Cleary believes the Wests Tigers can play NRL finals

By Matt Encarnacion, Matt Encarnacion is a Roar Guru

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    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.

    “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.”

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    The Crowd Says (14)

    • July 22nd 2018 @ 10:34am
      kk said | July 22nd 2018 @ 10:34am | ! Report

      Yesterday was an IQ test. (Thanks Monkey Mayes) Wests rated 110+, Souths 98.

      The Tigers hunted brilliantly and fed well on rabbit.

      The Tigers showed they know how to play League: Souths only think they know.

      Coach Cleary has graciously agreed to delay the release of the coach’s IQ results
      until after the R25 return clash at Homebush.

    • July 22nd 2018 @ 11:23am
      Paul said | July 22nd 2018 @ 11:23am | ! Report

      Cleary might well be right, but the Tigers are playing such fluky football, I can’t see then doing any better than 9th. You can also bet both the Dragons and Rabbitohs will be in a different frame of mind when they play the Tigers again

    • Roar Pro

      July 22nd 2018 @ 11:50am
      Davico said | July 22nd 2018 @ 11:50am | ! Report

      @ Paul

      Yeah dominated the 2 “best” packs in the comp and apart from switching off for the last 10 minutes against the Dragons did not look like losing, but yeah, flukey football.

      • Roar Guru

        July 23rd 2018 @ 12:00pm
        BA Sports said | July 23rd 2018 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

        Flukey probably isn’t the right word but there is a lot of luck involved (much of which you have to make).

        You look at every stat line and there is no way you come up with a score of 22-6. 6-5 line breaks, fewer total metres, more missed tackles, less possession and a 6-12 penalty count. And it is the last stat that reminds everyone of how they played at the start of the season. Willing to give away penalties and just defend and hope to jag a a try or two – which is more probable now with Farah in the side.

        But ref’s tend to put the whistle away in the Finals, and the play will be quicker, which we have seen doesn’t suit the Tigers style.

        No team should be giving away 12 penalties and not seeing a sin binning. New rule, regardless of the penalty or whether someone has been sin binned recently, the player who gives away the 10th penalty gets sin binned regardless.

        • Roar Pro

          July 24th 2018 @ 10:00am
          Davico said | July 24th 2018 @ 10:00am | ! Report

          Games are not played on paper and stats pretty much never tell the full story.

          You sound like the coach of a beaten team who wants new rules put in place that will help his team!

          Messing around with the rules was what got the game into the position it is now which I think we would all agree is not great.

          You cannot honestly tell me that every other team is not using the same tactics because they clearly are. It is not just the Tigers

          • Roar Pro

            July 24th 2018 @ 10:05am
            Davico said | July 24th 2018 @ 10:05am | ! Report

            I just did a quick search on “penalties inside own 20” and the first 2 things that came up were articles from 2015 and 2016 on how to stop teams giving away penalties in their own 20 in the NRL.

            Guess the Tigers were not singled out back then as they were not winning games??? Funny that!

    • July 22nd 2018 @ 12:15pm
      Brian said | July 22nd 2018 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

      Who currently in the eight is going to lose enough games to drop out? The Tigers need to put a few thumpings on the board to worry those with low PDs.

    • July 22nd 2018 @ 10:26pm
      Brian George said | July 22nd 2018 @ 10:26pm | ! Report

      Wow, how stunning! If we get into the 8 we’re capable of playing in the 8????? He’s a freakin genius…

    • July 23rd 2018 @ 8:58am
      Fred said | July 23rd 2018 @ 8:58am | ! Report

      If the Tigers miss the 8, will they be the first team in NRL history to beat all the top 4 sides in a season and still miss the 8?

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