Wests Tigers forward Ryan Matterson says his side are only scratching the surface of what they can achieve defensively in 2019 despite going down in Golden Point to Penrith last week.

After keeping the Sea Eagles and Warriors to just six points apiece in their opening two games, Wests Tigers were 79 minutes in to their clash against Penrith before the home side crossed the line — eventually winning the game 9-8 in Golden Point.

The 43 points conceded by Wests Tigers through the opening four games of the season is the second best of all teams in the competition this year (narrowly behind the undefeated Melbourne Storm with 40) and, remarkably, better than the side's strong start to the year last season where they won five of their first six games.

Since the club's foundation in 2000, the numbers achieved defensively in 2019 are the best start to a season the team has ever made through the first four games, and Matterson believes his side's defensive focus will only continue to improve.

"It definitely was a tough one on the weekend," Matterson reflected.

"You put such hard work into the game so to not to get away with a win was very disappointing, but there's still plenty that we know we can take from that game.

"We want to keep working on our attack and bringing in new work for our defence.

"We've defended really well so far and I think we can take that to a new level.

“We want to be the best defensive side in the competition, and we've got a lot of improvement in our attack and defence that we know is there for us.

"With the short turnaround, we just need to get our bodies right and be ready to go."