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Coaching Insider: Round 15

Wests Tigers Coach Michael Maguire said he’s excited by the challenge of facing a top-of-the-table Melbourne Storm this Saturday as his side look to bounce back from a last-start defeat.

Heading into last week's contest off the back of two straight wins, Maguire’s men were downed by the Parramatta Eels in a tough loss but the veteran coach said he was buoyed by the opportunity to respond against the ladder leaders.

“As a Coach, I really enjoy playing the big teams — that’s the reason why you play,” Maguire said.

“You want to perform at that level and continually grow on what we’ve build.

“The way I see the team coming together each week is great and they’re understanding the style and the way we want to play.

“The key for us will be building back the momentum we had,” he added.

“We had some opportunities leading into half-time against Parramatta and then we lost the player and things just didn’t go our way. We lost sight of our processes and what we need to do the big thing for us this week — which we captured against the Dragons and Penrith — is to do our style on how we want to play.

We have to make sure we stick solid to that and continually build on what we’ve been doing.

Wests Tigers Coach Michael Maguire

“It’s a game based on pressure, and you’ve got to make sure you apply that with the way it can swing and change on you. We talk constantly about how to win pressure back and that comes down to individuals working hard for each other.

“They’re the sort of thing that the game demands from you — what is that you can do to work hard for each other and flick that momentum around.”

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Maguire said he was looking forward to the debut of Kiwi international Ken Maumalo, who will play his first game for the club after joining earlier this week.

“He’s a really good man, big Kenny,” Maguire said.

“I’ve had a bit to do with him throughout my time and that’s the reasons why I wanted him to come to the club.

“When he really understands the fabric of the Wests Tigers, I think the Members and fans will really enjoy his style of play.

“He’s a big body and gets teams off the back fence well but it’s all the little things in the game that I know he’ll do for his teammates is the most impressive part.

Maumalo makes his move to Wests Tigers

“I think it says a lot about him the way he dealt with last week,” Maguire added when asked about the emotional scenes post-match for Maumalo.

“He spent ten years at that the club but sometimes opportunity is presented to you, and this is one now where he can come to a new club and have a new start.

“He’s really looking forward to what’s ahead.”