Sport Honesty session inspires Tigers, for now
How NRL outcast can spark Wests Tigers
Jackson Hastings left the NRL in ugly circumstances in 2018. Now he is back and two greats are tipping him to shine.
Honesty sessions are a cure-all for struggling NRL teams and while it inspired a win for the Wests Tigers, it remains to be seen what impact it has on their season.
Following a demoralising loss to Manly - their sixth from seven games which stirred up pressure on coach Michael Maguire - Tigers players organised a meet up to hash out what was going wrong.
Held on Monday last week, the group then took to training with a renewed sense of accountability to each other which resulted in Sunday's 16-8 win over the Dragons.
Maguire insists there is light at Tigers
Under-pressure Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire insists the NRL club have taken the right steps with targeted move towards a younger roster.Maguire was on Sunday night thrown into the spotlight after the Tigers' sixth loss in seven games, with their 40-6 defeat to Manly making for their worst start to a season.
"You need stuff like that, honesty builds clubs and we had some of those conversations and nitpicked out a few things we thought we could improve," said five-eighth Adam Doueihi.
"Resilience was a big piece of that, and obviously defence.
"Honest conversations are good to have and I know I took a lot out of it.
"The boys did too."
Reports that Maguire's job was on the line after a shocking 1-6 start to the year stunned the playing group into action.
Doueihi is close with Maguire and said the speculation hurt him.
"To see the stuff people have said about Madge has hurt me personally and I know it hurt the boys," he said.
"To come out (against the Dragons) and play for him, play for our club and play for our crowd was a big effort from us."
As relieving as Sunday's win was, without consistent improvement the pressure will continue to be heaped on the Tigers who are desperate to break an NRL finals drought.
"That's been our biggest problem (inconsistency)," Doueihi said.
"You're only as good as your past performance and if we don't back it up this week it means nothing."
The Tigers will face Gold Coast in Campbelltown on Saturday looking to put together two wins back-to-back for the first time since early last year.
They may need to do it without try-scorer Tommy Talau, who is facing a two-week suspension for a shoulder charge on Dragons centre Jack Bird.
The 21-year-old can escape with a one-week ban if he takes the early guilty plea on Tuesday.
Maguire's shock shake-up draws support .
Rugby league guru Phil Gould has backed Michael Maguire's stunning rejig of his Wests Tigers side for Magic Round.Maguire has moved Doueihi from five-eighth despite the fact the 22-year-old has arguably been the best of the Tigers during their underwhelming start to the season.