SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 22: Matthew Ryan of the Eels and Marika Koroibete of the Tigers engage in a altercation during the round three NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Parramatta Eels at Leichhardt Oval on March 22, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images) SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 22: Jacob Miller of the Tigers kicks during the round three NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Parramatta Eels at Leichhardt Oval on March 22, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
WESTS Tigers fans are used to pain inflicted from injuries to their stars.
But instead of the halves combination being disrupted as in past years, this season it seems it’s wingers and front rowers who are lining up at Andrew Leeds’ door to rehabilitate their injuries.
Keith Galloway is out for three months and Matt Groat is still a few weeks away from full fitness which is hurting the front row stocks.
Youngster Jack Buchanan has been surprisingly outstanding and Aaron Woods has been, well, Aaron Woods — reliable, hard working and effective.
But with the lack of front row stocks, they will form the youngest front row combination in the competition, with equally young replacement players on the bench.
Now the excitement machine Marika Koroibete who I focused on in my column last week could be out for a few weeks with a foot injury after hobbling off against the Eels, weakening the wing supply.
Matt Utai has been injured but could be back this week or Menangle’s James Tedesco could get the shot many fans have been waiting for — albeit on the wing and not in his custom fullback spot.
Fortunately, the halves have been unscathed so far and Jacob Miller has shown why so many people have been waiting for him to mature from a young talent into a first grader.
Mature he looks.
He has a great kicking game, football brain and when he takes the line on he looks a bit like a young Allan Langer, stepping and ducking and sprinting past defenders.
And Benji Marshall is showing glimpses of why he is regarded up there with the best in the game.
The Tigers sit in eighth spot with two wins from three starts — a great effort considering the adversity of adapting to a new coach, a death in the club and the injuries that have occurred.
The next few weeks will be a massive test, starting with Manly on Thursday.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.