NRL 7 months ago

Tigers wary of getting big heads

  • Tigers wary of getting big heads

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 19: Aaron Woods of the Tigers shows his dejection during the round 24 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Wests Tigers at Pepper Stadium on August 19, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

It's the streak that haunts the Wests Tigers and is keeping them grounded following their flying start to the 2017 NRL season.

The Tigers offered fans plenty of hope when opening their season with a convincing 34-18 victory over South Sydney on Friday night.

However in the back of the players' minds is their strong start last year and subsequent six-game losing streak which ultimately cost them a place in the eight.

Rewind to this time in 2016 and the Tigers were flying high after their 2-0 start but defeats to Gold Coast, Cronulla, Parramatta, Newcastle, Melbourne and Canberra derailed their season.

Had they won just one of those games they would have finished in eighth and qualified for their first finals since 2011.

"We started off really well last year and then we lost six in a row," skipper Aaron Woods said.

"It's something we really need to focus on, we've got a really tough Penrith side this week, they got touched up by the Dragons last week. I'm sure they'll be fired up."

There was plenty to like about the Tigers' win over the Rabbitohs with fullback James Tedesco in sparkling form, Luke Brooks and Mitchell Moses having their best games in some time while forwards Woods, Sauaso Sue and Chris Lawrence all had huge games.

Coach Jason Taylor came into the season under pressure to perform after finally getting the squad he wanted and his players reciprocated with a quality performance.

Looming for the Tigers is a tough draw over the next eight weeks, in which they will face six of last year's top eight sides starting with Penrith at Campbelltown on Sunday.

Tigers five-eighth Mitchell Moses said there was plenty of improvement left in them and lamented a late game lapse against the Rabbitohs in which they conceded two tries.

"I think we can play a lot better than that," Moses said.

"Our completions aren't up to scratch and if we can fix that up we can play some good footy.

"We probably could have put them away a bit earlier but we talked about that last 20 minutes and we need to fix that up."

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