A disappointing result against the Cowboys on Saturday night, what do you take out of that game?
It was a disappointing result. To not score any points in that game was really disappointing and it wasn’t good enough. We needed to throw more attack at the Cowboys and we needed to come up with some points. We were close to scoring on a number of occasions but we didn’t get those points and as the game wore on, we needed to come up with some more attack. We will keep working on that.
However, as I have said since the game it was really good in regards to our defence and as a Club we should be really pleased that we held the Cowboys to only one try. I know people will say that they had players out (through Origin) but it wasn’t as though they nearly scored a number of tries and we saved them, they didn’t look like scoring at all. Our defence was really good in the game.
You’ve spoken a lot this year about the extra emphasis on defence, what has led to having that extra focus?
Defence is number one for us because we have been really, really poor in the past. Looking at the past few seasons, we’ve conceded 110 tries last year which was last in the competition and funnily enough the year before in 2013 we conceded 120 tries which wasn’t last because Parramatta were worse but that is really, really bad. We’ve got to change that and if you want to be in the top eight in the NRL you need to get yourself up the ladder as far as the defensive performances go.
It was 2005 when Wests Tigers last won the competition and that was the last time that a team who were better in attack than defence won the competition. It has been 10 years now and we need to improve our defence. If we don’t do that we will remain at the bottom of the ladder. We can continue to work on our attack all we like, but if we don’t improve our defence we won’t get up the ladder and we need to start that right now.
**The below table shows the top two defensive sides each year and their final finishing positions, compared to Wests Tigers**