With young guns James Tedesco and Luke Brooks getting all the plaudits, veteran Braith Anasta doesn’t believe Wests Tigers’ forwards have received enough credit for the side’s NRL resurrection.
Along with St George Illawarra, the Tigers are proving the early-season surprise packets with back-to-back upset wins over the Titans on the Gold Coast and title contenders South Sydney.
But while backline dynamos Tedesco and Brooks have grabbed the headlines, Anasta says they wouldn’t be able to weave their magic if the Tigers pack wasn’t providing the necessary go-forward.
“It’s the forward pack, the way they’ve been playing too,” Anasta said ahead of the Tigers’ trip to Wellington to tackle the Warriors on Saturday.
“They pretty much hammered the Gold Coast and then Souths packs two weeks in a row.
“It’s good to have Keithy (Galloway) back, Aaron Woods, to power off the bench.
“These guys haven’t got too much credit the last couple of weeks, but I think they’ve really built the platform for guys like Brooks and Tedesco.”
The Tigers pack dominated their vaunted Rabbitohs counterparts from start to finish last Friday night.
“It was really encouraging for us and I think our fans are loving that too because we haven’t seen that for a while out of the Tigers,” Anasta said.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re consistent with that and back that up this week and make sure it’s not a one-off because we did play for the 80 minutes and it was really physical and the boys really handled themselves well.”
Anasta said it would be too easy to credit club legend Steve Roach’s increased presence at training for the Tigers’ added grunt.
“Blocker’s been great,” he said.
“Obviously he has a really good input on the aggression and he’s got a lot of experience so helps us a lot.
“But I think it’s just taking responsibility ourselves and trying to change our image and trying to get some respect.
“I think we’ve lost that the last year or two.”
Tigers coach Mick Potter will give hooker Robbie Farah until game day to be ready for the Warriors after the skipper sat out training on Wednesday with a calf strain.
“I’d like to think that he’d play, but he’s not fully fit,” Anasta said.
“We’ll give him til kick-off, really.”