Wests Tigers Stat to Fix: Finding consistency
Tue 14 Jan 2020, 08:00 AM
It’s a well-worn rugby league cliche, but 2019 really was a rollercoaster for the Wests Tigers.
While they showed promise under the coaching of Michael Maguire, the Tigers failed to sustain their success for long enough and finished an agonising ninth for the third time in four seasons.
A great win was soon followed by a crushing loss and vice versa, leaving fans to wonder which Tigers outfit would show up.
After opening the season with consecutive wins against the Manly and the Warriors, the Tigers didn’t taste back-to-back victories again until round 14-15.
They put several opponents to the sword, with five of their 11 wins being by 24 points or more.
But Maguire’s men copped some rough punishment too, losing four matches by 20 points or more. The round six scoreline of 51-6 against Parramatta at Bankwest Stadium was a particularly low point.
Unlike seven of the eight finalists last season, the Tigers couldn’t manage to string together three victories in a row (the Sharks were the only top-eight side that didn’t).
They blew a golden chance to notch a hat-trick of wins in the last round shootout against Cronulla, where a triumph would have guaranteed them a finals berth.
These wild form swings aside, the Tigers were statistically sound in 2019 and have built a solid foundation for 2020.
The joint venture club ranked in the top eight in most key areas, including metres gained, dropouts forced, completion rate, possession, time in the opposition half, tries scored and tackle breaks.
If the Tigers can bridge the gap between their best and worst performances, an eight-season finals drought may well end in 2020.