The Tenterfield Tigers were triumphant over last year’s premiers the Inglewood Roosters on Tigers’ home turf on Saturday, beating them 28-20. The two teams now top the leaderboard on equal points, although Tigers’ captain/coach Brendan Minns said the Roosters would still be ahead on a for-and-against countback.
Despite the confidence boost in knowing the team can win against the front-runners, Minns said any complacency over beating the Roosters in future matches would be foolhardy.
The Roosters were not at full strength with players absent due to other commitments including rep matches, but Minns said he won’t be giving back the two points on that basis and he’s very happy with how his team went.
“I’m proud of how the boys dug in and played on Saturday,” he said.
“We knew if we could keep Inglewood to 20-30 points we’d have a relatively good chance.”
The Tigers also had a few away with work commitments and some with injuries, but it will be a different ballgame when the two teams next meet, which will be on the Roosters’ home ground.
“It’s going to be tough every time we play them,” Minns said.
Key player Adam Clothier did participate for most of the match, until what appeared to be a targeted attack to his injured ribs took him from the field. Minns was impressed that several of the forwards played out the full 80 minutes.
“It was a great team effort,” he said.
“Everyone stood up and got involved.”
It was a close match, with the Tigers running in a try with 20 minutes before fulltime to bring the score to 22-16 in their favour. They followed that up with another try to make it 24-16 before Inglewood scored on the fulltime whistle to make it 28-20. Minns said it was great playing in front of the home crowd, one of the biggest he’s seen.
There continues to be room for improvement although a couple of plays worked well and Minns is looking to build on that and add a few more. The Tigers will need to regroup for this Saturday’s match against the Gremlins in Stanthorpe after the bruising the players received in the first round.
Killarney defeated Stanthorpe 66-10 last Saturday, but that doesn’t make them a pushover according to Minns.
“It won’t be an easy task, and we’ll have to make sure we’re up to it. Stanthorpe is one of the toughest sides we’ve played, and they’re strong offensively.”
Wayne Brown will be missing from the lineup, which is a drawback given his performance at each of the games played. Faron Anderson was named Players’ Player on Saturday, and Minns got the refs’ three points.