Written by SCOTT BAILEY, February 20, 2016
THE Tigers and the Sharks played out a thrilling 30-30 draw at Campbelltown. Here are the five things RLW learned:
1a. Pat Richards will be badly missed
Pat obviously didn’t teach his teammates the art of the spiral bomb kick off. One of the Tigers’ most dangerous weapons last year has now been replaced by the stock standard end-over-end variety, with the duties falling to James Tedesco.
1b. Pat Richards will be badly missed – part 2
They won’t be able to take 55 metre penalty goals anymore, with Mitchell Moses replacing Richards on the goal kicking front. Moses recovered from a poor first attempt to slot the next few home, but it goes without saying he is no match for the biggest boot the game has seen.
2. Ennis and Farah rivalry continues
Both rakes had exceptional games, both setting up tries and directing traffic beautifully. Ennis probably edged his opposite number because of a lovely weighted grubber and a crisp cut out pass close to the line, which both led to four pointers.
3. Captaincy suits Woods
Aaron Woods was the man of the match in a beaten side. He played big minutes and was inspirational at the front taking thousands of hit-ups and working tirelessly in defence. So impressive was the new captain that he was clapped off the field by the Tigers faithful, the only time he left the field.
4. Expect a big year from Moses
Luke Brooks sat out the first half, so it was up to Mitch Moses to control the game, and he did. The youngster paired with Jack Littlejohn, and up against a much more experienced halves combination had a blinder. His kicking game was on song, he was strong in defence, and was even rewarded for his involvement with a meat pie. If he maintains that level of authority alongside Brooks, there is hope for the Tigers.
5. Sharks are the real deal
They started off slow, snail-paced in fact. But once they got in their groove, they showed some real class. Their backline movement was silky; the general play kicking from Maloney and Townsend was regularly inch-perfect; and Ennis is a huge presence in the middle of the park. Forget the score-line, it was a perfect lead-in to the season proper for the Sharkies.