Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
In recent weeks the Wests Tigers have seemed destined for the wooden spoon as they sat in last place on the ladder.
Without a win in sight and a large gap between them and the Gold Coast Titans on for and against they were in dire straits.
The Tigers loss after full-time to the North Queensland Cowboys in round 19 made it seem as if they were cursed and doomed to take out the NRL’s most unenviable prize.
However, the Tigers caused a huge upset on Saturday night when they defeated the Brisbane Broncos 32-18 in Brisbane.
Not only are the Tigers now two points above the Titans on the ladder but now also have a better for and against than their rivals for the wooden spoon.
For the first time in several weeks this sees the Titans receive the title of wooden spoon favourites and the way things are looking they will not be rid of that tag for the reason of season 2022.
On Saturday afternoon the Titans lost 26-24 against the Canberra Raiders and made a shocking 15 errors in the process.
Under pressure head coach Justin Holbrook expressed his frustration in the post-match press conference.
“We let too many soft tries in and were chasing the game at the end. It’s the same issues – inexperience in key positions hurting us that’s what’s costing us,” Holbrook said.
“Inexperience is what we’ve got, we can’t change that now but we can change it for next year, we’ve just got to get on with it.
“We want to get better and shuffling guys around makes it hard but I can’t keep leaving it the way it is and we’ll have to make another few changes again next week.
“That’s what we’ve got to do at the back end of the year now, get guys experience and exposure.”
On Friday the Titans travel to Melbourne to take on the Storm who have just managed to return to winning ways and the top four with a win over the New Zealand Warriors.
Melbourne are looking to build momentum heading into the finals and will most certainly not be easy beats for the Titans.