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25 Jul 2017 10:47
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Tigers battle to avoid NRL wooden spoon

    The Wests Tigers and Newcastle will meet at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday for a game that could decide the NRL wooden spoon.

    - article from

    Eel recruit Jason Taylor
    Eel recruit Jason Taylor

    Wests Tigers admit they're stinging but getting what they deserve as they prepare for a possible play-off for the NRL wooden spoon against Newcastle.

    Having not sung the team song for two months, the Tigers have sunk to the bottom of the ladder and are desperate to show signs they've improved under new coach Ivan Cleary.

    A loss to Newcastle, who have finished in 16th the past two seasons, would drop the Tigers two points behind the Knights, who themselves are hurting after blowing a halftime lead against St George Illawarra.

    The Tigers are widely accepted as being in a rebuilding phase but the prospect of finishing last for the first time in the 18-year history of the joint venture is something that isn't sitting well with the playing group.

    "We are stinging, we really need a win and it's going to be a tough game against Newcastle," halfback Luke Brooks said.

    "They'll be upset after their loss to the Dragons. They're a great side and anyone can beat anyone on their day."

    Both sides are facing rough roads during the final 10 rounds - the Knights have six matches against top eight sides, the Tigers one fewer.

    When Cleary took over as coach from Jason Taylor in April, the playing group responded with two wins in three weeks however they've been listless since then, losing seven straight.

    Asked if 16th was a fair reflection of where they're at as a team, Brooks said: "I think so.

    "I think what's costing us at the moment is not playing the full 80 minutes. We play good in patches and then have a couple of plays off and the other team will score a try or something and that will ruin us for the game."


    Newcastle and Wests Tigers' run home


    * Round 18 - bye

    * Round 19 - Manly (away), 4th on ladder

    * Round 20 - Eels (home), 8th

    * Round 21 - Titans (a), 14th

    * Round 22 - Panthers (a), 9th

    * Round 23 - Manly (h), 4th

    * Round 24 - Sydney Roosters (a), 2nd

    * Round 25 - Cowboys (h), 7th

    * Round 26 - Warriors (h), 10th


    * Round 18 - Canterbury (a), 13th

    * Round 19 - Brisbane (h), 3rd

    * Round 20 - Sydney Roosters (a), 2nd

    * Round 21 - St George Illawarra (h), 6th

    * Round 22 - Warriors (h), 10th

    * Round 23 - Parramatta (a), 8th

    * Round 24 - Melbourne (h), 1st

    * Round 25 - Canberra (a), 11th

    * Round 26 - Cronulla (h), 5th


    © 2017 NZN, NZCity

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