Wests Tigers NYC Holden Cup Coach Brett Kimmorley has hailed his “courageous” side after they hung on in trying conditions to defeat the Canberra Raiders 24-22 in yesterday’s sudden-death Elimination Final at Allianz Stadium.
After heading into the half-time sheds tied at 8-8 despite making 62 more tackles and having just 42 percent possession, Wests Tigers showed great resilience to keep pace with the Raiders and eventually finish the second half on top to emerge with a victory.
And in a sudden death Elimination Final, Kimmorley said that attitude was the most pleasing thing for him as they look to keep their premiership hopes alive.
“It certainly was very courageous,” Kimmorley reflected after the match.
“They had to do a lot of work and defensively they were very good.
“It was a bit stressful and on the edge of your seat, and the boys showed plenty of courage to hang in there and eventually come home on top of them.”
“I thought they were very good on their try-line defensively, and they had to be,” he said.
“They handled the pressure and tackled extremely well.
“I gave them a massive wrap after the game because they deserve the credit.
“They’ve trained extremely hard and developed the ability to get into the arm-wrestle and defend with some confidence, and they did it well.”
Kimmorley’s side will now face the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (who finished the regular season two points ahead of them in fourth) in a semi-final this Friday night — a short turnaround for a side that only played their Elimination Final on Sunday.
“Obviously it’s another test,” Kimmorley said. “Manly got beat on Saturday by Penrith and will be disappointed coming off a loss so you’ve got to take that into account.
“I think medically we’re all good which is great, so we’ll recover for a few days and get ready for next week’s game.
"I think if we hold the ball and go set for set, we’ve shown we’re a good footy side.”