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2021 Wests Tigers Team Review

Brendan Wood reviews a season to forget for the Tigers in 2021, as they missed the finals for the 10th straight year.

2021 Club Record

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Wins: 8
Losses: 16
Competition Points: 18

2021 Player Achievements

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Most Tries: David Nofoaluma (13)
Most Points: Adam Doueihi (174)

Season Summary

It was another extremely disappointing season for the Wests Tigers in a year that promised plenty. Still, there were critics predicting the Tigers would get the wooden spoon in 2021. At least the fall they had this season didn’t hit rock bottom.

They slipped down the ladder to finish in 13th place, their worst finish under coach Michael Maguire to date.

The first two months of the season were eight games to forget, which really set a poor tone for the rest of their year. In fact, over the first 12 rounds of the season the only teams the Tigers defeated were the Dragons and Knights, beating both teams twice.

Even with the slow start, there were times the Tigers showed glimpses of what they are capable of. Solid wins came against an under-strength Panthers in Round 13 and a rebounding Broncos side in Round 18. However, they struggled to string wins together as injuries and poor form got the better of them.

In a season of many dark moments for the Tigers, a few of the bright spots on-field were Adam Doueihi, Daine Laurie, and Stefano Utoikamanu. The way Doueihi and Laurie combined in limited opportunities gives Tigers fans something to smile about heading into next year. Fans should also be immensely excited with the potential of Utoikamanu, who improved out of sight in his second year to become arguably the best forward on the roster.

Another of the bright spots to come from an otherwise disappointing season was the documentary Wild Wests: Tales from Tiger Town. An all-access look at the inner workings of the club, the airing of the documentary was a great initiative by the NRL. It really got chins wagging around the league and gave the long-suffering Tigers fans valuable insights into the passion Maguire has for his club and players.

After an embarrassing 38-0 loss to the Bulldogs in the last game of the year, speculation began to mount that Maguire would be relieved of his coaching duties in 2022. An internal review of the club’s performance decided that Maguire would be the man to re-build the Tigers in 2022: a move that will certainly benefit the club moving forward as they search for a culture of consistency.

The new signings of Super League talents Oliver Gildart and Jackson Hastings, as well as former Titan Tyrone Peachey, should inject some excitement into the roster. With Tim Sheens returning to the club as director of football and the club updating their logo, they have certainly taken strides to pursue a self-proclaimed “new era”.

However, it will be up to the playing group to manifest this new era into a reality on the field in season 2022 after a decade-long finals drought.

NothingButLeague Player of the Season – Adam Doueihi

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Matches: 20
Tries: 9
Goals: 69
Total Points: 174
Try Assists: 16
Tackle Bursts: 50

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