Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor at Leichhardt Oval.

Taylor laments defensive shortcomings

Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor questioned his side's choices in defence following their heavy 36-4 loss to the Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon at ANZ Stadium.  

The Tigers struggled to contain the big Bulldogs pack with the blue and whites out-running them by 723 metres thanks to 215 metres from David Klemmer, 176 to James Graham and 154 for Sam Kasiano. 

The impact of the Canterbury pack caused edge defenders to jam in which allowed plenty of room for the Bulldogs' wingers to cause damage out wide. 

In all, the Tigers missed 32 tackles compared to just 10 from their opponents and conceded nine line breaks while making only one themselves. 

It wasn't their worst performance of the season, but Taylor vented his disappointments in the post-match media conference about his side's efforts without the ball. 

"I don't usually say that I'm frustrated but I was today because of some of the decisions we made, particularly defensively," a disappointed Taylor revealed after the game. 

"I thought at half-time we were well behind on the scoreboard and it was really just four moments of poor decision making from us that was quite out of the ordinary. The first one we were just way too tight out of the scrum in defence and they just ran around us. 

"We made some really poor decisions on short side defence. The Bulldogs ask you good questions on that and we knew they were going to do that and we had guys not talking to each other and wedging in trying to solve things on their own instead of playing as a team. 

"That was the most frustrating part because there was a lot stuff that was out of the ordinary for us."

 


Taylor said there were some good signs in attack on Sunday afternoon – especially the work of new recruit Elijah Taylor – but bemoaned the lack of opportunities afforded to his playmakers due to the Bulldogs' midfield domination. 

The Tigers' attack wasn't helped by a spate of injuries and concussions before and during the game, while the absence of star fullback James Tedesco also hurt. 

Despite his team scoring just four points, the Tigers coach defended the halves pairing of Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks. 

"I thought we were composed for most of that first half and things were rolling smoothly but just those one-off moments had us on the back foot," Taylor said. 

"I think it was pretty safe to say the Bulldogs dominated the middle of the field in this game for pretty much the 80 minutes and that's always going to make it hard to play off on the back of. 

"I didn't see many opportunities where our halves were missing things that should have been done a lot better in attack today. The opportunities weren't really there. We created a few but not enough – nowhere near enough."