It hasn’t been a good year for the Wests Tigers. Tim Simona has been de-registered for betting on NRL games. Coach Jason Taylor was sacked three weeks into the season. And James Tedesco, Aaron Woods, and Mitchell Moses have signed contracts with other teams with the latter lining up against the Tigers this weekend. But just how bad has it been for the 2005 Premiers?
It turns out it’s been really bad. Statistically 2017 has been the worst season in their history as a joint venture. Ivan Cleary’s men have won four out of 17 matches and sit in 15th position heading into Round 20 which is the least amount of wins and points in their history.
Only one of those victories have come at home (beating Canterbury 18-12 at ANZ Stadium in Round 8), and they’ve only won four of nine matches when leading at half-time.
This was evidenced on Sunday as the Tigers led 16-8 after 47 minutes only to go on to lose 28-16 to Manly. Their 101 second half points is the fewest in the league while the 250 they’ve conceded is the second worst. It was also the 11th time this season they have only scored a maximum of six second half points.
Changing coaches has not changed their fortunes, the Tigers have gone on one four match losing streak and recently ended a seven match winless run. They haven’t won back-to-back in 21 matches.
As a team it has been bad but it’s not much better personally. Halfback Luke Brooks has six try assists, the least in the league in his position. Kevin Naiqama is their leading try scorer with six which is the fourth lowest out of players who regularly play on the wing. And their mid-season signing Tui Lolohea is already the leading point scorer with 42, 18 more points than second-most Naiqama.
Sure the Tigers still have seven matches to turn their form around and avoid the wooden spoon but it’s not looking promising at the moment.
However with the likes of Josh Reynolds, Russell Packer, and Chris McQueen set to come into the side next season it might not be long before the see the Tigers return to being a top eight side for the first time since 2011.
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