Wests Tigers v Panthers: Five key points

Simmons benefits from a reshuffled Tigers backline, a bizarre incident right on half-time, and the Tigers' long road to success. The key points to come from Penrith's 35-12 win at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday afternoon.

Report: Panthers upset Tigers at Leichhardt

 

Panthers expose Lovett on the edge

Four tries to David Simmons isn't something you see every day, but neither was the slide defence the Tigers were offering on their left defensive side.

With Tim Simona going down injured midway through the first half, Jason Taylor chose to push Kyle Lovett out wide, a move that created space for the Panthers' right attacking side.

"Once Simona went off we were keen to make Brooks and Moses do some tackling," Ivan Cleary said. 

"I guess when they lost Simona that made that easier. I thought Dean Whare was very dangerous today. He's only had a couple of games back from a pretty long injury, so for him to get a bit of space today was good for him to get a bit of confidence."

Tigers coach Taylor accepted the Panthers chose the correct strategy of targeting that side of the field. 

"They were smart [to attack there] because Tim Simona got injured and we moved Kyle Lovett out to the centres," Taylor said. 

"I don't want to go into the details of it but it wasn't just about Kyle being there. There was some breakdown in our system defensively there, it wasn't just due to Kyle being there."

 

Tigers on the long road to success

Sunday's disappointing loss to the Panthers means the Tigers are now equal last in the competition for at least a week. 

It's a disappointing position for the team to be in but Taylor knows success in the NRL is a long process.

"We're on a long hard road to turning around what's been disappointing results for the club and it doesn't happen overnight and it doesn't happen in a one off-season," Taylor said.

Star prop Aaron Woods was extremely disappointed with the result but said his side will only get better.

"We got a lot of improvement in us," Woods said. 

"We're just gonna keep training hard, knowing that we can do our job better each week."

Bizarre half-time exit 

"I think it's just weird," Ivan Cleary said of the way the first half ended and so did the 14,000 in attendance on Sunday afternoon.

After a controversial final play opposing players were pushing each other around before Luke Brooks apparently took the push and shove too far. 

Gavin Badger held Robbie Farah back from exiting the field with the rest of the players to put Brooks on report but at the time it seemed as though nobody knew why. 

"I actually didn't know what the conversation was about," Cleary said about what happened between Badger and Farah.  

"I saw the big screen, I saw something there [from Brooks] so I imagine [it was that] but I don't know." 

Tigers trying to win soft

Coach Taylor pinpointed the major reason the Tigers are struggling to win games at the moment, and said it was completely reflected in the Panthers' final try.

"We were looking for the soft way to win the game and they were looking for the tough way," he said. 

"That's been our issue at the club for a while now and we've got to work hard to change that.

"We're into the back half of the season and it's tough. 

"The NRL is a tough competition, really tough, and as I've said before we need to keep working hard at toughening up and we weren't tough enough tonight that's for sure."

 

Consummate professional gets a century of tries

He wouldn't have been expecting to getting close to 100 NRL tries this week, and probably didn't think he'd do it over the next few weeks.

But David Simmons got his milestone and more with an amazing four tries against the Tigers.

Benefiting from a defensive deficiency in the Tigers' left-side defence, Simmons also set a try up for Peter Wallace following a line break. 

"No one scores four tries very often," Cleary said. 

"But the 100-try thing, I don't know how many people have done it, but not too many.

"Dave's fairly unheralded I suppose to the rest of the bunch. 

"To do that is a massive achievement. But he's a guy who gets the absolute best out of himself. 

"He's a consumate professional. Does everything he can, he's a great team guy. "Really happy for him. If anyone deserves it, Dave does."