'Outplayed, plain and simple': Maguire to renew defensive focus

A disappointed Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire says his side's big 51-6 Easter Monday loss to the Eels was a setback for a club that had been defending well all season.

"Plain and simple they outplayed us today – we need to look at why and what," Maguire said.

"That's what defence is all about, how you turn up together and how you connect and we didn't do that… We just didn't turn up and put our shoulders in and we're all accountable for that."

Maguire eyed the short turnaround to the Titans next Saturday as a chance to get the team back on track. He also praised the way the team responded to their 22-8 loss to Canterbury in round three, winning their next two games, and hoped for a similar bounce-back after the Eels loss.

"We've shown the last two or three weeks, the Canterbury game wasn't [a performance] we were after and we were able to fix it.

"We have to look inside, look at us, we're the ones out on the field, the players have to be honest with what we expect of each other."

Maguire refused to blame the head knock to Robbie Farah, with the in-form No.9 rubbed out of the contest early, as a reason for the performance.

"None at all – 50 points, that [his presence] doesn't fix 50 points."

He added Farah had passed his HIA but was ruled out for the match due to the way he stumbled at the time of the incident, which is another of the indicators for concussion. Luke Garner, who was taken off later in the game due to a head knock, also passed his HIA but similarly to Farah could not return because of the way he fell at the time of the incident.

Maguire expected both to be available to face the Titans but didn't rule out other possible changes, with veteran play-maker Benji Marshall getting closer to a return from a hamstring strain.

"I'm not sure yet, I'll have to wait and see – hamstrings are a tricky one, they can give you a 6-10 weeker if you don't get it right," he said.

Despite his obvious disappointment, Maguire had huge praise for the impressive new stadium where the Tigers will get a chance to host games later in the season.

"Incredible – one of the best things that's happened to rugby league for some time," he said.

"That scoreline hurt but to me that's going to change the game, when we get the new stadium in town [at Moore Park] it will go to another level.

"It was a complete spectacle out there, it's just unfortunate we didn't play our part."

Wests Tigers: Round 6

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