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The Wests Tigers started swiftly against the Eels at Campbelltown last night, but their fancy free attack soon took a back seat to the defensive struggles that have plagued them throughout the season.
Tonight on NRL Daily, hosts John Gibbs and Joel Caine analyse the Tigers' finals chances with a defence that let in four unanswered tries to the Eels in the first half.
“Some of their defence was woeful,” says Gibbs. “It’s going to be a photo finish, but I don’t think the Tigers will make the eight.
“They are a lot better placed today than they were last week but to be honest I find it staggering that they’ve managed to secure the eighth position.
“The fact is they are in the eight now and it’s theirs to lose. I’m just worried that I didn’t see enough from the Wests Tigers defensively to suggest their going to stay there.”
Gibbs’s concerns over the Tigers' soft middle even led him to comparisons with Winter Olympics gold medallist Steven Bradbury, saying of the Tigers that “everyone in front of them fell over and now they have a chance.”
Joel Caine believes the Tigers' secret to winning lies with Benji Marshall’s mentality.
“If Benji ever publically bags himself, expect him to go berserk the following week and guide his side to a big win,” said Caine, who also believes the performance of rookie Marika Koroibete means the Tigers will have a big Fijian on their wing next season and his name won’t be Lote Tuqiri.
Do you think the Tigers will make the top eight this season? Let us know your thoughts on twitter @NRL_Daily.
Also on tonight’s show, referees co-coach Bill Harrigan phones the studio to run us through the big calls from Round 22 and John Gibbs awards the coveted ‘Golden Gibber’.
Get all this and more in tonight's episode of NRL Daily, the only NRL show that's on every night of the week.
Stream it on the NRL.com homepage from 7:00pm tonight, watch it on the official NRL mobile site (Telstra customers only. Action Pack required. Click here for more details) or Telstra T-BOX. You can also watch the best NRL Daily videos on your iPhone with the official NRL iPhone App (Official Pass required. Click here for more details).