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Tigers left shattered - Australian Rugby league News
globalrugbyleague - Sun, 24 Feb 2008 10:37:00 GMT
Wests Tigers fans were left searching for the meaning of football after the roosters scored an impressive 34-28 win to take out the Foundation Cup for a second straight off-season.

Hunting for the title that has eluded them since it was first invented by officials in 2007, the Tigers struggled to lay a controlled foundation, allowing the Roosters to run away with a six tries to five victory in front of 15,197 fans who couldn't wait another 20 days to watch a live NRL game in Sydney.

Last off-season the Tigers narrowly went down 10-4 during the inaugural Foundation Cup final.

Their second loss on the trot has now resulted in some fans questioning why they can win an NRL premiership and a World Sevens tournament but not this coveted title.

Down 16-6 at the break, Tigers coach Tim Sheens then brought on Benji 'Superman' Marshall who had an immediate impact, setting up a 65m Chris Lawrence try in the 43rd minute before grabbing his first four-pointer of the year in the 73rd minute to level the scores 28-all in the crucial dying stages of the game.

Chooks half-back Mitchell Pearce quickly returned fire, supplying a well-timed 40-20 kick which proved to be the perfect set-up play for Anthony Tupou who crossed over in the corner with two minutes remaining to sign, seal and deliver the game.

Adding insult to injury, the Tigers also conceded a few key injuries. Todd Payten picked up a concussion while teammate Ryan O'Hara suffered a broken jaw which will keep him on the sidelines for at least two-months.

The Urinegate affair seemed to have no affect on Willie Mason who managed to play for an incredible 61 minutes.

Roosters fullback Anthony Minichiello had a blinder in his first game since back surgery midway through last year, scoring a try before halftime while engineering Kenny-Dowall's third try before being given a break from the action after the 50th minute.

Roosters 34 (S Kenny-Dowall 3, A Minichello, B Anasta, A Tupou tries; A Roberts 5 goals) d Wests Tigers 28 (L Fulton, C Lawrence, J Morris, P Tagive, B Marshall tries; B Hodgson 4 goals) at Aussie Stadium. Referee: Sean Hampstead. Crowd: 15,197

Other NRL Trial Games:

Cronulla-Sutherland won the prestigous award of 'first NRL team to be held scoreless' in 2008 after putting in an effort that can politely be described as a shocker.

Losing fullback Brett Kearney to a hip problem in the opening half didn't help given he is one of their top 5 best tryscorers.

But when you're against an opposition that's on fire, sometimes it doesn't matter who is on the field. Things just go pear-shaped and the best you can do is minimise the damage.

The big test for the Sharks is how they bounce back against Newcastle on March 1.

South Sydney 44 (B Rowe 2, I Luke, S Huihaha,B Falloon, M Greenfield, B Champion, C Wing tries; Luke 2, E Paea 2, G Nadara 2 goals) d Cronulla 0

Canberra proved to be surprise packets this weekend, ending the Broncos undefeated streak in the off-season six tries to three. The Raiders decison to buy back Joel Monaghan from the Roosters looks to have been a wise decision.

The Tuggeranong junior grabbed a double set of tries and more importantly he stayed healthy.

All the signs are good for Canberra who according to media reports were a better team in the second-half. If they can finish off games ten-fold this year, watch out.

Canberra 32 (M Chalk 2, J Monaghan 2, M Weyman, R Hinchcliffe tries; M Dobson 2, M Herbert, T Campese goals) d Brisbane 16 (D Boyd 3, D Kemp tries;) Crowd: 8500

What was the most important talking point to come out of this game? It wasn't the triplet of tries scored by Josh Morris or the injury free performance of centre Mark Gasnier.

Rugby League's first streaker of the year made his appearance, prompting some fans to call on League officials to announce the 20 best streakers of the century.

Naturally the Global Rugby League.com man of the match award went to the streaker who proved that a naked rugby league might be the best way to counter the AFL's plans to expand into western sydney.

Dragons 40 (J Morris 3, B Creagh, M Gasnier, J Nightingale, M Lett tries; M Gasnier 3, B Hornby, J Soward, M Hendy goals) d Bulldogs 30 (M Utai, H El Masri, G Warburton, C Phelps, K Cleal tries; H El Masri 3, D Holdsworth 2 goals). Crowd: 8127

This week’s off-season question;

Will you be worried if your team doesn’t win a trial game? - Read More, Here