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Todd Payten talks about the Wests Tigers good win over the Melbourne Storm in the Holden Cup last week in his weekly club blog.

Todd's Blog

The win over the Storm last week left me a very proud and happy coach. We played a good side who play a very physical style of play and defend very similar to their NRL side. They are very good on the ground defensively.

I was happy with my boys as we were just as physical and played real tough footy after having several missing from suspension and injury and the absence of Luke Brooks in the NSW Cup. We also finished the game with only two fit replacements for the whole of the second half.

We started the game well completing set after set and leading for all but the last 10 minutes of the first half 6-0. I was very disappointed to go in at half time after having the run of play for the first 30 minutes. I thought that we had a few guys take soft options defensively with only a few minutes to hang in there til half time.

They got back into the game on the back of 4 late penalties for which I cant really argue against, it was our lack of discipline in areas the refs have been cracking down on all year on. They were also given on plays 4 and 5 when we had worked hard the first 4 plays at least. At one stage we had 16 set to their 8 in the first half before a flurry of penalties evened the position up. Knowing that if we completed well in the second half they would tire towards the back end of the match.

The second half was a tight affair with both sides going set for set completing their first 8 sets each. It wasn't until a poor missed tackle in the middle of the ruck cost us 6 points and we were down 12-6. At that point I was concerned as our body language was poor and they were full of running. We managed to stay at it and stay in the contest by some smart footy and a strong long kicking game.

We kicked to corners and chased hard chipping away at the storm. We scored a fortuitous try that bounced backwards out of a tackle and Leva Li was able to bounce across field and carry two defenders over the line to level the scores at 12- 12. From there we found another gear and amped up our physicality and defended ourselves out of trouble when we made an error. We scored two more tries with the last being a ripper with great skill, anticipation and support to take the score to 24-6 with 5 minutes left on the clock. We kicked a field goal to take the led by 13. The Storm managed a try late in the game to finish the game at 25-16.

I was extremely satisfied that were able to stay in the contest when things went against us. That's two weeks in a row we have been able to show some resilience and handle adversity. The manner in the way we did it as a team has me most happy. Everyone contributed.

Our standouts were Manaia Cherrington, Fosio Tatola, Andy Fiagatusa and Brendan Santi. Manaia was forced to play the full 80 at hooker. He was creative out of 9 and earned us a couple of penalties running when their markers werent set. He never shirked any of his workload.

Andy played 70 minutes in the front row also due to injury earlier in the match. He just kept coming toiling away with quality effort on effort. He is no fuss and never takes a backward step.

Brendan also played 80 on the edge and in the middle. He led from the front and by his actions. He also never takes a backward step and able to push himself when he gets tired.

Fosio played tough backing up after the U18s Origin match. He too played tough and for long minutes. He has been a valuable addition from the S.G. Ball side after the completion of their competition.
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