Wests Tigers - 9th Place
Reasons: Same Old, Same Old: It's the same thing that continually keeps the Wests Tigers out of the finals, the last few rounds. The side lost important matches to Parramatta and Gold Coast, pushing them from 5th to 9th and out of the race. Robbie Farah: He has bought excitement to the side with some inspirational individual efforts. However, they did suffer without him in the side losing all three matches he missed. With Farah expected to continue playing a fair bit of Origin next year the Tigers will have to survive without him. Taniela Tuiaki: The big winger had a huge year. Not only did he score a mountain of tries, his defence has pushed him into the elite group of wingers in the league. The side will be looking for another big year from him.
Gains Jason Cayless (Prop) St Helens Mitch Brown (Centre) Cronulla Sharks Liam Fulton (Lock) Huddersfield Giants Daniel Fitzhenry (Wing) Hull Kingston Rovers Geoff Daniela (Utility Back) Penrith Panthers Junior Moors (Second Row) Penrith Panthers Tame Tupou (Wing) Bradford Bulls Mark Flanagan (Five-Eighth) Wigan Warriors Arana Taumata (Halfback) Brisbane Easts Tigers
Losses Shannon McDonnell (Fullback) Newcastle Knights - midseason Dean Collis (Centre) Cronulla Sharks John Morris (Utility) Cronulla Sharks Dene Halatau (Second Row) Canterbury Bulldogs Shannan Gallant (Fullback) North Queensland Cowboys Peni Tagive (Wing) St George Illawarra Dragons Daine Laurie (Prop) Penrith Panthers
Best Win of the Year: The side pulled out some big wins throughout the year, especially in their six match winning streak. Highlights included the 54-20 win over South Sydney and the 56-10 win over the Cronulla Sharks. The Sharks match saw Tuiaki, Marshall, Moltzen and Farah at their devastating best. Worst Loss of the Year: In just the second round the Tigers suffered a second half thumping from North Queensland. Down by ten at the break they went on to lost 42-14, Thurston playing at his best to inspire the victory.
Statistics Todd Payten and John Morris played every match for Wests this year. This is the third time the side has finished ninth in their ten year history. The 483 points they conceded was the first time the side conceded less then 500 points in a season. On May the 8th star players Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall became the first members of the club to captain a representative side. Farah captained City Origin while Marshall captained New Zealand.
2009 Headline "So close yet so far...again"
Odds to win in 2010 $18 (odds courtesy of Betfair)
Where will they finish next year? Who knows. With recent signings coming aboard, the Tigers will be tough to beat in 2010.