"The Wests Tigers are always in the f**king game, get it into your minds." So said Tigers coach Michael Maguire back in the now infamous 2022 Wild Wests: Tales from Tigertown documentary that arguably caused more damage than good for a club never far from a bad headline or a caustic meme.
Sadly for Maguire, the Tigers were rarely in a game. They won just 29 of their 80 matches under his watch before he was shown the door in early June.
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Convenient fall guy Brett Kimmorley was ushered in as interim boss and collected a wooden spoon along with his severance pay until quietly repatriated to the club's inaugural NRLW head coaching position. The Tim Sheens-Benji Marshall-Robbie Farah coaching combo will officially launch in a few weeks' time and already the talk is big and expectations even bigger.
In an expansive interview with Nine newspapers, Sheens declared: "I promise you if we lose games, we won't get beat.
"People say, 'Oh, what does that mean?' It means we will be having a go right until the end of the game."
While you could reasonably argue Sheens is simply doling out some summer confidence to fans and publicly putting his players on notice to the new level of expectation at Concord, there's a risk these sorts of statements can blow up in your face.
Bulldogs quietly building a team
Not far away at Canterbury – a club in a similar predicament to the Tigers in recent years – you've seen a lot of hard work but not heard a great deal.
The Bulldogs know they've assembled a good roster and grabbed one of the best young coaches in the game, but they've achieved nothing.
The only talk that matters can be registered in competition points.
Talk is cheap until that point.
The Dogs have a Cronulla 2022 feel to them, the Tigers not so much despite a decent recruitment drive which has netted them Api Koroisau, John Bateman, Isaiah Papali’i and Dave Klemmer.
They will improve but to what extent?
As one fan wrote on Twitter: "It’s just blah blah blah until they actually start winning games consistently, which means winning at least 60% of their games in a season."
For a club that has not made the top eight since 2011, Tigers fans would bite your hand off in their eagerness to accept a 50-50 split in the win-loss column.
Just having a go won't cut it anymore.
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