Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Last week the North Queensland Cowboys earned their billing as favourites for the 2022 NRL wooden spoon but responded well by dominating the Canberra Raiders on Saturday night and the following day a new candidate emerged.
The Wests Tigers have failed to make any real impact in the NRL for the past ten years, failing to make the finals at all during this period and finishing in the bottom four on five occasions.
Former premiership-winning coach Tim Sheens was brought back to the club over the offseason as their Director of Football along with multiple signings in a bid to save Michael Maguire’s job and see the Tigers start to climb up the ladder.
Round one was a decent enough start for the Tigers as they put on a competitive performance against competition heavyweights the Melbourne Storm but lost in the end.
Many people began to change their tune in the club following this game and some had even tipped them to defeat the Newcastle Knights, who were coming off of a huge victory against the Sydney Roosters.
However, the Tigers ended up displaying what may have been the worst form we have seen from any club so far in 2022.
The back five combined for a total of ten errors and seven missed tackles while a usually sound forward pack saw only Luciano Leilua run for over 100 metres in an abysmal effort from the Tigers.
Star signing Jackson Hastings was close to his side’s best player but is now set to miss three weeks of action through suspension after a dangerous tackle on Newcastle’s Tex Hoy.
Club legend Benji Marshall gave the Tigers performance a scathing review following the game on Fox League.
“The completion rate was below 60 per cent,” said Marshall.
“You can’t win any game like that.
“From an effort point of view, it wasn’t there. It wasn’t first-grade standard.”
Tigers star facing three week ban for ‘unnecessary’ dangerous throw 🧐🚫
— Fox League (@FOXNRL) March 20, 2022
We really could see the Tigers start this season 0-5, especially after what we saw from them against the Knights yesterday.
Next week the Tigers face the New Zealand Warriors on Friday night in a game that they are a good chance of winning if the side from the first half against Melbourne turns up, followed by a trip to the Gold Coast for a Thursday night clash with the Titans that will be a little more difficult for them, then finally they will have a tough task in two Sunday’s time when the Tigers travel to Cronulla to take on the Sharks.
It’s only early days, but after round two the wooden spoon goes to the Wests Tigers.