Wests Tigers play 'waiting game' this weekend
Ivan Cleary offered a cheeky comment towards his old club with the Wests Tigers still alive in the finals race but left waiting on results after their 22-20 thriller against Manly on Thursday night.
Cleary's men are now two points outside the Telstra Premiership top eight and are heavily reliant on other results going their way to sneak a passage into September football.
Either the Warriors or Broncos need to drop their final two games of the regular season, while the Wests Tigers need to back up their efforts with victory over South Sydney next week.
But the equation is simple should the Warriors and Broncos both win their clashes this weekend – the joint venture's finals hopes are over for a seventh year in a row.
"There's a certain No.7 over in Auckland who knows what he's going to do," Cleary said, referring to son Nathan and the Panthers, who play the Warriors on Friday night.
"Hopefully they can do their job over there. I'll sit there and watch it, what can you do? Just cross your fingers.
"It's great we're still alive at this point."
A five-minute burst that included three tries midway through the second half did enough to ensure the side overcome a gallant Manly outfit.
The Sea Eagles had a chance to level the game on the siren, but a long-range penalty goal from Daly Cherry-Evans fell short – with Cleary metres away from the attempt after watching the game from the sidelines.
"Honestly I thought it was too far but he nailed it," Cleary said.
"If he kicked that, I'm not sure of Pythagoras but that's a long way. I thought he hit it perfectly, nice to see it go short.
"There was a period we were up 22-8 and they had three or four sets in a row. When they get some ball they're dangerous. It was just a scrap to hang on and win."
Cleary now turns his attention onto South Sydney, who the side defeated 22-6 in round 19.
He hoped the chance for the finals would be left in his own team's hands.
"It definitely helps if you've beaten sides before, we've showed we can beat the best teams," Cleary said.
"We're going to have to play a fair bit better though. For now we just sit back and see what happens and we'll know what's in front of us."
Wests Tigers five-eighth Benji Marshall hobbled from the ground with a leg injury in the only concern for the club leading into next week's clash with the Rabbitohs.
The Tigers also farewelled winger Kevin Naiqama (St Helens) and forward Sauaso Sue (Bulldogs) at the club's last home game for 2018.