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Cleary: "That's a lost opportunity"

Wests Tigers Coach Ivan Cleary and captain Aaron Woods spoke to the media following the team's close 26-22 defeat to the Parramatta Eels on Easter Monday.

After leading 22-10 midway through the second half before succumbing to a Parramatta fightback, Cleary said the result definitely stung for his side as a game that simply got away.

"That’s a lost opportunity for sure," Cleary said of the game.

"We were ineffective with the way we finished our sets for the last 20 minutes, and they really gave them a leg up and they took that chance with both hands, and full credit to them.

"There’s things that have been affecting us for a while — tries coming out of nowhere when we’re in control — but essentially we’re contributing to moments like that.

"Under pressure we were coming up with errors in defence, and that’s been happening for a while here so it’s going to take a bit of time to get some bad habits out," he said.

"When you’ve got bad habits, they come out under pressure, and that happened today.

"But we’ll get it right at some point — we’ve just got to keep chipping away."

While pointing out that his side still had plenty of areas to improve in — notably with their edge defence — Cleary also commented about the positives his side showed for most of the game.

"There was a lot going right today but some things that haunted us under pressure," he said.

"Our defensive reads and cohesion on the edges need some work.

"Anyone who has been watching this team for a while now can say it’s been an issue. We’ve been trying to make some adjustments, but you can’t just turn it on or off like a tap.

"We’ll keep working at it, but we were exposed a bit tonight. We saved a few but it was a bit scary at times. We’ll keep getting tested, and we just need to keep making strides to improve.

"We did well in lots of areas; we were pretty on top midway through that second half after coming from behind ourselves. We fought back really well after being on the back foot, and we went pretty well, but we just didn’t finish it off today."

See what Cleary and Woods had to say about the game in full in the video above.

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