The more footy the better for Tuqiri - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

The more footy the better for Tuqiri

Steve Jancetic 11/09/2011 06:38:51 PM Comments (0)

Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens would love to be straight through to a NRL preliminary final, but not all his players will be disappointed to be facing the Warriors on Friday night.

Still working his way back to full fitness, veteran winger Lote Tuqiri just wants more footy, with his 2011 campaign beset by a raft of injuries.

Having beaten St George Illawarra on Friday night, the Tigers needed two of higher-ranked Melbourne, Manly and Brisbane to losetheir qualifying finals to earn a week off - but with all three winning, the Tigers will face the Warriors in a semi-final at the Sydney Football Stadium on Friday.

"I've got three games under my belt and I just want to keep playing footy," Tuqiri said before he was aware of the Tigers' finals path.

"I'd love to keep playing ... I just want to keep playing footy and that breeds confidence in yourself and I'm getting back there."

A broken arm, ankle injury and quad strain have limited Tuqiri to just eight games this year, with the three consecutive games he has strung together now his best run of the season.

While the powerful winger is a potent force in full flight, the effects of a season disrupted by injury were obvious against the Dragons as he came up with four errors.

"Yeah, some loose carries," Tuqiri admitted.

"I thought that first one was a bit suss. I thought I got that knocked out and I didn't get a penalty for that and I think that second one I should have just hit the ball up instead of going across field, but they're things we can work on."

The Tigers beat the Warriors 26-22 the last time the two sides met back in round 14, but they trailed 22-6 with 16 minutes remaining, before star pivot Benji Marshall engineered a stunning fightback.

That never-say-die attitude has been a constant in their current nine-game winning streak, and a large reason why they are now equal competition favourites with minor premiers Melbourne.

"People were saying that no-one tipped us (against the Dragons) - I think we're still floating under the radar which isn't too bad," Tigers fullback Tim Moltzen said.

"Everyone has their opinion and we don't look at who's the favourite or any of that stuff. We just focus on what we've got to do and try and do a job."

Asked if the Tigers feared any side in the competition, Moltzen said: "Lote said during the week the biggest fear is ourselves not turning up .. I think on our day, we're pretty good."

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