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Tamou: Tigers in a groove but a lot to prove against top teams

Wests Tigers skipper James Tamou insists the side has improved but achieved little ahead of their next mission to claim their third straight win for the first time under Michael Maguire this weekend. 

While the external crowd behaviour fallout from the joint venture's win over the Panthers continues, the side's recent 3-2 record after a slow start to the year is more reason for Tamou to be up and about.

It was Tamou's former coach Ivan Cleary, who was subjected to crowd abuse during his first visit back to Leichhardt Oval last week, who last guided a Wests Tigers outfit to three consecutive wins in 2018. 

However, in their way at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday are the Eels, who have won the last six clashes between the clubs. 

Tamou is wary of the next month of the Telstra Premiership if the Tigers are to push on and challenge for the finals.

Match Highlights: Wests Tigers v Panthers

"There was a lot to get up for with the game just gone – the Panthers on top of the table and some of the players here are ex-players like myself," Tamou said on Monday.

"So we can't get too ahead of ourselves after the weekend. But the pleasing thing was going back-to-back and what that does for our confidence moving forward.

"We've had a few tough months, different positional changes and unearthed a couple of debutants but I think we're starting to find our groove.

"We've got to keep growing, we can't just walk around thinking we're going good because we're not, but we're on the right path."

Laurie lifts the Leichhardt crowd early

After their meeting with the Eels this week, the Wests Tigers will face the Storm and Rabbitohs before finishing the State of Origin period with a bye.

"You want to test yourself against the top teams," Tamou said.

"The way we're going it'll be a big test for us. It doesn't get any easier."

Meanwhile, Tamou said his former coach in Cleary will "shrug" off taunts directed at him during last Friday's win after the Leichhardt Oval crowd turned on the ex-Tigers coach.

Tamou expected his former Panthers teammates to "not forget" the result when the two clubs meet again in round 24 but for now has switched his focus to the Eels.

It's understood the Wests Tigers have received requests from the Panthers to investigate claims several visiting fans were also targeted on the suburban hill.

While nothing has formally come of the internal investigations, Tamou believed the overall rivalry building between the two clubs was only good for the game.

Episode 15 - Origin I preview with Slater and Clyde

"It's one of those things, good for the NRL and the fans to get involved like that for the rivalry," he said.

"Obviously they were a bit depleted and all that but they'll use it next game in round 24.

"They'll use that as fuel. They'll take the loss hard and look to go forward again. We'll have to be ready for that when the time comes."

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