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"We need to go back to basics"

Press Conference: NRL Round 9

Wests Tigers Head Coach Ivan Cleary said his side have to improve on the simple things as they look to turn around a run of three straight defeats next Thursday when they take on the North Queensland Cowboys at Leichhardt Oval.

Run down by a dominant Warriors side in their Round 8 clash, Wests Tigers were made to pay for their poor handling with just 40% possession and a 66% completion rate handing the hosts a 22-point win.

And for Cleary, it was clear that the side needed to return to doing the basics right.

"I think tonight was the first time this year we weren't in it for 80 minutes," Cleary said.

"The Warriors took their opportunities and built pressure really well, and they just played better.

"Certainly in the last two weeks, we're definitely not controlling the ball as well as we were. 

"Our rhythm with the ball hasn't been there, so we need to go back to basics. When you get the basics right, you give yourself a chance to win games, but we just didn't do that tonight."

2018 Match Highlights: Rd.9, Warriors vs. Wests Tigers

Trailing by eight points at half-time, Wests Tigers had their moments early in the second half but couldn't come up with the right option in attack, with a second sin-bin killing off the visitors chance at a comeback. 

"We just got off on the wrong foot," Cleary said. "We started to show signs that we were coming back and I wasn't too disappointed at half-time but we couldn't nail our opportunities and made too many mistakes.

"On the other hand, they scored off two repeat sets and just built pressure really well.

"They had 15 extra completed sets, we had two guys in the bin and two tries while that happened.

"The first sin bin was dumb from us and the second one... I didn't feel like we were deliberately giving them away. They were all different penalties and that was an offside penalty when they were spreading.

"But it's the refs call and in the context of the game, so he'd have the best answer to that call."

"To be honest," he added, " we don't have time to worry about it. We've got a five-day turnaround to face the Cowboys, and [having that short turnaround] might just be a good thing to help us right the wrongs." 

See what Coach Ivan Cleary and co-captain Benji Marshall had to say about the game above!

Acknowledgement of Country

Wests Tigers respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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