Tigers revival to start with return of duo - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers revival to start with return of duo

By Joe Barton 01/06/2011 05:12:01 PM Comments (0)

With big guns Lote Tuqiri and Gareth Ellis returning to face Newcastle on Monday, the Wests Tigers are confident they've found the key to a mid-season NRL revival.

Tuqiri has not played since breaking his arm in a round-three victory over Canberra, while Ellis has been unavailable with an ankle injury since round seven - and the Tigers have struggled to dominate teams in their absence.

They're clinging to eighth spot on the ladder but the powerful duo are back to inject some experience into the Tigers' left side attack.

Injured prop Todd Payten, who expected to return from ankle and knee injuries within a month, said the pair would bring more than just their own individual talents to the out-of-form Tigers.

"Being experienced players, they're good talkers, so the talk out on the edge on Lote's side will be very good, and Gaz (Ellis) provides a lot of starch in the middle," Payten explained.

"I think Gaz has been our best player since he's been in Australia. Lote adds a lot of confidence to the guys out wide and to the rest of the team.

"I expect them to improve over the next few weeks."

Tuqiri said despite a recent infection in his arm which delayed his comeback by a fortnight, he was 100 per cent to face Newcastle at Leichhardt on Monday.

"I hope (I can bring a bit of spark). They haven't been going too bad but we've obviously been a bit inconsistent," Tuqiri said on Wednesday at the launch of the Women in League round.

"I think there's a lot of things we can do better but I myself am not going to change that. I think it's a bit of a mental change and a bit of an attitude change.

"(Ellis) has been probably our best player over the last couple of years and I think with myself and him coming back, hopefully it'll add a bit of spark for sure.

"I don't think the expectation should be of me coming back and winning the game with a match-winning try or a match-winning play, but I'm there to help out the boys."

Skipper Robbie Farah said the Knights clash signalled the start of an important month for the Tigers, with three home games and an away match against the Warriors, in a period which would go a long way towards deciding their top-eight prospects.

"We know it's an important month, especially here in the rep season, and not having any players in Origin definitely helps us," Farah said at the Women in League launch.

"It's a big game. We're just on the edge of the eight and the Knights are thereabouts as well. It's pretty much a four-point game for both clubs."

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