Tigers' import Ellis eyes better days - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers' import Ellis eyes better days

By Steve Jancetic 04/08/2009 07:04:56 PM Comments (0)

Wests Tigers' English import Gareth Ellis believes the joint-venture club is only just getting over the hangover of their remarkable 2005 NRL premiership triumph.

The Tigers defied the odds to walk away with the 2005 title, but have struggled to back it up, having not made the NRL finals since.

Again the Tigers find themselves on the cusp of the top eight nearing the business end of the year - with Monday night's one-point win over Manly leaving them two points behind eighth-placed Newcastle with five games to play.

But Ellis - who only joined the Tigers this year after a successful career with Leeds in the Super League - said the young tyros who helped carry the club to their only premiership were finally starting to accept greater responsibility.

And the result has been success on the scoreboard, with the Tigers winning their last four games.

"I think a lot of young guys experienced a lot of success when they were very young and maybe they rested on that a little bit," Ellis said.

"I guess they've now realised that they've grown up a little bit and in reality we haven't been that far off for the majority of the year, we've just been on the wrong side of some close losses.

"When you're not picking up the competition points I suppose it overshadows the actual performances we have been putting in but now we're getting the rewards for putting in."

Benji Marshall, one of the young stars of the 2005 triumph, admitted the experience of failed campaigns over the last three seasons had toughened up the side.

"I think our team's a lot more composed than they were last year, everyone's a year older and a lot of the younger guys that aren't so young are standing up like myself and Robbie (Farah) in key positions," Marshall said.

"In the past I think we've been in better positions on the table but when we want to turn up and play, it's all about attitude with us and I think in the past we've been a bit too fancy."

The Tigers need to win at least four of their final five games to qualify for the finals, but Marshall said the team could not look beyond Sunday's clash with cellar-dwellers Sydney Roosters.

"It's not about getting into the eight at the moment ... if we let our preparation slip and think we're going better than we are, (the win over Manly) won't be worth anything if we lose next week," Marshall said.

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