Cleary says room for improvement
Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary felt his team can only improve on their 10-8 defeat against the Melbourne Storm on Saturday night and deserved their victory.
The visitors were down 8-6 with less than five minutes to play but managed to scramble a try to halfback Luke Brooks, then stave off a last-minute fightback by the Storm.
''Stoked,'' Cleary said of the performance.
''I thought we deserved the win really. It was obviously a tight game, but up until the [second half] sin bin [of Ben Matulino], we were controlling the second half.
''The first half was a good struggle and a good battle for both teams. It was a tough game and not much given in defence by both teams, hence the penalty goes. The sin bin changed everything.
''Lucky enough the boys just hung in there and got a crack at the end.
''You can't get them all, but lucky enough to get that one.''
As the clock counted down, Cleary felt they may not be able to convert any opportunities as the Storm had the weight of possession near the end.
Match: Storm vs Wests Tigers
Venue: AAMI Park
- Fox League
- LIVE PASS
''I wasn't concerned we wouldn't get a chance, but was a bit worried about the amount of fuel we were using,'' he said.
''It was something like nine penalties in a row. It's probably easy to think down here, against the Storm, they win most games and certainly those tight games.
''It really felt like it could have been their night. But it was sort of like last week a bit where the boys didn't stop, and kept playing to the end.
''We're playing for the eighty minutes, so it's good."
Russell Packer, who was captain for the night, took heart in his side's second gutsy performance in as many weeks.
''We're just fighting hard for each other and playing like a team,'' he said.
''That's one of the big things Ivan drives within our squad is competing all the way to the end and being there when the game's on the line.
''I think we did a good job with that. We faced a lot of adversity in the second half, but kept fighting for each other and found a way to win.''