Wests Tigers Coach Michael Maguire said his side's inability to build pressure in either attack or defence was the catalyst for a heavy defeat at the hands of the Melbourne Storm tonight.
Despite the home side racking up nine tries in a 50-22 victory, Wests Tigers showed plenty of potential to cause problems for the Storm with the 22 points the second most conceded by Melbourne this season.
With the game at 32-22 midway through the second half there was a glimmer of hope for Maguire that another special comeback was brewing, but errors and ill-discipline proved far too telling in the end.
"We didn't give ourselves a chance with the pressure tonight," Maguire said.
Press Conference: NRL Round 19
"Every time we scored a try we basically gave the ball right back and Melbourne basically did what they always do and complete their set and put pressure on you.
"We needed to apply pressure in the first half to put ourselves in the game.
"We were able to fight our way back in and the boys have been able to show that over the last month. But we've got to get our starts right and build pressure to build the game to what we're after.
"It's something we need to work really hard to rectify moving forward."
2020 Match Highlights: Rd.19, Storm vs. Wests Tigers
The momentum for Wests Tigers' comeback ended when arguably the side's best forward this year, Josh Aloiai, was forced off with a serious knee injury.
"There is a concern that it might be the bad one," Maguire said of a potential ACL tear.
"We have to wait and see until we get scans and we don't want to make much of a judgment before then, but the doctor is pretty concerned."
Aloiai monsters his way through the middle
Without a finals campaign in 2020, Wests Tigers will take on the Parramatta Eels in their final game of the season next Saturday at Bankwest Stadium — a fixture that will feature as the final home game for Wests Tigers Life Members Chris Lawrence and Benji Marshall, as well as a number of other departing players.
"It's a really important week," Maguire enthused.
"It's important for Chris Lawrence, for Benji, and there's a number of other boys that will leave us.
"It's a really important game for us to make sure we send everyone that is leaving off in the right manner.
"We've got full respect for those boys and it'll be about how we perform and how we play. If we go out and put pressure on Parramatta then we know what we're capable of doing so we've got to go out and do that."
Match: Wests Tigers v Eels
Round 20 -
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney