Wests Tigers their own worst enemy
Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor has slammed his side's discipline with and without the ball following their 34-26 loss to the Sharks on Saturday night.
The Tigers completed just 74 per cent of their sets and lost the penalty count 12-7 but still managed to get within eight points of the Sharks.
Taylor says his side held their own in the first 40 minutes, but ill-discipline after the break made it too difficult for them to get the two NRL Telstra Premiership points.
"It was very disappointing for us in the end," Taylor said after the game.
"We had a really tough start to the game and fought our way through that. What we did up until half-time was great, but the second-half was very disappointing. We gave the Sharks too much ball and we made ourselves make too many tackles.
"In the end it was 60 per cent possession to them and 40 to us and you're not going to win in a game that's like that where it's one end to the other. We made it too hard for ourselves."
Taylor pinpointed several key moments he felt probably cost the Tigers, highlighted by some poor fifth-tackle options.
"I think we turned it on ourselves with some decisions we'd like over again," he said.
"Running the ball on the last tackle early in the second-half a couple of times, we got tackled and gave them an opportunity to attack our line.
"Giving away a penalty in the first-half on a kick pressure - everyone knows you can't do that.
"When we did get ourselves going again in the second half, we put in a kick downfield and chased one-out on Ben Barba. He makes a half-break and then we're behind our goal line five plays later. We did it to ourselves tonight which is the biggest disappointment."
There were some positive signs for the Tigers, including an imperious five minute passage from fullback James Tedesco, but Taylor says it simply wasn't enough.
"There was some good stuff tonight, but it wasn't 80 minutes' worth. We've got to manage the game better," he said.
"We can produce those points, but that's only one part of the game. We didn't put Cronulla under enough pressure. We made it easier for them to score than it should have been. We gave them opportunities that they didn't earn – I'm not saying every time – and that's why we lost."
Tigers veteran Chris Lawrence echoed his coach's assessments, telling NRL.com that his side lacked discipline in the key moments.
"We fell asleep in the middle of the second-half and let too many penalties and too many dropped balls. We gave them a sniff and they put on two or three tries in quick succession. You can't do that in the NRL," the Tigers back-rower said.
"I think the first half we controlled the game pretty well. They got a lucky try at the backend of the first half but we didn't panic.
"We still felt we were in control of the game. We started the second-half alright, but then shot ourselves in the foot with poor last play options, errors and a couple of penalties that marched them down the field. That's what was most disappointing."