Michael Maguire, Wests Tigers vs South Sydney Rabbitohs, Round 12, Indigenous Round

Michael Maguire believes the Wests Tigers can still break their Finals drought despite falling to penultimate after a convincing 44-18 loss to the Rabbitohs.

The Tigers have now lost nine of their 12 games to start the year as pressure mounts on out-of-contract Maguire to turn things around, but the coach remains stoic.

“The season lives on,” Maguire said.

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“You have a career and you can go back in time at this club where you get all your players back.

“We have Adam Doueihi coming back. We have Alex Twal coming back. David Nofoaluma returning.

“You just need to have a winning streak and I know he’s on this team.

“We have to play an 80-minute game. Last week we played an 80 minute game. We did it against Souths the last time we played them and Parramatta.

“We have to go towards it faster and all of a sudden you’re back in the competition.”

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Despite going eight tries for three misses and the fact that they conceded six unanswered tries in the second half against Souths, Maguire was optimistic his team can turn it around.

“We will trade it for sure,” Maguire said.

“There are game passages that show what our team is capable of. Look at the first half. If you are completing high, which we did last week, but you have to respect what you have to do at the beginning of the half.

“We didn’t do that at a high enough level today that we could earn the right to go out there and put pressure on the opposition and they did.”

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Maguire admitted that his team was gradually struggling to improve and is regressing a few weeks despite going in the right direction.

“It seems like we take a few steps forward and then we take a few steps back, but that’s part of where we are right now,” Maguire said.

“To be able to develop the long game and build a really strong, robust unit.”

However, Maguire insists his team can play finals in 2022.

“Yes, I do,” Maguire said when asked if the Tigers could show up in September.

“We win every game and we’re going to go out every week with the attitude of winning every game, so definitely.”

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