in torrential rain, so it was hard to get a gauge where their strengths and weaknesses are.

Their forwards looked hard working and both their hooker and captain Adam Clydesdale and half Eddie Proudler did some clever things.

Footy at this time of year needs to be simple. Generally whoever controls the ball the best and can control where they give the opposition the ball usually comes out on top. Most sides don't have the match fitness and resilience to hold teams out if they can do that.


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