Behind The Roar
Behind The Roar
About Behind The Roar
Wests Tigers official podcast Behind The Roar is shining the light on some of the club’s younger players over the summer, as preparations continue ahead of the 2024 NRL season. The 10-episode pre-season series includes five players who are on NRL Development contract and five who are part of the club’s top-30 roster. Six of these players are yet to make their NRL debut, and all but one has played in Wests Tigers pathways teams. First cab off the rank is young Queensland forward CHRIS FAAGUTU, a middle forward who this year played Origin Under 19s for Queensland. He admits week-one of pre-season was ‘a bit out there’, in layman’s terms, it was tough.
The final episode of Behind The Roar for 2023 features this year’s Kelly-Barnes Medallist, Jahream Bula. We cover plenty of ground and reflect on a remarkable debut season which saw the 21-year-old collect the Player of the Year, Players’ Player, and Rookie of the Year awards. He talks openly about his strong Christian faith, the influence of Benji Marshall, and his desire to remain at Wests Tigers for many years to come. Jahream’s journey to Wests Tigers is not dissimilar to that of his new head coach. Like Benji, he moved from New Zealand to Queensland in his teens to attend renown rugby league school, Keebra Park State High. All that and more on this week’s Behind The Roar.
This week’s guest on Behind The Roar is Darren Flindell, a diehard Wests Tigers fan who also happens to be the ‘voice of racing’ in Sydney. Yes, something a little different on this week’s edition of Behind The Roar. Whether you’re into horse racing or not, there’s a good chance you’ll find Darren Flindell’s journey a captivating one. It’s a story about an ardent Tigers’ fan who as a kid dreamed of becoming Sydney’s No.1 race caller. All that and more on this week’s Behind The Roar.
This week’s guest on Behind The Roar is former Wests Tigers utility back Tim Moltzen. Moltzen played 90 NRL games across six seasons at the club before his career was cruelly cut short by a chronic knee injury. We chat about a range of topics including the new coaching set-up at the club next season, the problems he faced when injury forced him out of the game as a 26-year-old, the talents of his former housemate, Benji – both on and off the field, and the future opportunities for Wests Tigers young squad in the coming years. All that and more on this week's episode of Behind The Roar.
This week’s guest on Behind The Roar is two times premiership winner and Kiwi international, Paul Whatuira. We catch up with the former Wests Tigers centre at the team hotel in Hamilton ahead of last Saturday’s Round 24 match against the Warriors. He talks about the highs and lows in his football career, and in life. He recalls the ‘key ingredients’ that took Wests Tigers all the way in 2005 and offers some sage advice to others who might be starting out on their rugby league journey. After battling depression for many years, Paul these days is doing some great work helping others in the health and wellbeing space. From experience, comes learning, and Paul is quick to offer advice an wellbeing. “Life is precious. Life is short. Practice gratitude every day,” said Whatuira. Stay grounded, stay humble and give it your all.”
This week’s episode of Behind the Roar has a New Zealand flavour ahead of this weekend’s home game against the Warriors in Hamilton. We chat to two proud New Zealanders, Isaiah Papali’i and Starford To’a, who are both now carving their NRL careers in Australia, here at the Wests Tigers. Wests Tigers are the first NRL club to take a home game to New Zealand following the Covid pandemic, as a gesture of appreciation for the sacrifices made by the Warriors, and rugby league fans across the Tasman. We also cover some more hard-hitting topics like haircuts and the world-famous New Zealand pies. All that and more in this week’s episode of Behind the Roar.
In this week’s episode of Behind the Roar we chat to Wests Tigers NRLW Co-captain, Kezie Apps. One of the game’s highest profile female players, Apps tells her story of how a young girl from a dairy farm on the NSW South Coast, grows into a rugby league icon. The 32-year-old forward also recounts the day she decided to turn a dream into reality. Sitting on her couch in Bega at the age of 22, Apps marvelled at the success of the Australian Jillaroos when they claimed the 2013 Women’s Rugby League World Cup in England. It sparked a burning desire for her to also wear the green and gold of her country and less than 12 months later, she did. She also talks about success stories of some of her Wests Tigers NRLW teammates who have also forged a path to the NRLW. Not so long-ago girls were forced to quit the game at the age of 12, but not anymore. Apps talks about her journey, the hurdles, the sacrifices, and the rewards of her stellar career. She has a long list of achievements in the game, much longer than most. Bus as she explains, there is one thing missing from her rugby league bucket list. All that and more on episode 24 of Behind the Roar.
This week’s episode of Behind the Roar features former NRL star Feleti Mateo who these days is doing a terrific job with Wests Tigers in wellbeing and education. We talk about his stellar career, his struggles with depression, his unique playing style, his brief dash to London, and his willingness to help Polynesian players feel more connected with their culture. All that and a whole lot more on this week’s Behind The Roar.
This week’s episode of Behind the Roar celebrates Wests Tigers entry into the NRLW, ahead of Sunday’s very first against the Eels. We talk to three of our NRLW team’s key recruits ahead of Sunday’s season-opener - Sarah Togatuki, Rikeya Horne and Jakiya Whitfeld. We hear some truly inspiring stories from these ladies who somehow manage to juggle work, life and football. All that and plenty more on this episode of Behind The Roar.
This week’s episode of Behind the Roar gives us a glimpse into the future, with Wests Tigers General Manager - Women’s and Pathways, Matthew Betsey. We take a deep dive into the strategic importance of pathways and development, and the unique opportunities we have as a club with three strong catchment areas. All that and more on this week’s edition of Behind The Roar.
This week’s guest on Behind the Roar is Wests Tigers try scoring hero Alex Twal ahead of this weekend’s trip to Townsville. He’s been one of our team’s most consistent forwards for many years, but until Round 16 against Melbourne Storm, Twal was still chasing that elusive first NRL try. After waiting seven seasons and 116 first-grade games in the NRL, he finally crossed for his ‘maiden meat pie’ on a chilly Saturday night at Campbelltown Sports Stadium. It’s a light-hearted chat about marriage, good mates, Lebanese cuisine, and more.
This week’s guest on episode 17 of Behind The Roar is one of our premiership heroes from 2005 and Wests Tigers Player #68 Dene Halatau. After hanging up the boots at the end of the 2016 NRL season, he has forged a successful career at NRL HQ in varying roles, both in player wellbeing, and these days in the injury assessment space. He has also adapted well to life in the media as a regular on ABC Radio's rugby league commentary team, but acknowledges that many footballers post retirement, aren’t so fortunate.He talks about how the transition from being a full time professional player to retirement can be brutal for some. All that and much more on this episode of Behind The Roar.
On episode 15 of Behind The Roar we chat with English international John Bateman ahead of Friday’s match against Canberra Raiders. We cover plenty of ground over 40 minutes, as we get to know what makes this proud Englishman tick. He tells us how much rugby league has helped him grow as a person, and how the greatest game of all helped put a ‘difficult young boy’ on the 'straight and narrow'. John also opens up about the sacrifices he’s made in moving to Australia, and leaving family behind in England. All that and much more on this weeks episode of "Behind The Roar"
On episode 14 of Behind The Roar we chat with Luke Brooks, following a night to remember against the Cowboys last weekend. It’s an inciteful chat about his past, his present and his future. We cover plenty of topics including the team’s turnaround in form, his better understanding of how best to work with Api, his dreams as a kid watching his beloved Wests Tigers, what needs to be done to beat the Raiders next weekend, as well as his love of country music, cooking, and being a dad. Hear about that and much more in this week’s edition of Behind The Roar.
On episode 13 of Behind The Roar we chat with Brent Naden leading into Wests Tigers Indigenous Round match against the Cowboys at Leichhardt Oval. Naden covers a range of topics, some serious, some not so. He talks about fatherhood, about self-development, about his proud Indigenous heritage, and that of his teammates. Hear about that and much more in this week’s edition of Behind The Roar.
On episode 12 of Behind The Roar we talk to rugby league’s longest serving strength and conditioning coach, Ronnie Palmer. A Balmain junior who would later play for the Tigers in the 70’s, Ronnie has seen it all, having given more than 50 years of service to the game. That includes twenty-odd years with the Roosters, about 25 years with the NSW Origin team, and working with 23 different coaches in that time. Ronnie talks about experiences spanning several decades, how the game has changed so much over that time, and how the modern-day rugby league professional is so well equipped to perform at his or her peak. All that and more in this week’s episode of Behind The Roar.
On episode 11 of Behind The Roar we talk to Wests Tigers captain Api Koroisau following the team’s first win of the season, against his former club. Api talks about the team’s brilliant win over the Panthers in Bathurst, what the team learnt after suffering seven straight losses, why captaincy is so important to him, the influence his mother has had on him as a player and a person, his penchant for reading books, his desire to play in this year’s Origin series, and a whole lot more. Api also talks about playing ‘the long game’, like they did in Bathurst, and how important it is for the team going forward. And about how he’s honed his craft around the ruck over many years. It’s about repetition. Repetition. Repetition. All that and more in this week’s episode of Behind The Roar.