Australia

Brent Naden sent off in Wests Tigers vs. Manly Sea Eagles NRL game

On Sunday afternoon, Brent Naden became the first Wests Tigers player since Corey Pearson in 2002 to be sent from the field.

Brett Kimmorley’s dream of becoming a career coach turned into a first-up nightmare after his 12-man Wests Tigers were thrashed 30-4 by Manly at a frigid Campbelltown Stadium on Sunday.

The Tigers trailed by two at the break but were blown away in the second half as ill-discipline and poor defence conspired to bring about a major collapse.

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The home side finished a player down after centre Brent Naden became the first Tiger sent off in 20 years following an ugly lifting tackle on Jake Trbojevic 15 minutes from full-time.

Fox Sport’s Brenton Speed deemed the tackle “horrible” in his call of the game, while post-match, premiership-winner Michael Ennis declared it the worst lifting tackle of the year to date.

Trbojevic said he held no ill will towards Naden, though.

“It was a bit unlucky for Brent Naden,” Jake Trbojevic said post-match.

“I know he didn’t mean it. There was no malice in it and he was very sorry. It was all good.”

The hefty loss was not the way the joint venture club planned to start the first game of the post-Michael Maguire era.

The Tigers began with plenty of intent, energy and enterprise on members’ appreciation day and were right in the fight after 40 minutes.

Those fans would have appreciated a much-needed two points more than anything, but instead watched as their team fell well short in the second half to remain anchored in the bottom four.

Manly’s rising star Haumole Olakau’atu was the difference between the two sides, scoring a try, running 162m for three line breaks and coming up with an important steal early in the second half.

His standout performance has him being talked up as a possible inclusion in Brad Fittler’s NSW side for Origin II.

Kimmorley only took the reins on Tuesday following Maguire’s exit, immediately declaring his intention to lock in a full-time gig.

He started the day smiling and joking but ended it looking 10 years older after a typically wild ride with this rocks or diamonds Tigers side.

It was not the start Kimmorley was after as he began a 12-week audition to prove he has what it takes to coach at this level.

“I’m not sure what the next 12 weeks will throw up but hopefully a career (at the end of it),” he said prior to kick-off.

“Hopefully I get to do this forever. It’s been a goal and a dream of mine.”

There were 446 games’ experience between Kimmorley and Manly boss Des Hasler heading into the match, but it was the rookie who looked to have enjoyed the dream start after just 13 minutes.

Naden juggled a pass and reached out to touch down only for replays to confirm the centre dropped the ball centimetres from the turf, much to the new coach’s frustration.

It proved a costly miss for the home side.

The Sea Eagles marched upfield and opened the scoring through prop Josh Aloisi, the former Tiger strolling some poor marker defence after accepting a smart inside ball from Trbojevic.

Running into a stiff breeze, the Tigers were the better side but had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard.

That changed five minutes before the break when a Joe Ofahengaue offload created space to the left for Luke Garner to cross.

The Tigers trailed 6-4 at the break but Kimmorley’s first halftime speech failed to provide the impetus for what would have been a memorable victory.

Four second half tries, including a scorching 55m effort from Tolu Koula’s for his first NRL try, enabled the Sea Eagles to cruise to a solid win.

OLAKAU’ATU STATES HIS CASE

Haumole Olakau’atu may have a big decision to make this time next week.

The Sea Eagles backrower’s damaging performance could not have failed to impress Brad Fittler as the Blues boss considers changes to his side for Origin II on June 26.

Olakau’atu is certain to be chosen in the Tongan team for the Test against New Zealand on the same weekend and could be forced to choose between state and country.

It’s a matter of when, not if, the 23-year-old is called on by Fittler.

Trbojevic did his chances of an immediate Origin recall no harm with a typically busy performance in a side missing superstar brother Tom and skipper Daly Cherry-Evans.

Originally published as ‘Horrible’: Brent Naden becomes first Wests Tigers player in 20 years to be sent off

Place of originBrent Naden sent off in Wests Tigers vs. Manly Sea Eagles NRL game

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