Tigers suffer injuries in loss to Past Brothers
THE depth of the Across the Waves Tigers is going to be tested in the next few weeks following an injury-plagued match on Saturday night.
After their 44-10 loss to Past Brothers, for their second straight defeat in the Bundaberg Rugby League competition, the team could be without three players against the Wallaroos next Sunday.
Just before half-time prop Steve McNab went off with a hand injury before being joined by Jackson Paulson (jaw) and Tristan Wilson (potential broken hand) as Waves went into the break 12-points down.
With all three players not returning to the field the Tigers never recovered as Brothers scored seven of the last eight tries to win comfortably in the end.
While not laying full blame on the injury toll in the contest, assistant coach Ashley Simpson conceded it did have some impact on the team.
"There are no excuses but our three injuries did force us to switch our players around a little bit," he said.
"It took its toll on the team and they struggled by the end of the game to hold the opposition out."
In the opening 20 minutes of the contest the Tigers battled well as they kept the scores level after an early try to each side.
Late in the half though, Brothers scored two tries, including a 60-metre run by Jake Carl to ruin the momentum and confidence of the team.
Simpson said the team never recovered.
"Our guys started well but the boys put their heads down with those two tries," he said.
"We then struggled around the ruck area as Brothers dominated."
Simpson added the opposition showed why they were at the top of the ladder.
"I thought Brothers played really well," he said. "They are a strong team and showed that against us."
After facing last year's grand finalists in the last two rounds, the Tigers know what they need to do to get to the top.
Simpson said it had given the team plenty to focus on as the season progressed.
"The boys now have a realistic idea of what to expect," he said. "We need to be harder, play tough, and play for 80 minutes."
The team also wants to respond immediately next week against the Wallaroos.
"It would be nice to record a win to end the first round of matches against the other teams," Simpson said.
"Four wins out of the six after those matches would be an ideal result."
For Brothers, they were pleased to bounce back after last week's loss to the Western Suburbs.
They will now have two weeks off before facing the Eastern Suburbs at Salter Oval on May 8.