Tigers' defence still 'work in progress' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers' defence still 'work in progress'

By Adrian Warren 27/04/2009 06:22:45 PM Comments (0)

West Tigers prop Keith Galloway admits his rising NRL team's defence is still a work in progress as they prepare to face the NRL's highest-scoring team.

The Tigers have moved up to seventh after posting their first back-to-back victories this season, with come-from-behind victories over Melbourne and Newcastle.

Despite boasting the third-highest points tally of any team this year, the Tigers have leaked 187 - more than any other team.

Renowned for their razzle-dazzle attack rather than their defensive application, the Tigers have started to show some of the resilience needed to sustain a finals charge.

"We're not renowned for our defence, but it's something we've been working on each week at training," Galloway said.

"We are not there totally. We let in some early tries yesterday with kicks and that, so it's definitely a work in progress, but it's something we're working on all the time."

The thrilling win over Newcastle represented another positive sign for the Tigers in Galloway's eyes as they fought back from 24-10 down.

"We showed a bit of character there, something we are not renowned for and hopefully it's the start of things to come," Galloway said.

Asked if the Tigers were displaying a different mindset this year, Galloway said: "I think it's just a bit of self-belief.

"We are all young guys and we've all taken it upon ourselves.

"We had a really good off-season and spoke a lot about a lot of things. It's only early in the season, but we're pretty comfortable with the way we're going so far."

Named in the initial 40-man NSW squad for the Origin series, Galloway said this weekend's ANZ Stadium clash with the Bulldogs and their boom prop Ben Hannant "possibly" represented another chance to stake his representative claims.

Galloway and centre Dean Collis both expressed admiration but little surprise at the wizardry of halfback Benji Marshall, who orchestrated Sunday's comeback with some more sublime examples of his special skills.

"He (Marshall) is a freak, I would definitely rather play with him than against him," Galloway said.

"I see it at training all the time, some of the stuff he does. I think he's got a few more tricks up his sleeve."

Collis, who notched his first top-grade hat-trick of tries in Sunday's win, said his philosophy was to "expect anything" from Marshall.

"He can come up with anything at training, some of the things he does, you sit back and you can't believe it," Collis said.

Sunday's clash could bring together two of the major contenders for the NSW hooking position, with Tigers leader Robbie Farah up against in-form Bulldogs recruit Michael Ennis, if Ennis can escape a one-match ban after being charged with a "chicken wing" tackle.

"He's been playing really well for the last two or three years, his form has been good enough this year, I think, to warrant selection," Collis said of Farah.

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