Wests Tigers player's ugly 20-year first after 'horrible' act

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Brent Naden, pictured here becoming the first Wests Tigers player to be sent off since 2002.
Brent Naden was the first Wests Tigers player to be sent off since 2002. Image: Getty/Fox Sports

Brent Naden became the first Wests Tigers player to be sent off in 20 years after an ugly lifting tackle on Jake Trbojevic in Manly's 30-4 win on Sunday.

In a game that was 6-4 at half-time, the Tigers were ultimately torn to shreds in the second half as Naden was banished for an ugly up-ending tackle on Trbojevic.

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Naden lifted Trbojevic and then drove him head-first into the ground, with the Manly lock very lucky to escape injury.

Speaking in commentary for Fox Sports, Brenton Speed described the tackle as “horrible”, while Michael Ennis said it was the worst lifting tackle he's seen in some time.

Naden became the first Tigers player since Corey Pearson in 2002 to be sent from the field.

He will spend at least a month on the sideline after he was slapped with a grade-three dangerous throw charge on Monday.

He will spend up to five matches on the sideline, but that can be reduced to four games if he takes an early guilty plea and does not try to downgrade the charge.

To his credit, Trbojevic said he thought Naden was unlucky.

“It was a bit unlucky for Brent Naden,” he said after the game.

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

"He was very apologetic. Just momentum of me trying to find the ground anyway.

"It didn't hurt at all. There was no malice in it."

However Trbojevic's sympathy would have done little to turn around what was a nightmare day for Naden and a Tigers team that missed 24 tackles in the second half.

Brent Naden, pictured here being sent off for his lifting tackle on Jake Trbojevic.
Brent Naden was sent off for his lifting tackle on Jake Trbojevic. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

The centre bombed the Tigers' best chance to take an early lead when he bounced the ball over the line, before he suffered a head knock trying to tackle Haumole Olakau'atu.

And while he passed the concussion test, Naden might have wished he had stayed off the field.

Two of Manly's second-half tries came against the 26-year-old's defence, with Rueben Garrick the first to run through him after Olakau'atu had burst downfield in the previous set.

Moments later Olakau'atu claimed a try himself, spinning through Naden and two other defenders to make it 16-4.

With Naden off the field, Tolutau Koula extended Manly's lead when he went 55 metres to score, before Josh Aloiai completed a double against his old club.

Horror start for Brett Kimmorley as Tigers coach

New coach Brett Kimmorley warned there is no quick fix for the Tigers after their horror week ended in unwanted fashion.

Five days after coach Michael Maguire was axed, the Tigers suffered another second-half capitulation at Campbelltown in their first game under interim boss Kimmorley.

Olakau'atu was the star for the Sea Eagles, scoring a try, busting 10 tackles and breaking the line three times as part of a one-man demolition job on the Tigers' left edge.

But he was far from the only headache for the joint-venture, with their season all but over at 3-11 and eyes at the club already on next year.

Brett Kimmorley, pictured here after the Wests Tigers' loss to Manly.
Brett Kimmorley looks on after the Wests Tigers' loss to Manly. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

"There is no quick fix to this unfortunately," Kimmorley said.

"We haven't won a second half all year on the scoreboard.

"It's not just a matter of skill or what we need to do. It's a matter of training hard, buying in together, making small improvements week in week out ... trusting the system and then seeing who the players are that can do that."

The win ensured Manly kept pace with the top eight - in ninth and behind the Sydney Roosters only on for-and-against.

The struggling Tigers' eyes will now be fixed firmly on next season and the search for a new full-time coach.

with AAP

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