SEASON REVIEW | Wests Tigers
The Wests Tigers had a disappointing 2017 season in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW, finishing how they started in terms of leaking points with the only positive part of the year coming mid-season. Reserve grade teams are often shaken up on a weekly basis to accommodate first grade, and this negatively impacted the Tigers throughout the year due to both injuries and personnel changes at NRL level.
Their Highlight Moment
After conceding 128 points in the opening three rounds and failing to score a point in two of them, the Tigers next eight rounds of football were a significant improvement. They went on to win three games in this period, and their biggest loss was by 12 points. From there, the season began to slide once again, but that two-month period of the season was a shining light compared to the start and finish.
Simply Their Best
A few players who started the year in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW were promoted to first grade thanks to good form, which again was disruptive for David Heath’s side. Matthew Eisenhuth and Esan Marsters both earned their NRL debut in 2017, which came from solid performances in reserve grade. Jacob Liddle also spent some time at this level, and he is without a doubt one of the most promising rising-stars in the club.
Room For Improvement
The Tigers started the year with makeshift halves pairing of Jordan Rankin and Justin Hunt, who were both outside of their preferred position, which is obviously not ideal. They’ll start next season a step ahead before a ball is kicked if they manage to lock in more position-specific personnel, which was a massive challenge for coach David Heath this year. Defensively they have a lot of room to improve, leaking more than 34 points per game.
How It’ll Be Remembered
In terms of on-field performances, 2017 is certainly a year to forget for all involved. Hopefully it’s all up from here, and that will start with improved performances at NRL level, which seems likely considering Ivan Cleary will get his first full pre-season and they introduce the likes of Benji Marshall, Josh Reynolds, Ben Matulino and Russell Packer.