Wests Tigers out to build Campbelltown fortress
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No team likes to hear about their home-ground record if it’s not at its best but for the Wests Tigers, it’s an area worth targeting if they’re serious about getting back into the finals fold.
Michael Maguire’s men made the perfect start to 2019 with their 14-point win over the Sea Eagles at Leichhardt Oval.
Their next two clashes at their second of four home grounds this season, Campbelltown Stadium, are just as important.
In the past five years, the joint-venture club’s records at both venues have dwindled. Of 60 home games over five seasons, the side’s overall winning record sits at 43.3%.
In Campbelltown alone, that figure slumps to just 36.8% with seven wins from 19 attempts.
While a lot of current players weren’t involved in most of the results, fixing a below-par home record will help the side’s long-term success overall. I’ve only been here a year and it’s hard because the Tigers have always played at a few stadiums so you can’t put all the eggs into one basket," Wests Tigers winger Mahe Fonua told NRL.com.
“And now this year we’ll play at Bankwest Stadium.”
Fonua, who held a healthy 66.6% record as a Storm player at Melbourne’s AAMI Park, believed it wasn’t as easy to be as dominant on home turf anymore as the game advances. It’s a tough one but every game we hope to have that aura where other clubs know we’re in for a big match instead of them coming to our home game and not fearing us," he said.
"Hopefully we can be feared every game. Hopefully Campbelltown can become a fortress early on this year - that’ll help.
“If the opposition can walk off the field feeling sore because of what our boys have physically done to them, then we’ve done on of our jobs.”
Wests Tigers playmaker Benji Marshall holds the venue in the same vein as the club’s “eighth wonder of the world” in Leichhardt.
I actually love Campbelltown," Marshall said.
"I know everyone talks about Leichhardt and I do love playing there on Sundays for different reasons.
“But I made my debut at Campbelltown … a packed stadium on a Sunday afternoon, it’s hot as and they’re just as loud out there.”
When asked if the record was a concern, Marshall said: "Only in the last couple of years. My record there is hectic. I love it. I think it’s great. The thing is it’s easy to talk about records but it’s all in the past.
“We’ve got a different team now, a different coach and I feel like we’re in a different position this year to last year. Those results don’t really matter to me.”
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