Wests Tigers Coach Michael Maguire says he was most pleased with his side's ability to keep fighting against the Newcastle Knights after staging a late comeback to clinch a tense 24-20 win.
Leading 18-8 midway through the second half, Wests Tigers soon found themselves behind with 10 minutes to go as the Knights rallied in Mitchell Pearce's 300th game — only to again take the lead through David Nofoaluma to clinch the win.
For Maguire, his side's ability to keep coming at the Knights pleased him most.
"I thought the way they came together when we faced adversity was the most pleasing part," Maguire said of his side's gritty four-point win.
I saw today that we can be a much-improved team with what's within this group.Coach Michael Maguire
"I was really pleased with their attitude during the week. They had a great attitude about what we'd spoken about throughout the pre-season with what we wanted to be and I thought that came out in today's game.
"They fought to the end, stuck together and looked after each other and that paid off in the back end of the game."
2021 Match Highlights: Rd.3, Knights vs. Wests Tigers
Maguire had particular praise for halfback Luke Brooks and fullback Daine Laurie after the pair were instrumental in their side's win.
"Luke had plenty going on around him this week but I thought he did a great job to put that aside and focus on what he needed to do for the team," he said.
"I thought the team rallied around him too in the right way; they worked hard in attack and allowed him to get on the front foot to kick in better positions.
Match: Knights v Wests Tigers
Round 3 -
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
"You've got to do that as a team and they worked hard together.
"Daine's a really good kid too — he just loves playing footy," Maguire added.
"I think he's really growing as a player too. We only had him for a month before the start of the season and those combinations in the spine are growing. It's a big part of us and I'm sure he'll continue to grow into a very good player."