Sunday, March 7, 2010
Since the mighty 2005 season when the Western Suburb and Balmain Tigers Rugby League squad shook up the world by claiming their inaugural title as a joint venture, the on-field struggles of the club have been well documented. It's not as if the team has gone from first to worst, but rather misfortune in the form of injuries, dubious referring as well as inconsistencies in the halves have resulted in the club failing to make it back and play finals football since their famous triumph over the Cowboys in '05.
While last season had glimpses of promise, in the end a superb final 10 weeks were not enough to overcome the mid-season form slump which saw the team lose 5 in a row and 7 of 8. In the end, 28 competition points were not enough and we finished a mere point short of finals football.
Many people will recall however the fantastic end of season form shown by the likes of Parramatta that saw them qualify in 8th place and eventually make it to the Premiership decider to play the Melbourne Storm. This exciting form was also evident from the likes of the Rabbitohs and the Tigers themselves who finished with an impressive 6 from 9 victories including victories over the Sea Eagles and Bulldogs. In the end it was a tight race for the final position within the 8, and the resurgence from the likes of the Tigers and Eels ignited a passion for Rugby League in the suburbs of the inner west that had been dormant for a short while now. As we move towards the 2010 season beginning this Friday night, the teams of (inner) Western Sydney will no longer be considered just as excitement machines capable of the occasional upset of the bigger city rivals, but as genuine title contenders.
The Tigers have made some fantastic off-season moves, none more impressive than the long contract extension given to Benji Marshall. The contract will make Benji a 'Tiger for life' and hopefully settle down the Kiwi who's future has been up in the air for a couple of years. On top of this there is also the much anticipated return to Rugby of journeyman and big unit Lote Tuquiri. Despite his fondness for call-girls, there is no denying this guys talent which has seen him dominate Rugby Union as the best winger on Australian soil for the past 10 years.
On top of this there is also the continued development of emerging stars from last year such as Tim Moltzen, Robert Lui, Taniela 'the tank, tnt' Tuiaki and Blake (Reece) Ayshford. With the Toyota Cup Squad also making it to the final of the competition last year, the stocks of young and talented players at the club are boundless. Look out for Arron Wood or the Fifita Brothers to step up if a gap emerges up front. The tigers have the perfect balance this year of savy, head-strong veterans (Todd Payten, Robbie Farrah, Gareth Ellis) and flair (Beau Ryan, Moltzen, Tuiaki) to really rattle some teams this year and on paper look to be one of the top teams in the league. Quite frankly, finishing outside the top 4 this year would be seen as disappointing to those in the know.
The first game of the year is next Monday night at the SFS against the Seagles. Manly will be keen to step up this year given their shocking beginning to last season which saw them lose every game until their cross-eyed fullback returned from suspension for pedophilia (which was the game against the tigers) last year. So even though Bundy Mundy's are a tad dull, if you're a tigers fan I suggest you pull up your socks and make it out there to the SFS if for no reason than to just see me try and be the loudest/most obnoxious West Tigers fan in Sydney (can't compete with those Campbelltown folk).
If you like the music we post on here than check out this beauty from 2005, the last time the Tigers were great. Best listened to really really loud.
Eurodans - Todd Terje
And while I'm at it, Todd did also happen to make this remix which seems to go off every where I play it, so I might as well share! All he's done is fix a sweet sweet bassline to a classic and give it suitable intro so I hope you dig it.
Stuck in the middle (Todd Terje Refix) - Steelers Wheel
Just also wanted to make mention that it's also the Tigers players that have left which will make the club the best this year. Sucked in Cronulla. No single player has been personably responsible for as many team losses in the last 3 years as John Morris has been.
Have a great day.