Wests Tigers Head Coach Michael Maguire says last week's bye shouldn't have an impact on the result of Friday's game as his side return to the action to take on the Canberra Raiders.
Fresh after the week off and ready for their first home game at Bankwest Stadium with the extended preparation time, Maguire said the time off was secondary to the ability to turn that break in to a good performance against the Raiders.
"They've come off the break well so it's how we play now," Maguire enthused.
"Every team has a break and we’ve got long turn-arounds and short turn-arounds — it’s basically what you do in between those 80 minutes that is going to count.
“The Raiders are a top four team and they've been near the top of the ladder for the whole season, so we understand what's coming our way.
"We've got to make sure that we're at our best."
Wests Tigers look forward to Lawrence's return
Sitting just outside the top eight following last week's bye, Maguire said he was looking for his side to take a giant step forward over the next few games that will see his side face off against a number of top four and high-quality sides.
"To be honest, the expectations around where we sit — we're not happy with them," he said. "There's a lot of improvement in this group [so] it's up to us to make sure we can push ourselves forward in to the competition.
“I’ve said many times that I’ve got a lot of belief around this team.
"The way I’ve seen them grow, since my arrival, I’ve been impressed with but we’ve got to take a big step forward now to sit with the ones at the top.”
Based off past performances against the Storm and Rabbitohs — two defeats for the side but games that Wests Tigers certainly dominated for periods in — Maguire said there was confidence that the team was ready to take that step.
“I thought there were passages of play throughout that time in those games that we definitely performed to the way that we know we can," he said.
"We’ve just got to make sure we can do it for 80 minutes — it’s as simple as that.
“To perform at our best for the 80-minute period will put pressure on the opposition. When we do that, we've shown we can score some pretty good tries but it’s about what we do to get to that and that’s the part we need to improve on.”
Match: Wests Tigers v Raiders
Round 13 -
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney