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They're still a long shot to make the finals but Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire certainly has not given up hope of September football.

"If we build on this week anything can happen in the game as we know," Maguire said.

In-form five-eighth Adam Doueihi kept the Tigers' slim finals hopes flickering, guiding his team to an unconvincing 28-16 win over Canterbury on Sunday.

In a game marked by poor options and execution in attack from both sides, Doueihi's strong all-around game which included over 150 run metres, one try assist and a perfect six-from-six off the kicking tee proved decisive.

His fellow playmakers Luke Brooks, Moses Mbye and Jacob Liddle all came to the party with one try-assist each but had glaring errors in their games that gave their opponents opportunities.

The result keeps them two wins outside the finals zone but also does not lift them out of the bottom four thanks to the Warriors' win earlier in the round.

"We've got to look at that game and take the good bits out of it. There were a lot of strong efforts," Maguire said.

"Luciano [Leilua] played well for us, he cleaned up a fair bit of ball at times. Our forwards got a roll forward, if they stick to that they can put pressure on opposition.

"We've got to be better in areas but I thought there was individuals throughout the game that stood up for us."

Air Maumalo grabs his double

Winning ugly is enough when you're walking the proverbial finals tightrope, in Maguire's opinion.

"It was a scrappy win but getting two points, especially after the last couple of weeks when we've shown signs and let things go, it was good to see the boys dig in and get to the end of the game," he said.

"Scrappy as it was, they know they can be a lot better. There's a lot of areas around completions and building pressure which we've spoken about but to get the two points is what we came here for."

The Bulldogs again fought hard but took confusing options in attack that asked far too little of the Tigers defence, with their first wooden spoon since 2008 now an all but mathematical certainty.

Coach Trent Barrett will also face a nervous wait with props Dylan Napa and Jack Hetherington placed on report, with the latter sin-binned in the final five minutes of the match.

Leilua finished with 10 busts and four offloads and he overcame an error in the opening set to crash over from a Jacob Liddle offload just four minutes into the match.

Mbye floats a pass across to Maumalo

Some individual brilliance from Nick Meaney levelled the scores on the 10-minute mark as he dashed from dummy half, beating three of the Tigers' starting middles before passing to a supporting Jake Averillo then backing up again to finish the try.

The Tigers came up with two poor errors inside their own end but the Bulldogs' lacklustre attack wasn't able to take advantage and instead of was a lovely Moses Mbye long ball to a hard-running Ken Maumalo that created next points.

Maumalo made it a seven-minute double when he soared above Corey Allan to latch onto a Luke Brooks cross-field bomb in the 30th minute.

The Dogs had the final say of the half with a great angled run from Corey Waddell getting them back within six at the break.

Meaney starts and finishes some Bulldogs magic!

Doueihi's boot added two points soon after the resumption when Bailey Biondi-Odo was pinged for an escort and that same boot created more points with a pinpoint bomb for Tommy Talau to score.

After a sequence of repeat sets on the Tigers line, a lovely catch-and-pass from Will Hopoate got Corey Allan over in the corner to get his side back within 10 points with 15 minutes to play.

That was as close as they got, with the final points of the contest again coming from the boot of Doueihi as he added another penalty goal from Hetherington's late infringement to seal the 28-16 result.

Press Conference: Bulldogs v Wests Tigers - Round 21, 2021

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