Experience key for Payten


Wests prop Todd Payten says the return of injured stars Lote Tuqiri and Gareth Ellis could spark a revival in fortunes for the Tigers.

Ellis and Tuqiri have both been named in Tim Sheens’ side to take on Newcastle on Monday night – and their experience will be vital according to Payten.

“I know we can play. We have had plenty of experience out for quite some time in Lote, Gareth, Chris Lawrence and myself,’’ Payten said.

The former Sydney Rooster is currently sidelined with a knee problem, leaving rookie props Andrew Fifita and Arron Woods to get on with the job until his expected return next month.

He said: “The future in the front row looks good for us but we have to worry about this year. Hopefully by the time I come back it is not too late to make the finals.

“With the injuries we’ve had, if we can stay in the eight or around the bottom of the eight until we get everyone back, we can then build something from there.

“We are going to have to fight and scrape. We won ugly against Penrith but that’s the way its going to have to be. We are not going to be as fluent as we have been at times with that many players out.

“A sign of a good side is when you can win while you are playing ordinary. We have done that on a few occasions and been beaten on others. The big positive we can take out of all of this is we are in eighth place and haven’t dropped too far away.

“I’m sure we will come good.”