Tigers look to right the ship at Leichhardt
Wests Tigers players are hoping a return to Leichhardt Oval – the scene of their most recent victory back in Round 2 against Manly – will help them get their season back on track after a run of four losses.
They'll need to do it without captain Aaron Woods who suffered an ankle injury at Newcastle last weekend but the players are backing the new boys – Ava Seumanufagai starting with Jack Buchanan and Joel Edwards on the bench – to fill the breach.
"It'll be great; we had a good win at Leichhardt last time," in-form fullback James Tedesco said.
"We had a pretty good crowd, so on a Sunday arvo (this time) it's probably expected to be a little bit better. Storm are coming off a loss and we're pretty desperate for a win.
"Storm are one of those grinding teams that can grind out another team and get the win. We need to learn quickly from last week."
The attack-minded Tigers have no intention of shelving their attacking philosophy this weekend against Melbourne.
"Last year at Leichhardt we scored a lot of points on them and got the win," Tedesco said.
"So we know we can score those points, we know we can score those tries. It's just about not going for that big play every time and having a bit of composure when we're down their end."
Hooker Robbie Farah – back playing 80 minutes last week after an early-season knee injury – agreed the Tigers' recent woes were about execution, not mindset.
"It's just about coming up with the right play at the right time of the game for what the team needs," Farah told NRL.com.
"We've probably got the balance a bit wrong the last few weeks and we just need to execute a bit better when we do try and come up with those plays.
"[Attack and defence] go hand in hand; our attack's been putting our defence under a lot of pressure with the amount of errors and dropped ball we've been coming up with, which gives teams opportunities to get down your end of the field and put you under pressure. So for us we need to attack well and complete our sets and make it difficult for opposition teams.
"We know we can defend – any team struggles to defend back-to-back sets on their own line so for us we have to minimise the opportunity we give to other teams."
The 32-year-old Leichhardt junior was particularly excited to get back out on his home ground given his delayed start to the year means he is still yet to win a game this season.
"I'm looking forward to it. For me especially, I missed the first game there against Manly this year so I'm champing at the bit to get out there," Farah said.
"Sunday afternoon footy at Leichhardt Oval, there's nothing better, I love the place and I just hope we can get the win. I haven't won a game this year so it'd be nice to chalk up a win and get back in the winner's circle after four straight losses."
Farah also backed the new faces in the forward pack to rise to the occasion in Woods's absence.
"The guys that have come in are experienced. They've both played a lot of first grade which is a boost for us, it's always a lot more difficult bringing in a rookie that has never played a game before so those boys will know what to expect and we'll be looking for them to pick up the workload that we miss from Woodsy," Farah said.
Playmaker Mitch Moses – who has already refused to contemplate the idea of toning down the team's attacking style – said both teams would be desperate after Round 6 defeats.
"They'll be desperate for a win. They probably won't be happy with the way they played on Monday night," Moses said.
"So we're desperate as well, we lost four straight.
"There's no better place to change it than Leichhardt on a Sunday arvo. Hopefully we come full guns blazing and get a win."