Bulldogs v Wests Tigers: Five key points
The Tigers finally hold onto a lead, a monstrous penalty goal and a former teammate ruffles some feathers. Some of the key points from Wests Tigers' 38-14 win over the Bulldogs in Round 8.
The Tigers learnt the hard way
After giving up some sizeable leads in recent weeks – including last week's fadeout against the Raiders – the Tigers finally held onto one. They led 16-0 after 32 minutes and 32-6 after 53 when possession turned in favour of the Bulldogs.
"It was a tough loss last week, very disappointing. It would've been very easy for us to drop our heads and let it affect us and not bounce back," skipper Robbie Farah said.
"To turn that around in five days and learn the lessons that we did from last week, is really pleasing and it makes me really proud. One of the things we wanted to do tonight was put in a consistent 80-minute performance. We've produced it in patches at times this year but to put in that performance against a quality side just makes me very proud after last week."
Bulldogs blow up over concussion interchange
Bulldogs football manager Alan Thompson was seen questioning the Tigers' use of the concussion laws after winger Pat Richards came off midway through the first half after receiving a nasty cut from a head clash with Lloyd Perrett.
However Taylor said it was all within the rules.
"In all honesty, we were unsure about how that was supposed to work," Taylor said. "But the doctors talked to me about it since then [and] it's clear: when somebody has a cut like that on their face, they have to come off and be tested for concussion. That's part of the rules.
"We had a little bit of uncertainty about it and the doctor wasn't going to be able to stitch him on the field. But at first I didn't want him to come off because you don't want to have to replace a winger.
"Luckily we had Chris Lawrence on the bench tonight but normally you don't have anybody that can go there and it really throws things out. If you look at the new guidelines, that's what they say."
Richards ticks one off the box
Pat Richards' feats with the boot are stuff of legend – his 50m drop goal from near the touchline in the Super League springs to mind – however the goal-kicking maestro says he has never nailed a penalty goal beyond 50 metres out.
On the stroke of halftime, he slotted one from 54 metres.
"I'm pretty sure that's the first one over 50. I've done one or two from 50 out before, but that was the first one," he said.
So was he nervous?
"Not really. I always knew I had the legs to get it over. It was just a matter of accuracy," he said.
Bulldogs could use a week apart
Injuries and suspensions have wreaked havoc at Belmore over the first two months, with Brett and Josh Morris, Tim Lafai, Josh Reynolds, James Graham, David Klemmer and Sam Kasiano all spending time on the sideline for various reasons.
Veteran second-rower Frank Pritchard said next week's representative weekend will be a much-needed reprieve for a side that needs some time to lick their wounds.
"The big thing for us is we've got the bye this week. A lot of players can rest their little niggles. It gives us some time to reflect and look at our game," he said.
Kasiano returned on Friday night, while Josh Morris and Klemmer are expected to slot straight back in for their next clash against the Cowboys in Townsville.
Martin Taupau's trolling game is strong
Not content with a hard night's work against his former club, Wests Tigers firebrand Martin Taupau took the opportunity to put in some extras when teammate Pat Richards was lining up for a penalty goal late in the match. A frustrated Bulldogs side waited in front of the posts when Taupau dropped for a set of push-ups in a move that surely would've irked a few of his old teammates.