Eden Tigers Brand Sun

Tigers simply too strong for Tathra
Eden 34 Tathra 10

June 3rd 2012 by Dave Evelyn

The defending Group 16 premiers the Great Southern Inn Eden Tigers returned to their home at George Brown Memorial Oval last Sunday to take on the improving Tathra Sea- Eagles. After last weeks debacle at Moruya where the Tigers leaked 50 points the premiers were keen to turn things around. After only three minutes Ian Smith (WBH) stormed across the line and the Fletcher conversion saw the Tigers playing from in front 6-0.The wet weather was making backline movement difficult although both sides attempted to move the ball without much success. Both sides made handling errors and although Tathra were controlling possession they simply couldn't crack the tight Eden defence. Crowd favourite Neil Baker charged over for the Tigers second try and the Smith conversion took the Tigers out to 12-0. CC Leigh Hennessy was heavily involved in early exchanges along with Greg Nicholson. New English recruit Reece Lazenby also made his debut on Sunday and will be a great asset to the club over the rest of the season. Another new player, Allan Aldridge crossed next and the Tigers were in control at 18-0. Tathra dominated possession for several sets before they finally opened their scoring with a converted try just before the break to leave the score at 18-6.

Coach Hennessy was satisfied with his team's effort in the first halfand urged the side to adopt simple tactics and keep play down in the opposition territory.

This strategy was well executed by the Eden side, however the Tathra team was not going to give an inch. It wasn't until the 25 minute mark that Eden crossed again with livewire fullback Dylan Fletcher darting over. Shortly after he was in for his second after showing good speed and elusiveness to step, weave and dummy his way from 20m out. He converted from the sideline and Eden had drawn away to a 28-6 lead.Tathra scored a consolation try towards the tail end of the game to give some respectability to the score board before a good try to Eden's Shaq Aldridge, converted by Fletcher brought the scoring to a close with Eden victorious by 34-10.

For Eden Leigh Hennessy was very involved and led his side from the front. Billy Michelin gave a typically big hearted performance. Neil Baker eventually got an early mark for some good work, and Fletcher was solid in defence and always threatening in attack. Tigers fans were in raptures when popular Tiger Nat Rodahl took to the field, and with some match fitness under his belt Nat will be a huge acquisition for the side up front where we need some size.

All in all it was a dominant performance from the Tigers who are slowly gaining momentum and settling into a playing pattern. Handling is still letting the side down - in the first half the Tigers completed only 10 from 18 sets, while in the second half they only completed 11 from 22. Against stronger opposition these stats would spell defeat, and this is an area the Tigers must improve if they are to be a genuine Premiership contender in what is a very tight Group 16 competition this year. No football next weekend but the weekend after we have a big home game against Narooma.