Wests Tigers Coach Jason Taylor says despite a loss on Sunday night to the Newcastle Knights, the successful return of star outside back David Nofoaluma was a clear positive for his side moving forward in the remainder of the 2015 season.
Having not played for the Club since suffering a season-ending knee injury against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in Round 18, 2014, Nofoaluma returned from injury earlier in the season for Wests Tigers' NSW Cup side with three games this year.
After scoring the match-winning try last week, the Campbelltown Collegians junior pushed his way back into the team for Sunday's match and quickly found his feet once more.
In a losing side, Nofoaluma ran for 129 metres from his 16 runs, and made a whopping 30 tackles to match — the fourth most out of any Wests Tigers player. And despite playing in the centres as opposed to the wing position he featured on in 2013/14, Taylor said he was very pleased with his individual performance and combination with Kevin Naiqama also.
"He [David] seemed to get better and better as the game went on," Taylor enthused.
"We was really strong and that's really encouraging for us.
"He forced his way back into the team with some good form in the NSW Cup, and he was really strong last week so we had to get him back this week.
"He'd played a bit of centre before which is good, because Kev Naiqama has been doing such a good job on the wing, so it's good to have those guys together.
"I think they'll form a pretty formidable combination."
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With representative centre Tim Simona still to come back from injury after next week's clash against the North Queensland Cowboys, Taylor said there were plenty of promising signs in the back seven going forward into a run of home games for the Club.
"Regardless of what it might look like on the outside, we're heading in the right direction," he said. "We're working hard to play a tougher style of footy.
"We need to keep at it and we'll continue to get better.
"We need a home ground and a majority of Wests Tigers supporters over the next few weeks, particularly this week against the North Queensland Cowboys."