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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Tigers players on notice after Cleary blow-up

Wests Tigers players are taking ownership after their loss to Parramatta on Sunday which resulted in a rare blow-up from their uber-calm coach Ivan Cleary.
The crestfallen players conceded the 24-22 loss at ANZ Stadium on Sunday was their own doing rather than the previous week's two-point loss to Newcastle, which they say was a result of the Knights' strong play down the stretch.
David Nofoaluma said it was important for the team to address the narrow defeats in their video session on Tuesday morning.
"On the weekend we beat ourselves and he [Ivan Cleary] made that clear. That is the most frustrated I've seen him [in the sheds after the loss] and I could understand where he came from," Nofoaluma said.
"It does mean something when he gets frustrated because you never see it. I think at one stage after the game he wanted to throw his chair or kick something but him being cool and calm he held himself together.
"Why he was so frustrated was because the game was in our hands and we kept turning the ball over to Parramatta and at times we should have executed plays [in attack].
"We can't just move on from that game, we need to own up to it and take accountability and learn from it so it doesn't reoccur."
Round nine will present another difficult task for the Tigers as they make their way to Mt Smart Stadium to take on the Warriors, who will also be looking to right some wrongs from their round-eight 50-10 thrashing from Melbourne.
"It's going to be a good clash this weekend. I think both teams are going to be firing up," Nofoaluma said.
"After their game against Melbourne [they] would have been disappointed and I think off the back of that they are going to come out wanting to win and we're in the same boat."
Tigers lock Matt Eisenhuth gained regular minutes at the back end of last season and this year with Elijah Taylor and Russell Packer out injured, the 25-year-old has secured a spot in the starting side.
Eisenhuth has gained confidence from Cleary's belief in him after taking several seasons to break into the Telstra Premiership ranks.
"Ivan has instilled confidence in me, giving me the regular spot," Eisenhuth said.
"The regular first grade towards to back end of last year helped me, giving me a bit more confidence going into this year and getting a spot round one.
"Week after week I'm feeling more confidence and I feel like I'm contributing more to the team and playing some good footy at the moment.
"Starting is a bit different than coming off the bench but I feel like I'm handling it alright and I got a good group of boys around me that are making my job a bit easier."