Wests Tigers Head Coach Ivan Cleary says his side will need to be much better than they were last week to bounce back in the winners circle tomorrow afternoon when they take on the Parramatta Eels for their Round 8 clash at ANZ Stadium.
Off the pace from the opening whistle against Newcastle, Cleary's men recorded just their second defeat of the season with the last-minute defeat, but said regardless of what the result was last week, improvements were needed across the park if they were to make it two wins over the Eels in 2018.
"We didn't play well enough last week, so they [Newcastle] deserved to win," Cleary conceded.
"I thought our defence wasn't good enough — we didn't control things well enough right from the start.
"That flowed most of the way through the game as well, so we need to address that.
"Having said that, we've definitely got more confident as a result of the first seven weeks," he added.
"But this game is a game on its own and it's got it own set of circumstances, and for us right now, it's about producing a better performance than what we delivered last week against Newcastle."
Set to welcome back Chris Lawrence from injury on the left edge, Cleary highlighted the importance of the captain's inclusion as his side look to consolidate their spot inside the competition's top eight.
"Chris has been a real stable part of our team right the way through the year," he said.
"He brings a real stability to the left edge, and some leadership too as he's been playing really well.
"I'm sure he'll be refreshed after the week off and I'm looking forward to having him back in the side."
Having already faced the Eels once this season — with a 30-20 victory falling Wests Tigers way back in Round 4 — Cleary said he wasn't too concerned by the prospect of facing Parramatta once again this year, or by the fact that the blue and gold finally broke through for their maiden victory last weekend.
"I don't know how much different it makes [Parramatta getting their first win]," Cleary said.
"We've seen what they've done throughout the year... and for us it's about trying to control when they play well and make sure that the best way for us to do that is by playing well ourselves.
"If we can do well at what we value, then it doesn't matter who we're playing."
See what Ivan Cleary had to say about this week's game in full in the video above!
Match: Eels v Wests Tigers
Round 8 -
Venue: ANZ Stadium
- Nine Network
- Fox League
- LIVE PASS