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Wests Tigers NYC Coach Todd Payten talks about his team's hard fought victory over Cronulla last Friday night in his weekly club blog.


It was good to record our first back to back wins for the season after beating Cronulla last weekend.

Nine rounds in and we are sitting sixth on the NYC competition ladder. I think it gives a fair indication of where we are at for the moment. We have so much upside in us in terms of improvement.

We lost two games against Manly and Brisbane that we should have won given the positions we were in. We also won a game against the Bulldogs a fortnight ago in which we were fortunate to get home. On top of that we have to deal with a high amount of injuries with seven of our first choice players unavailable for the last couple and next few weeks.

However, it is important that we continue to build on the little momentum we have created. The injuries have given opportunities to some of our inexperienced players and a couple of graduates from the all conquering Balmain SG Ball team. Those boys bring great enthusiasm and energy to our sessions and games.

We did start poorly against the Sharks and after a stern message at half time, the boys came out and put together a reasonable half. We came out and tried to finesse our way through the match. The sharks had come off 50 point thrashings and were placed down the ladder but they turned up with the right intent and at the 20 minute mark they had completed 10 from 10 sets and scored three tries.

We went in at half time with a 2 point advantaged but at no stage did we deserve to be leading. We scored two tries from kicks and an individual effort by Mitch Moses where he chipped regathered and then ran around the fullback to score. They had been running harder than us and tackling with good aggression and we were off the pace.

We lacked effort in all areas and it was plain to see. We had no energy around the ball carrier. No one pushing up in support. We werent using our ruck plays or playing to the game plan. Defensively we lacked enough urgency on our retreat which doesnt allow us any line speed or shoulder contact and they were rolling us down the field.

After halftime we came out with better intent and energy. We were able to play that way for all but 5 minutes after a halt in play when Jake Dooner had to be taken from the field.

Our best was Mitch Moses who won both awards for us. Mitchs talk and direction as a half is first class. His anticipation, kicking game and speed sets him apart from others.

Other strong contributors were Andy Fiagatusa, Dallas Graham, Kyle Lovett and David Nofoaluma. Andy continued his good form with another game based on pure effort. He is also introducing a pass to his game which helps the side immensely. Dallas Graham set the tone for us in the 2nd half with some power running and aggressive defence. Sarge Lovett gave us one of typical performances doing all the little things to perfection.

Nofoaluma ran for 240m in his first game back from a 4 week lay off from injury. Im delighted for him that he will now make his NRL debut against Souths tomorrow night.
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Wests Tigers respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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