Category: Tigers


Liam Fulton sidelined for up to 6 weeks

Wests Tigers backrower Liam Fulton will be sidelined for up to six weeks with a shoulder injury suffered in the NRL opening round loss to Canterbury on Monday night. Scans on Wednesday revealed that Fulton has a sub-luxed left shoulder and the Tigers’ expect him to miss between four to six weeks. There was some good news for Fulton with confirmation he would not require surgery. Touted as title contenders after a promising 2010 and with a roster brimming with representative talent, the Tigers looked below par in their 24-14 loss to the Bulldogs. The Tigers host the Warriors at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday night and welcome back fiery prop Bryce Gibbs.

Fulton’s role is to fill the gaps

While Benji Marshall’s mental state has been the subject of intense speculation, Wests Tigers backrower Liam Fulton knows exactly where he fits into the scheme of things heading into Monday night’s NRL blockbuster against Canterbury at ANZ Stadium. Fulton describes himself as the ugly duckling of the Tigers backrow, the unfashionable footballer who “fills the gap” alongside high profile duo Gareth Ellis and Chris Heighington. “I’m happy to have that title,” Fulton said. “Gaz Ellis is probably the best second rower in the world … I know I could never do things that he could do. “And Heighington, he’s just the ultimate workhorse, he’s got an engine like I’ve never seen before. “I’m just there to fill the gap … and we work really well as a trio.” One gap Fulton will be called on to fill on Monday night will be the one new Canterbury signing Frank Pritchard takes aim at on the Bulldogs’ left edge. Continue reading

Matt Utai on the comeback trail

Tigers veteran Matt Utai is set to make a remarkable comeback to the NRL after nearly two years in the NSW Cup.The Bulldogs premiership player was yesterday named to start on the wing for the Tigers against his former club at ANZ Stadium on Monday night after getting the nod from Tigers coach Tim Sheens ahead of a host of developing players, including Mitch Brown and Geoff Daniela. Utai was also picked ahead of the injured Beau Ryan in the No. 5 jumper.  The 29-year-old is still looking to prove to Tigers officials he deserved an NRL contract in 2011.  Utai was particularly impressive this pre-season against the Roosters.

Marshall to play

The Wests Tigers have no plans to suspend Benji Marshall and expect the superstar to line up in the club’s NRL opener against the Bulldogs next Monday.Marshall, the bright face of the NRL, was charged on Sunday by police for his part in a McDonald’s melee during the early hours of Saturday. Tigers chief executive Stephen Humphreys will present a detailed report to the NRL by no later than noon on Monday. But Humphreys hoped a suitable punishment would be thrashed out between him and NRL chief executive David Gallop, which would not require any missed game time. Debate is sure to rage over what should be a suitable punishment for Marshall with recent police matters involving players Ryan Tandy, Todd Carney and Brett Stewart all met with different penalties. “I don’t want to get ahead of David (Gallop) and the decision, but we expect Benji to play in round 1,” Humphreys said. Continue reading

Lui could be the difference

They were minutes away from an NRL grand final berth in 2010, and Wests Tigers superstar Benji Marshall believes emerging halfback Robert Lui could be the player to tip them over the edge in 2011. Lui showed he was primed for a big campaign with a barnstorming performance in the Tigers’ final trial against Sydney Roosters on Saturday night – the 21-year-old scoring one try, setting up two others and adding a field goal in the 19-8 win at the Sydney Football Stadium. The Tigers have been tipped by many as the team to challenge premiers St George Illawarra in this year’s race for the title, after going within a whisker of toppling the Dragons in the 2009 preliminary final. With no major off-season signings, the Tigers were always going to have to improve from within to go better in 2011, with Marshall pointing to Lui’s development as a key to the club’s potential rise. Continue reading

We are just 12 days from the kick off to the 2011 NRL/NEX Dream Team competitions so there isn’t much time left to work out that all important campaign strategy. 

In Part 1 – I talked about the Raiders and the advantage they had for coaches in the 2011 season.  They are not the only team with an advantage when it comes to the early bye rounds.  Another team with a similar advantage is the Warriors

The Warriors have their 1st bye in round 12 with the Raiders.  Be wary though – if you stack your team with players from the Raiders and Warriors it may cost you a win in your round 12 head-to-head clash in your individual league or get you knocked out of the Eliminator Competition.   

If you are considering the Warriors, they have some good scoring options to choose from.  New players to the club, old players, players returning from injury and a couple of cheap options to make you money and trade up to those high priced stars.  The down side to the Warriors is they share their round 17 bye with the Cowboys, Sea Eagles, Storm, Tigers, and the TitansContinue reading

Some of the Top Performers of NRL Dream Team in 2010 (averaging 50 or more) are Corey Parker (Broncos), David Stagg (Bulldogs), Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels), Cameron Smith (Storm) and Robbie Farah (Tigers) 

Pretty much all the top Dream Team Coaches had them in their side at the end of the season.  We all want them in our team NOW but the $4.2 million salary cap, State of Origin commitments and the bye rounds means we have to choose carefully.

After round 19 last year, I reviewed the top DT performers and published the table below. 

After Round 19

  GMS Ave Pts TR  GO MG TA KM Oth Lost Pts 50’s % 50’s
STAGG 17 52.88 899 0 113 768 1 56 39 11 64.71%
FARAH 17 52.18 887 12 103 591 188 72 79 9 52.94%
HINDMARSH 16 52.94 847 0 134 712 0 74 73 9 56.25%
PARKER 14 57.50 805 108 191 510 3 70 77 13 92.86%
SMITH, C 13 54.00 702 72 62 481 113 42 68 8 61.54%

The table explains itself and may help you with finalising your 25-man squad for the start of the 2011 season.  Something else you should consider is their ability to hold or increase their 2011 starting price.  Continue reading

Tigers 19 – Roosters 8

Wests Tigers halfback Robert Lui has the early running in the battle for the NRL club’s No.7 jumper this coming season after a five-star display in a 19-8 trial win over the Sydney Roosters. The gifted halfback showed deft skills to set up first-half tries for skipper Robbie Farah and Liam Fulton, before the 21-year-old sealed the match with a blazing individual effort to totally overshadow more illustrious teammates Farah and Benji Marshall. Lui’s performance was a none-too-subtle reminder to coach Tim Sheens given the man he was meant to be vying with for the No.7 jumper – Tim Moltzen – was making his return after 10 months out due to a knee reconstruction. Lui put the icing on the cake with a field goal after the siren, the Tigers claiming their first Foundation Cup in the fifth year of the clash. Continue reading

Tim Moltzen returns for Tigers

Wests Tigers Head Coach Tim Sheens has named his team to play Sydney Roosters in the annual Foundation Cup clash at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday, February 26.

The match will see the long awaited return of utility Tim Moltzen who missed the majority of last season after undergoing a knee reconstruction. Moltzen has overcome an ankle injury that saw him miss last week’s trial against Parramatta.   Wests Tigers will be looking to win the Foundation Cup for the first time since 2007. Kick-off is 7.30pm.

Winger Matt Utai has been signed to a one-year second tier contract for 2011.

Team: Wade McKinnon, Lote Tuqiri, Blake Ayshford, Chris Lawrence, Matt Utai, Benji Marshall, Robert Lui, Bryce Gibbs, Robbie Farah (C), Keith Galloway, Liam Fulton, Simon Dwyer, Chris Heighington

Interchange: Aaron Woods, Tim Moltzen, Sean Meaney, Alan Schirnack,  Andrew Fifita

McGuire provides spark for Eels

The signing of Casey McGuire by Parramatta in the off-season caused few ripples around the NRL, but on Saturday’s evidence that could soon change.

The 31-year-old former Brisbane utility has returned to Australia from a four-year stint with French side Les Catalans, and looked a class act against West Tigers at Campbelltown as the Eels eased to a 30-10 trial win.

Playing out of dummy-half, McGuire was sharp around the fringes of the ruck and gave Parramatta the energy in attack they so badly lacked last season.

Only Cronulla scoring fewer tries in 2010 as the Eels, pre-season premiership favourites, failed to make the finals. Continue reading