Jason Taylor has finally rid himself of Robbie Farah. The last vestige of the Tigers’ Grand Final winning side gone, well unless Pat Richards comes back again. The Taylor/Farah drama went on long enough and now this team has been turned over to the next generation, whether they are going to make it much better is pretty questionable.
The Tigers are certainly improving. Their 11 wins was the most since they also had 11 in 2012. It was 2011 when the Tigers last made the finals and won more games than they lost. James Tedesco and Aaron Woods are stars but this side lives and dies on Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks and they have been inconsistent at best and not very good at worst. Luke Brooks debuted as the hottest young prospect since a young Andrew Johns laced them up in 1993. Now he’d be lucky to be one of the top five halves under 23 in the NRL. While the once mouth-watering combo of Brooks and Moses has been usurped by the Panthers’ combination (and probably the Titans’) as being the young halves combo that makes others envious.
The problem with the Tigers for the past three years is their defence has been terrible. They have ranked 13th, 13th and 15th in missed tackles over the last three years and normally the bottom of that table isn’t a list of good NRL sides.
The Titans (and they got an assist from the Eels’ board) and Panthers from last season were the only sides in these lists to make the play-offs and generally teams from these lists don’t get near the finals.
The defensive frailties are most noticeable on the edge of the ruck where the edge back rowers and halves have been terrible defensively. The halves have the worst missed tackle rate over the last three years:
While the second rowers have the fourth worst missed tackle rate over the last three years:
The Tigers’ attack is probably just fine but that defense has to improve if they want to make the finals for the first time in six years.
Every single one of these players was on the Tigers’ roster last season so they are going to need better play. I’d like to see Jamal Idris come in at centre and Naiqama bump Rankin off a wing. That would be a net gain.
2016 Positional Minute Splits
The Knights and Tigers had the two highest amount of minutes from their interchange players despite the fact the interchange was often made up of dregs. It is really strange.
There are no significant additions here. Any improvement will need to come from players like Brooks and Moses being better and more consistent. Jamal Idris could be exciting if he’s motivated.
Average Fantasy Points Allowed Per Position
The Tigers have been an easy target for fantasy over the last three years. Well everywhere except for prop where the Tigers are surprisingly and consistently at shutting down. Pretty good at lock and hooker too so teams are clearly attacking the Tigers wide of the ruck where guys like Sironen and Brooks have been lurking.
Key Fantasy Changes
Robbie Farah and Maniah Cherrington are gone so the hooking will be handed to Matt Ballin and Jacob Liddle who had some game time last season. Jamal Idris will be a great option if he grabs a start at centre. There’s also a vacancy at one of the second row spots.