Todd's Blog: 'I was proud of the character shown'

Wests Tigers NYC Coach Todd Payten was proud of the character shown by players in Newcastle on Monday night following a dramatic week for the club.


In his weekly 'Todd's Blog', Payten described the win as 'unconvincing' but was proud of the effort put in by his young men following the funeral service of Mosese Fotuaiaka.


Todd's Blog

'We are very happy to start the year with a win over Newcastle. We certainly did it the hard way with only completing half of our sets. We made too many unforced errors and gave away possession each time we started to mount any pressure.


We started well with Leva Li scoring in our first set with a nice in and away on the opposing centre. From there both sides made many mistakes and we gifted them filed position too often. Some last ditch scrambling defence from our boys and some certain try saving efforts from Kurtis Rowe held them to one try before the break.


From there both sides made many mistakes and we gifted them filed position too often. Some last ditch scrambling defence from our boys and some certain try saving efforts from Kurtis Rowe held them to one try before the break.


The second half was pretty much the same as the first as both sides were tardy with their handling. At one stage we had completed 3 from 9 sets and they werent much better. A very classy individual effort by Luke Brooks when he threw two dummies to slice through the line, stand up and out sprint the fullback to the corner. It would see us hit the front 10-6. They managed to hit the front and have the running of play.


Our guys looked out on their feet from a mountain load of defending. They kicked long with Delouise Hoeter reading the play and breaking through two defenders on their kick chase.


He managed to draw and pass the fullback to Kurtis flying on his inside. The next set we worked our yardage set perfectly and on the back of a quick play the ball Manaia Cherrington broke the line and again drew the fullback to Matt Mulcahy to score under the sticks. That's where the score finished but we did endure some more tense moments with some poor decisions made by us. More drops and a lack of discipline invited them back into the contest but they too coughed up possession at critical moments to let us off the hook.


I was certainly disappointed with our completion rate and our lack of discipline and the fact that we all wanted to show how tough we can be, which nearly gifted them the game. We have to be able to learn to play the scoreboard.


Having said all that, I stressed to the guys that I was happy with the fight that we showed. I thought our strength of character really showed all week long. We had a very unique week with preparation something I have never encountered before.


I thought their professionalism and their resilience shone through as both men and footballers. We honoured our mate, Mosese Fotuakia, the best way possible. I was extremely proud.


Prop Nathan Brown took out the coaches award. He took the team forward and come up with some big plays defensively. When he and Kyle Lovett returned to the field in the 2nd half, we gained momentum back. Both their efforts in attack and defence were tremendous.


Kurtis Rowe had a big game as mentioned earlier. Luke Brooks showed glimpses of brilliance and debutant Jake Dooner gave us some spark off the bench constantly finding his front and forcing three errors defensively with some good shots tackling at the ball.'


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