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Cleary believes the Wests Tigers can play NRL finals

Luke Brooks of the Tigers celebrates a try in the dying stages during the round two NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Wests Tigers at AAMI Park on March 17, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
Roar Guru
21st July, 2018
14

Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary insists his side are capable of playing September football – provided they can continue their giant killing run over the final six games of the NRL season.

Less than a week after knocking St George Illawarra off top spot, the Tigers stayed within touch of the top eight with an impressive 22-6 win over new ladder leaders South Sydney.

They victory lifts them to ninth spot on 20 points, four points adrift of the Sydney Roosters, Penrith, the Warriors and Brisbane.

And while the Roosters and Warriors can edge ahead with wins on Sunday, Cleary believes his team have now found the form that could challenge in the finals.

“Absolutely. The challenge for us is to improve on that next week,” Cleary said.

“Finals are a long way away. We’re not worrying about too much about that. We’re worrying about preparing for the (Canterbury) Bulldogs next week.”

Veteran Robbie Farah, who celebrated his 250th game for the club with a win, said the challenge was to maintain their form against teams below them on the ladder.

Over their final six fixtures, the Tigers meet the Bulldogs (A), Newcastle (A), Canberra (A), Dragons (H), Manly (H) and the Rabbitohs again (A).

“We’ve just beaten the Dragons and Bunnies. It doesn’t get any bigger than that at the moment, the two best teams in the competition,” Farah said.

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“The challenge for us to go into games over the next couple of weeks I dare say we’re expected to win, but they’re the ones that you’ve got to be up for.

“It’s easy to get up for the games against the top teams in the competition, and now we just got to build on what we’ve done in the last two weeks and keep that momentum rolling.”