Old habits die hard for Tuqiri - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Old habits die hard for Tuqiri

By Steve Jancetic 16/03/2010 07:25:12 AM Comments (0)

Wests Tigers winger Lote Tuqiri celebrated his NRL return in style but the dual international admits he found himself falling into some old habits in his side's dramatic 26-22 come from behind win over Manly on Monday night.

Tuqiri scored with his first touch of the ball and played a crucial role in setting up Gareth Ellis' match-winner with his last, the dual international sailing down the western touchline before bulldozing over the top of Brett Stewart.

In between however Tuqiri - playing his first game of rugby league after seven years of rugby union - admitted he found himself a little lost as he inexplicably kicked ahead just on the halfway line early in the second half.

"I made a bit of a booboo, I was still playing rugby when I chipped through - it was third tackle or something - I saw what I'd done and I was thinking what the ..." Tuqiri said.

"Luckily nothing came of it ... I'm sure a few of my Waratah teammates in the stands would have been laughing at that."

Tuqiri however praised his side's commitment in coming from 20-4 down after 59 minutes to beat the Sea Eagles.

"It's a good start - there's plenty to build on but I can't complain with the start and how the boys clawed their way back," he said.

"The way we play in a sense I knew we'd come back - good teams do that - having been down and to claw our way back and score that many points is the mark of a good team."

Asked what had changed since his last game in 2002, Tuqiri said his memory was a little foggy.

"Across the park I think everyone's just that bit stronger ... from one to 17 everyone's pretty strong."

The Sea Eagles will be sweating on scans for injured fullback Brett Stewart, who faces up to six weeks out with a knee injury.

Manly also had three players put on report for high tackles - George Rose, Kerian Foran and Brent Kite.

Coach Des Hasler was hopeful all three would get off, but said "being a betting man I don't think they will."

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