Mitch Moses says the Wests Tigers' recent strong run of form is a result of the players realising what they're capable of and believing they belong in the NRL top eight.
Speaking ahead of what will remarkably be the 21-year-old's 50th NRL game – having missed just one match since his debut in Round 17, 2014 – Moses said the milestone felt like it had come up quickly but hopes there are plenty more games in him.
The Tigers have won four of six matches since being towelled up by this weekend's opponents Canterbury in Round 10 and now sit just one win behind the eighth-placed Warriors. A win this weekend coupled with next weekend's bye would put them in a great position to consolidate a place in the eight in the following rounds.
In their most recent loss – to the Storm a fortnight ago – the Tigers became the second team to put 20 points on Melbourne this season, the first to do so while Storm's Origin players were present, the first to do so in Melbourne and the first team to put 20 on Melbourne in a single half.
That they were able to hit back from a 26-0 half-time deficit to almost steal a win highlights both the need to start better and the fact they can attack even the best teams.
"We took a lot of confidence out of that [Storm] game. We thought we started pretty well early on, [then] about 15-20 minutes in, we just started making mistakes and we didn't build pressure and you can't do that to a team like Melbourne," Moses said.
"We gave them too much of a lead to try and come back. We took confidence out of that second half and we knew if we completed we'd stay in the game. We completed at something like 96 per cent in the second half. It showed on the score board what we can do when we completed so that will be our main thing this week."
Moses said there was no doubting there was a new-found confidence within the club, pointing to last week's come-from-behind win against Penrith after slipping behind 14-2 early on the back of very little possession.
"We were pretty happy with our defence [last week]. Even though they scored 26 points, those two late tries we weren't happy with how they scored them but that was because they were just offloading at will," he said.
"We were just so tired towards the end of the game we just couldn't shut the gate when they were scoring tries but we were really happy with our defence.
"They had 70 per cent of the ball in the first 20 minutes and we were still only a try behind or something, then we went into half-time leading. We took plenty of confidence out of that knowing that we didn't have any ball down there."
Moses said everyone at the club now believes the team can finish the season in the top eight and play finals football.
"In past games if we'd dropped to 14-2 early on [like last week against Penrith] we'd have dropped our bundle and things would have got out of hand but we stuck behind the line and we knew that we just needed to get the ball and once we got the ball we'd get back in the game," he said.
"I think everyone's just realising what we can actually do now, that we can actually match sides up the top now."