The Wrap Round 20 – Mascord
By STEVE MASCORD
MICHAEL Potter wants Wests Tigers’ halves to play more like Manly pairing Kieran Foran and Daly Cherry Evans.
Potter made the stark comment last night in the wake of a 36-18 loss to the Sea Eagles that ended any mathematical hope the joint venture had of making the finals.
The round 20 defeat marked skipper Robbie Farah’s 200th first grade game and five-eighth Benji Marshall’s final appearance at Campbelltown Stadium.
While Potter insists his first priority over the final six weeks of the regular season is to win every game, he admits planning for the future will also be a consideration. The impact of this on Marshall’s involvement remains to be seen.
“We have some very good young talented players at the club and we have to have one eye on 2014 now. It would be opportune to try and blood a few,” he said.
“I’d like to do that maybe in the next few weeks.”
Potter joined radio commentators Andrew Johns and Peter Sterling in criticising the use of “no look” passes by Wests Tigers players in Monday Night Football.
He said of his attack in the heavy defeat: “They probably didn’t do as much as I wanted of playing short, playing inside, playing through the other team. We tried to be too flamboyant.”
Late last night on radio Triple M, he was asked by Johns if he planned to break down and rebuild Wests Tigers’ attack during the off-season.
“You’re not too far wrong there, Joey,” he said. “I’ve tried to make some subtle changes given the skill set of some of our players but also tried to complement them and try and alter how some of our halves play.
“It hasn’t probably worked out how I’d have liked. Yes, you’re closer than what we were doing tonight.
When asked which opposition halves he would like his own six and seven on, he responded: “Probably the team we played tonight. I’m not sure if they were at their best tonight but certainly Foran and Cherry-Evans, I think they’re fantastic players. They play square, they can play lateral at times and they create space for their outside and inside men and I think they’re a good example.”
The victory, in which a try to Wests Tigers winger David Nofoaluma was the undoubted highlight, elevated Manly to third position, overtaking premiers and world champions Melbourne.\
One of the few concerns of their coach, Geoff Toovey, was the penalty count.
“At one stage the penalty count was twice as much to them as it was to us,” he said. “I can’t figure it out. Robbie Farah must be invisible to the touchies.”
BEST OF ROUND 20: Wests Tiger David Nofoaluma’s amazing aerial try in Monday Night Football. We’ve seen dozens of these in recent seasons but none better. Check his pilot’s licence.
WORST OF ROUND 20: The first half performances of Parramatta and Penrith left their supporters contemplating the earliest of exits from ANZ Stadium and Remondis Stadium.
WEIRDEST OF ROUND 20: Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson claiming he did not expect Sonny Bill Williams to be charged for his hit on Willie Mason. Really?
WHAT I SAW: Brisbane captain Sam Thaiday offering watermelon to a reporter who asked a long winded question. At the end of the media conference, the hack showed up for his slice.
QUOTE OF ROUND 16: “Carnage A Trois” – veteran photographer Col Whelan’s description of the Burgess Brothers’ performances on Saturday for South Sydney against Gold Coast.