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Press Conference: NRL Round 21

Wests Tigers Head Coach Ivan Cleary and captain Aaron Woods spoke to the media following the team's close defeat to the Penrith Panthers on Sunday afternoon.

With a 28-14 scoreline perhaps not reflecting the close nature of the contest, Cleary said his side again showed plenty of promise, but simply needed to take better advantage of key opportunities, with nine errors and nine penalties slowing down the game.

“There was definitely better signs from the team today despite the scoreline,” he said.

“I thought the Panthers were really up for today and did a good job of putting pressure on us, particularly throughout the second half when they had a lot more possession.

“It’s just disappointing that the tries they scored were probably things we could stop.

“There’s good signs there — we’ve just got to make sure we can improve where we can.

“I thought in the first half when we had the upper hand, we didn’t go on with it. We just have to be better at what we do with the chances when they’re there for us.”

While pointing out the growth in his side over the past few months since his arrival as Head Coach, Cleary also noted the improvements that needed to be made in his team.

“Our kicking game isn’t at the level it needs to be, so that’s a big one for us,” he said.

“They’re both [Brooks and Lolohea] capable, but we’re not getting the results on last tackles that we need to so that’s definitely a work in progress for us going forward.

“But they’re the key moments, and particularly in these type of games when you never know where the big moment is coming from so you need to make every one a good one.

“At the end of it, we just need to keep preparing well and competing hard,” he added.

“The boys have been doing that lately and I’m super confident they’ll keep doing it.

“There’s a pretty good vibe around at the moment — they’re disappointed in the sheds which is a good sign — but it’s important we pick our heads up and learn from what’s been happening. There’s been some consistencies in the last few games which is good.

“We’ve got another big game next week against the Sea Eagles at Leichhardt and I’d hope that all the fans turn out because I think you’ll see a pretty good game of footy.”

See what Ivan Cleary and Aaron Woods had to say about the game in the video above!

Be there as Sunday afternoon footy returns to Leichhardt Oval against the Sea Eagles!