Wests Tigers coach defends Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks after loss to Penrith Panthers
Michael Chammas - SMH
Just when it looked safe to assume the Wests Tigers had addressed their woes of consistently being inconsistent, they produce a performance that once again raises more questions than answers.
After an inspiring victory against South Sydney in the opening round, the Tigers failed to recapture the form from nine days prior in a disappointing showing against the Panthers at Campbelltown on Sunday.
Given the youthful exuberance of the players at the club and the free-flowing attacking style of football they like to play, it is often said the “bad days” are part and parcel of the package they signed up for. However coach Jason Taylor insists the club is working tirelessly to change that perception and develop a football team that lives up to expectations throughout the 26-round competition.
“We’re working really, really hard to ensure that we have less of those days,” Taylor said.
"While we hate what we saw out there, we are really close in a lot of those tries that we conceded in regards to getting that right. At the end of the day the scoreline will say we conceded a lot of points but there were also long periods of us defending our try line really well, really well.
“We have to be able to do it for the whole time but we’re not as far off as it looks today in that regard. That’s something I am finding a real positive out of that.”
Off-contract halves Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks struggled to make an impact on the game, producing several errors on a forgettable afternoon for the playmaking duo.
However, Taylor was quick to leap to the defence of his young halves, confident they would turn it around for next week’s away game against the winless Canberra Raiders in the nation’s capital.
“Both these guys have shown they are first-graders and have shown a lot of consistency through long periods of their careers,” Taylor said.
"Mitch Moses’ consistency through the back half of last year was great and Luke Brooks has done it before. Everybody’s wanted to say Luke Brooks was struggling a bit last year. He had an injury.
“He has shown me over the last couple of years that he is an NRL first-grader. Form goes up and down. His form last week against Souths was really good. Both boys will say to you that wasn’t [what] we wanted today but they know how to get it right next week and they will.”
The Tigers were in the game at the half-hour mark, but an eight-minute lapse of concentration before half-time saw the Panthers run in three quick tries to turn the game on its head.
The home side struggled to deal with the adversity after the break and their halves were unable to get themselves into the contest.
“The guys played behind a team today that was dominated,” Taylor said.
"They are the facts. I think that expectation out there is really high and it should be. I know they will bounce back next week. I am really confident in both of them in regards to their future and how they can mature.
“It was a tough day. It was one that we share struggling to put our finger on a little bit to be honest. We weren’t happy with our warm-up today. We didn’t think were there in our warm-up.”