Wests Tigers Coach Michael Maguire says his side are burning to take to the field again this weekend as they look to bounce back from last week's close loss to the Melbourne Storm.
Maguire's side dominated the competition heavyweights for the majority of the contest and led by eight points late on before a late run of points for the home side saw them squeak home with a two-point win to leave the visitors empty-handed.
With a long turnaround from the Thursday night game to this week's Saturday's showdown with the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Maguire said his side were keen to put the disappointing result behind them and head in to the Round 12 bye on a high.
"It's a bit annoying we've had to wait so long," Maguire joked with reporters today.
"I thought the boys showed some really good form in that game and they've been showing that in patches [in other games] lately. We did it for a lot longer against the Storm, but we've just got to do it now for the 80 minutes.
"It's a loss that builds confidence in a way and we can take a lot out of that game.
"But at the same time we know we've got to make sure we're getting the wins we need. The way the team is growing — when I take myself away from the wins and the losses — it's a real big key for what we're doing here at Wests Tigers.
"The senior boys are driving it hard and the younger boys are growing."
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Having achieved Premiership glory with the Rabbitohs back in 2014, Maguire will come up against South Sydney for the first time in his coaching career since finishing with the club in 2017, but wasn't phased by the prospect.
"I'm all about the Wests Tigers now," he enthused.
"I've got a really group of men here and I'm really enjoying coaching them. We want to get the wins we need, like every team, but they're really growing.
"We've got to make sure that we maintain that now and continually push hard in the areas that we want to."
Sitting in seventh on the ladder after an up-and-down start to the year, Maguire said he wasn't at all surprised with the side's early season success and their capability to match it with some of the best teams in the competition.
"I'm not surprised," he said.
"This is what I expected when I first came here. I saw these things from the outside when I came in, and how we've started this year is off the back of those boys and their commitment to the things they want to improve at.
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"I've shared some experiences of previous teams I've been at and how quickly they can grow and I'm seeing some of that here.
But we've now got to take a big step forward now over this next period.
We've got to get around the inconsistencies that we've shown. The expectation of this group is that we need to be consistent — it's as simple as that.
"What's happened in the past is quite irrelevant to where I am; it's about us doing the things we need to do daily and doing them every week."
Match: Rabbitohs v Wests Tigers
Round 11 -
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
- LIVE PASS