Wests Tigers 2021 Season Preview



TK's take on the Wests Tigers:


STRENGTHS

- Michael Maguire. A premiership winning coach who isn't scared to crack the whip on under performing stars.

- A nice mix of experience and youth. Can the influence of a proven leader like James Tamou finally be the guidance for volatile stars like Joey Leilua and James Roberts.

- A nice crop of young stars led by Stefano Utoliamanu, Tommy Talau, Reece Hoffman, Paul Momirovski, Jake Simpkin, Shaun Blore and Jacob Liddle all looking to nail a starting spot and big minutes. But will Maguire pull the triggor and back his young stars over more experienced choices. If the mail is right and Josh Mansour is on the way to the Tigers will this be another roadblock for the young outside backs.


WEAKNESSES

- The lack of a genuine super star with proven consistency. We have heard time and time again of the potential of players like Luke Brooks and Adam Doueihi but it's time for them to step up and stop shooting blanks.

- Spine is a concern. Two inexperienced hookers in Liddle and Simpkin competing to replace Harry Grant. Moses Mbye on track to play fullback but what exactly is Mbye's strongest position, given his versatility it could be jersey 14.


OPPORTUNITIES

- So much competition for spots we could see some key cheapie pick ups from the Tigers. Rumours out of the Tigers is that Blore is pushing for a right edge spot ahead of the consistent Luke Garner. Blore isn't used to playing big minutes (he averaged 21 pts from an average 25 minutes from 5 games). His longest game was 46 minutes against the Eels where he scored 33 points and who could forget him standing up to Eels enforcer Nathan Brown and getting the better of him.

-Stefano should also be well priced and they paid big money to bring him from the Eels. Brad Fittler has likened him to Payne Haas so he could be the cheapie prospect of the year. He only played 3 games averaging 8 minutes for 9.3 points so he does have a great points to minutes ratio.

- Underperforming players like Brooks, Joey Leilua, Roberts should be well priced moving into 2021. Could be a nice addition with a significant upside.


VERDICT - Still lack the killer to be a top 4 team. Shaking the tag of a 9th place finish should be their first priority. Can see a 6th-10th place finish for the Tigers, they have great competition for spots across the roster.


Where do you see the Tigers finishing in 2021?