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Aaron Woods was proud to make his captaincy debut alongside fellow junior Chris Lawrence, despite the Tigers being on the wrong end of a 24-point hiding from the Roosters.
Wests Tigers coach Mick Potter has refused to blame a highly inexperienced playmaking rotation for his side's 30-6 loss to the Roosters on Friday night but is looking forward to welcoming some injured players back for the Round 10 match against Cronulla.

The Tigers were without hooker Robbie Farah, five-eighth Braith Anasta, fullback James Tedesco and stand-in skipper Liam Fulton for the match, meaning their 1-6-7-9 combination of Kurtis Rowe, Blake Austin, Luke Brooks and Joel Luani went into the game with just 35 NRL games between them.

That represents a huge gulf in experience when compared to Anthony Minichiello, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce and Jake Friend, who boast 672 games - not counting several dozen Test, Origin and other representative games.

"We're not making excuses," Potter said. "The players out there were good enough to come up with the plays – we need to be better. The other team are the premiers and they probably just bustled us around a little bit."

Potter said the team had an opportunity but wasn't able to execute the way they wanted.

With Farah, Anasta and Fulton all out, it handed local juniors Chris Lawrence and Aaron Woods to make their joint captaincy debuts, with Woods saying the Roosters had been better at taking their opportunities.

"[It was] probably the one per centers each set, we were slacking off a bit and the Roosters took their opportunities. They were going through [the middle] too soft and they burned us each time."

Potter said he was expecting injured second-rower Suauso Sue to be available next week, and Anasta is also a chance of being back in Round 10.

He said there is no suggestion Anasta may struggle to dislodge the promising Blake Austin from the No.6 jersey when he returns.

"He did some good things Blake but there are some things for him to work on as well," Potter said.

Of the concussion to winger Pat Richards, and the club facing a $20,000 fine for mishandling a previous concussion to Liam Fulton, Potter was straight-faced.

"We'll go through the procedure that they've got in place, we'll tick the boxes and make sure it's all right, we'll do the right things and the protocols that are set by the NRL – we're happy to do that."

With the side to face Cronulla next week – a team that famously boasts a large contingent of ex-Wests Tigers players including Chris Heighington, Beau Ryan, Blake Ayshford, Andrew Fifita and Bryce Gibbs – Woods said it was a game they'd circled on their calendars.

It was almost one more ex-Tiger in Benji Marshall facing his old club next week but the 2005 premiership-winner has signed with the Dragons.

"Running into our old mates, these are the games we get up for," Woods said.

"It would have been good fun to play against Benj, good luck with him to the Dragons but there are still a lot of other players at the Sharks we look forward to playing against."

And of the chance to captain the club he loved growing up?

"It was pretty cool man!" Woods laughed to "It was good to do it with Chrissy [Lawrence] as well, it was good for him to get there too."
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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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