Wests Tigers Head Coach Michael Maguire says his team shouldn't have been in a position of needing to score a late goal to send the game to Golden Point on Saturday night.
It was Paul Momirovski's late miss for the visitors that saw Maguire's side fall to a frustrating 18-16 defeat to the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium, with the winger unable to convert Luke Garner's late effort and send the match in to Golden Point.
After a fast start, Wests Tigers lost captain Moses Mbye (quad) and veteran Robbie Farah (knee) inside the opening 20 minutes and were run down by the home side in the second half as the Bulldogs scored three tries in the space of 11 minutes.
Like too often this season, Maguire said his side simply needed to manage the key moments of the game better to ensure they kept their winning run in tact.
“It hurts," Maguire admitted after the match.
"We shouldn’t have been in that position at the back end of the game. There were moments in the game where we should have been better.
"It's pretty straightforward.
“In the second half we fumbled it around and didn’t play in the style that we know we can.
"At the end of the day, we need to get ready for Thursday night because we know the position that we’re in and need to perform to get the win, so we’ll move forward.”
After delivering a good 80-minute effort to get the job done against the Cowboys last week, Maguire said that intensity remains an area of improvement for his side.
“That’s where we need to get better," he enthused.
2019 Match Highlights: Rd.21, Bulldogs vs. Wests Tigers
"I have spoken about that throughout the season and it’s the challenge for our team to get better.
"We played 80 minutes last week and we got patted on the back... I said that we need to make sure we turn it around this week. Any team in the comp can turn on a performance if you give them periods throughout a game like we did.
“I’ve said right throughout the season again that I really believe in the group — if they continue to turn up like they did last week and actually get that performance.
"There were moments there where we had to fight for things throughout the game, but they were able to capitalise because they built pressure against the opposition.
'When we do that then we’ll come out the right side.
"Thursday is going to be no different.”
Sitting narrowly outside the top eight, Wests Tigers can move back in to finals contention when they kick off Round 21 against the Sea Eagles at Lottoland — a venue they have a poor historical record at but were last-start winners at in 2018.
Match: Sea Eagles v Wests Tigers
Round 22 -
Venue: Lottoland, Sydney