The Wests Tigers took on the last-place Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon in a near must-win game to keep their finals hopes alive.
The Tigers copped criticism during the week, which they have become accustomed to.
This time it came after their shocking loss against a decimated-with-injuries Warriors side who had one of the worst line-ups on the day in NRL history.
The Tigers had a well below average second half, which let the NZ team take a two-point win.
When Wests came up against Canterbury yesterday, both teams were playing high-tempo footy to start, which led the scoreline to be a try apiece.
Then through a few Bulldogs errors, the Tigers were able to cross the line twice as Ken Maumalo had a first-half double with one of the two tries being a superb kick in the air from Luke Brooks for the high jumping Maumalo.
Despite the Tigers’ two-try lead they had been making very silly errors throughout the half, which became one too many as the Dogs were able to finally capitalise off the opposition’s error and score and head into the halftime break with momentum.
Both sides had a shaky first half with plenty of sloppy footy, especially from the Tigers, who had a 65 per cent completion rate, which is certainly not up to coach Michael Maguire’s standards.
This type of footy continued into the start of the second period from both sides, however it was Maguire’s team that was able to capitalise from the mistakes first and take a comfortable 14-point lead.
The Bulldogs had one of their best opportunities of the game a few minutes later but were sabotaged by Jack Hetherington’s fuse as he simply just pushed an opponent to the ground without the ball and was penalised, although he was lucky to be not sent to the bin.
About ten minutes later the Tigers were continuing to make mistakes, and this time it proved costly as Corey Allan was able to show signs of life for his team when he scored in the corner in the 64th minute.
The Bulldogs were playing great footy off the back of that try and were able to get into great field position with less than ten minutes remaining but failed to come up with points as they made a crucial mistake.
With the game almost wrapped up the Bulldogs had insult added to injury as Jack Hetherington committed a second offence, this time being a high tackle and he was not able to escape the sin bin this time around.
At full time the Wests Tigers were able to survive and get away with a 28-16 win. With those two points registered in their account, they now still have an unlikely chance to make the eight, which is a task the club hasn’t succeeded in doing for the past ten years.
In conclusion the Tigers currently sit two games outside the eight but of course if they want to play finals footy, they would probably have to win every one of their next games and then have other games go their way.