Aaron Woods says there is no need for a roster cleanout as the Wests Tigers try to continue an end-of-season form surge.
By their own admission, the Tigers have been one of the disappointments of the NRL season.
But after sitting at the bottom of the table for most of the year, the Tigers have managed to improve their position on the premiership ladder with two spirited wins.
Their victories over Canberra and Melbourne have been a vindication for coach Jason Taylor who has stressed patience and insisted there were positive signs despite his side being out of the finals race.
Manly and Newcastle – who the Tigers take on at Campbelltown on Saturday – have already signalled their intentions for a roster overhaul in the off-season.
Woods says the Tigers are in a different position.
“A lot of the blokes know their role in the team now, as you can see from the way we’re performing,” Woods said.
“It’s just going to take a little bit of time. We had a coach come in with some new structures.
“The boys were a bit locked up in their structures and thought they had to play everything to the structure but JT (Taylor) opened us up as we went through the year.
“That’s something we’ve got to keep working on, work hard in the pre-season and start next season with a win.”
Should the Tigers beat the Knights, it will all but kill off any fear of them finishing last.
Woods says they’re too good to finish with the wooden spoon, pointing to wins over Canterbury, South Sydney and Melbourne as proof of their quality.
“We’ve shown in patches throughout the year that we can mix it with the good sides but it’s just not good enough,” Woods said.
“We’ve had so many games where we just couldn’t put teams away in the end so our biggest downfall is just switching off in the last 10 or 20 minutes and the other team sort of ran away with it.”
STATS THAT MATTER
* The Tigers have conceded 157 penalties this season, the most of any team
* Newcastle have conceded more tries (4.7 per game) and more linebreaks (5.8 per game) than any other team this season
* The Knights’ record away from home has been abysmal, losing seven straight, with six of those by 14 points or more
* James Tedesco has the most tackle busts in the competition (131), made the most linebreaks for a fullback (17) and is one of only two players with double figures for both tries and try assists.