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Maguire pleased with adapting Wests Tigers, improving spine

Wests Tigers Head Coach Michael Maguire said he was most pleased with the way his side adapted throughout their Round 3 clash against Cronulla to eventually end up with the two points.

Having raced to an early 10-0 lead in their first game back, Wests Tigers found themselves trailing the hosts 16-10 late in the first half with Wade Graham and Josh Dugan causing all sorts of attacking problems on Cronulla's left edge.

However, off the back of a tight defensive effort in the second half to keep the Sharks at bay, Wests Tigers would run in in three unanswered tries to emerge with a strong 28-16 win that had plenty of reasons to impress Maguire.

“I’m really pleased with the players," Maguire said. 

"We spoke at half-time about what was going on in the first half and they changed and adapted.

“They were able to build more patience in the second half to be able to capitalise and score a few tries. We obviously got off to a good start but then Cronulla were able to pinch a few tries and put more pressure on us.

Press Conference: NRL Round 3

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"But in the second half they adapted well.”

“It was our defence that changed most — we were getting beat on the edges. That is where the boys changed and adapted to what was thrown at them, and possession and completions play a big part in that,” Maguire added.

“We probably put ourselves under a lot of pressure and allowed them to come in and put those plays on rather than controlling it through our completion rates. The edges sorted that out and then we were able to get a better field position which allowed us to put pressure back on Cronulla."

With a new spine of Adam Doueihi, Benji Marshall, Luke Brooks and Harry Grant all impressing in their first game together, Maguire said there were plenty of positive signs to come heading in to next week's trip to Suncorp Stadium.

“I’m pleased they’ve all played together," Maguire enthused.

"I have a new spine and that starts with Harry, Benji and Luke. Over the last two or three weeks we’ve been fortunate through the circumstances to be able to spend a bit of time on the combination between those boys.

“I could see it growing as the game was going on.

"It was great to have all our players available with Moses [Mbye] and Luke back and Adam is only going to get better with his time at fullback.”

Wests Tigers will look to make it back-to-back wins for the first time in 2020 when they take on the Gold Coast Titans next Sunday at Suncorp Stadium.