The discontent at the Wests Tigers doesn't look like dying down any time soon with the North Queensland Cowboys taking the visitors apart with a comprehensive 64-6 victory tonight in front of over 12,000 fans at 1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville.
After another week of conjecture about "who said what", "who's running the show" and "just what is Robbie Farah getting at", many expected the Tigers to come out and put in a backs against the wall kind of performance, but it was the Cowboys who came out and dominated from the opening exchanges. Mitchell Moses let the kickoff bounce dead, forcing a line drop-out. The Cowboys managed a further repeat set before Matthew Wright opened the scoring.
Wright managed two fantastic tries after the opener to secure a hat-trick within the first 15 minutes - the second fastest in NRL history behind David Vaealiki (Eels, 12 minutes v Panthers) in 2001. The Cowboys raced the clock for large parts of the first half, with Tariq Sims, Jason Taumalolo and Antonio Winterstein all adding their name to the scorers list to have the hosts 32-0 up at the break.
Mick Potter's halftime chat to his Wests Tigers' charges must've done little because the second half started similarly to the first, Winterstein claiming his second try, before LeagueUnlimited man of the match Michael Morgan crashed over to push his side past the 40-point barrier. The Tigers did manage to trouble the scorers in the 58th minute when Aaron Woods slammed the ball down, but it created a slippery slide which resulted in a Cowboys try immediately after - then several more. Tautau Moga scored twice before fulltime, while Jason Taumalolo and Kane Linnett also grabbed a meat pie each.
It was literally a night where everything that could go wrong for the Tigers pretty much did. Simple errors, kickoff calamaties and turnstile-like defence all point to one thing - more pressure on the coach, the management and the board. What it means in the coming days is anyone's guess.
The first priority for the players in black & gold will be a trip home to face the Roosters at Leichhardt on Saturday night next weekend - while the Cowboys have a road-trip booked to meet the Panthers on Monday night in Close the Gap round.