Press Conference: NRL Round 15
Wests Tigers Head Coach Ivan Cleary said his side's performance was out of character as a poor defensive half showing allowed the Canberra Raiders to post a big win in their Round 15 clash today at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.
Coming in to the match with one of the best defensive records in the competition, Cleary's men conceded seven second half tries and missed upwards of 60 tackles as the Raiders cruised to a dominant 48-12 victory — something which he said has to remain a one-off and not a season-defining moment.
"It's certainly not what we've been about this year," Cleary reflected.
"We've got to make sure it's an aberration and we get back on the horse in a couple of weeks.
"It's disappointing when you don't perform well enough in any game, especially when you finish it like that and I didn't think our control in defence was there all game.
"It was certainly not what we wanted it to be and what it needed to be against a very powerful team.
"I don't think the end of the game was anything technical or physical — it was mental.
"Once we lost contact with the game we lost focus as a group and individuals and they smelled blood. For whatever reason, we checked out with 25 minutes to go and it's pretty disappointing."
2018 Match Highlights: Rd.15, Wests Tigers vs. Raiders
Co-captain Russell Packer echoed Cleary's comments on the performance and result.
"With a performance like that, we invite all the criticism in and we have to take that on the chin," he said.
"When you play like that, you have to take accountability. But we've got a group of men here that, apart from this game, work really hard for each other and our defensive efforts have been good.
"We've just got to get back on the horse and the season doesn't stop because you have one bad game.
"We've got to individually look at ourselves and really try to make something from the rest of the season.
We have to take accountability and be better; our next game is at Leichhardt and it's a bit of an old cliche, but all we can do is train hard and work hard for each other to be better in that game.
"We can't let it define our season."
See what Russell Packer and Ivan Cleary had to say about tonight's game in full in the video above!