Wests Tigers: ‘Season is alive’ Michael Maguire sets sights on finals push

Michael Holland
Michael Maguire Wests Tigers PA

Michael Maguire is back under pressure but believes the Wests Tigers are capable of going on a winning streak to take them into the top eight and finals footy.

The Tigers coach was speaking after Saturday’s 44-18 defeat against South Sydney. The result sees Maguire’s men slip to 15th on the NRL ladder. They have just three wins from 12 games this season.

Once again the manner of the defeat should set alarm bells ringing. They were leading 12-0 at one point and still had a six-point lead at half-time. However they capitulated after the break as Souths fought back to take the win.

Wests Tigers capitulation

The Rabbitohs had yet to go on and win a game this season when behind at half-time. However they ran in six unanswered tries to take the win. And at the same time put more pressure on Maguire.

The Tigers got the season off to a disastrous start when losing the opening five games. Dramatic wins over Parramatta and the Rabbitohs took the pressure off. However they have slipped back and Madge is in the firing line once again.

Even so the coach is keeping calm and is not ruling out a push for the eight.

“I do. We can win every game. We’ll roll up every week with the attitude to win every game,” he told reporters after the game. “We’ll turn it around for sure. There are passages of plays that I’ve said show what our team is capable of. Look at the first half.

“We had some good control in the first half. But in the second half, they just took control and rolled up the back of the ruck and got momentum and then kicked to the corners and just played a real long game.

“They applied the pressure. Obviously, every team is trying to do that but they just did it better than us in the second half.”

Michael Maguire stays upbeat

Wests Tigers have pulled off such accomplishments in the past. In 2005 the club won the premiership despite winning just five of the first 12 games. Maguire believes that can happen again 17 years later.

“The season is still alive,” he added. “You get a run on, and you can go back in time at this club. You just need to have a passage of consecutive wins and I know it is inside this team.”

Wests Tigers next three games see them face Manly, Canterbury Bulldogs and the New Zealand Warriors.