Lack of resilience hurting us: Taylor
They started strongly and put 16 points on the competition front-runners in the space of eight minutes in the second half but Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor says it is his team's inability to deal with setbacks that has derailed their season.
One of the most talented – albeit youthful – teams in the competition is mired to the bottom of the ladder with just seven weeks left to play yet showed great courage and skill to fight back from 26-0 down at half-time against the Broncos on Sunday to claw their way back to within 10 points with 28 minutes still to play.
But there were key moments that they let slip through their fingers throughout the course of the 80 minutes and the Broncos showed their premiership credentials by making them pay on each occasion.
Whether it was a Ben Hunt line-break in the sixth minute that led directly to a try or Kyle Lovett being caught on the last tackle just inside Broncos' territory midway through the second half, the Tigers failed to defend their errors time and again.
"One of the things we've been continually talking about from a mental aspect is staying positive through the things that go against us in games and it has been something that has held us back," Taylor said.
"Our two disallowed tries [in the first half] played a part in that, the guys talked about that after the game. We've got to be more resilient in getting over those disappointing decisions.
"My point is that [the tries] didn't happen and we need to respond better to it. We need to stay positive, we need to keep playing and not be running around for the next 10 minutes thinking, 'We should have scored, we should have scored'.
"In the second half we played with some more passing along with the control and I thought what turned the game was a last play when we ran the ball and got tackled 40 metres out from their line.
"Every time we gave the Broncos the ball deep in their half, it made it so much easier for us to defend them and that was the way we were going to get back in the game.
"Ben Hunt early in the game, yeah he's elusive but we had to get him. We had to get him. We had three or four guys have a go at him and we just didn't make that tackle and some of those key tackles that had to be made really turned the screws on us in relation to the scoreboard."
The Tigers traded punches with the highly-fancied Broncos for the opening five minutes before Hunt – with a mid-week rebuke by Wayne Bennett to run the ball more – beat six attempts at tackle before passing to Alex Glenn who sent Lachlan Maranta on a run to the try-line.
"We spoke about it all week; you can't let Ben Hunt play footy," said Tigers prop Aaron Woods.
"We were going all right for the first five [minutes] going set for set with them but you've got to play controlled footy against them and you can't give them anything.
"We turned the ball over or missed a tackle and they just pounced on it whereas we didn't really take our opportunity when we got it until the start of the second half."