Wests Tigers winger David Nofoaluma called for safety measures to protect players at Campbelltown Stadium after injuring his leg as he crashed into fence following a desperate try-saving tackle by Titans players that summed up the difference between the two teams on Saturday night.
Nofoaluma scored two late tries and appeared set for a third in the 78th minute but David Fifita, AJ Brimson and Tanah Boyd combined to drive him over the sideline to help the Gold Coast to a 36-28 win.
The star winger is confident he will be fit for Thursday night’s match against Newcastle at Suncorp Stadium but admitted he had feared the worst as he slid into the fence and called for action to prevent a serious injury.
“It was unfortunate that there was no padding there to protect myself. Things could have been bad, and I am just happy that they weren’t,” Nofoaluma said.
“It’s sore but I am just glad that nothing serious came out of it. I just copped a big knock on the fence. I tried to protect myself as much as possible. I think it was the impact more so on the fence that causes pain in my leg.
Match Highlights: Wests Tigers v Titans
“It is a bit of common sense that there should be padding to protect players.”
Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire said games had been played at Campbelltown Stadium for many years without incident but also suggested padding should be in place for the next match.
Of more concern to Maguire was the “embarrassing” Tigers performance that enabled the Titans to score three tries in a five-minute period early in the match.
Trailing 36-12 in the 65th minute, Wests Tigers staged a late fightback and may have snatched an unlikely win if not for the efforts of Fifita, Brimson and Boyd to prevent Nofoaluma claiming a hat-trick of tries.
“They scrambled really well and they wanted it at that moment - more than we did at times during the game,” Maguire said.
“We had moments in the game where we put ourselves under pressure and we scrambled to stop the play but you have got to have that every single play in the NRL. You watch the teams rolling around at the top in the NRL at the moment, every play counts.
“You have got to be like that, and I am talking to my players right now. They have got to want it more than anything they have ever wanted.”
Maguire called for his senior players to show more leadership and Nofoaluma agreed that the team’s standards need to lift.
“Madge is a good coach and there are a lot of questions to be asked,” Nofoaluma said. “He has probably pointed out the senior group because they are the ones that have got to lead the team. That is something we have got to address.
“There were a lot of errors in the game and that hurt us a lot and there were a few plays that weren’t executed. We are a professional team and we are playing in the NRL so we have got to keep improving in that area. “
Doueihi gets a try but it is all too late