Tigers give Moses a new bodyguard
He's spent his first two seasons bodying up against the big men, but now Sauaso Sue is making a fist of protecting the smaller ones.
The installation of new Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor has had a profound effect in Concord so far this year, with the joint venture club opening the season with back-to-back wins over the Titans and Dragons.
And part it can be put down to a subtle change in the Tigers' formation – shifting middle forward Sue onto the right edge, where he has taken on the role of bodyguard for lightweight pivot Mitchell Moses.
It's a small sample size, but the results speak for themselves. After missing almost four tackles a game in his rookie campaign last season, the second-year five-eighth has missed just four tackles over the opening fortnight.
"Moving out there has changed a little bit in my game, mainly in defence. I can't just go for my man – you have to try and help out your half as much as you can," Sue told NRL.com on Wednesday.
It's not just off the ball where the 22-year-old Sue has had to make adjustments, either. The Samoan international has had to deal with Moses's unpredictable play in attack.
"He's an exciting player. You never know what's going to happen when he has the ball in his hands, so you just have to always push up with him. He's good to have outside you, he's a good talker," he said.
Former coach Mick Potter primarily utilised Sue in the middle of the field, but the Macquarie Fields product grabbed his new coach's attention with a new skill set over the summer.
"It was coach's idea. He thought I was impressing in some of the skills we were doing in pre-season, and we thought we'd take the gamble. It's more about speed and power out there," he said.
"It also gives Marty [Taupau] a crack at lock and he's really killing it there. I haven't played second row since I was 18, so it's been a long time. But I'm really enjoying it there."
Despite a glut of second-rowers departing the club last season, Sue says he's being kept on his toes by young gun Lamar Liolevave, yet another Tigers youngster with some impressive moves of his own. Taylor named the 18-year-old on an extended bench on Tuesday.
"He thinks he's the next Chris Brown – he's got all the dance moves in the locker room and thinks he's got the looks," Sue said.
"But seriously, he's a good player. He's really dominant in tackles and he dominated the second-row position in the pre-season. He's still got another two years in the -20s too."
Sue's penchant for big hits could be of use against a powerful Rabbitohs pack awaiting the Tigers on Sunday afternoon.
South Sydney were ambushed in the corresponding fixture last year, but prop Keith Galloway said there was no chance of sneaking up on the defending premiers again.
"No way. We put on a good performance last year because we were the underdogs. We'll probably the underdogs again, but they're a very good side so I'm sure they'll be ready this time," he said.
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