Klemmer claims post-match spat Hastings was overblown
David Klemmer claims his role in a post-match argument with Jackson Hastings has been overblown, with Wests Tigers players adamant their NRL season is not in dire straits.
The Tigers' frustrations at their winless start spilled over after the siren on Sunday, when centre Tommy Talau took exception to ex-teammate Hastings apologising for a high shot that broke his nose.
Talau pushed Hastings away after being approached by the Newcastle half, before a security guard stepped in and Klemmer gave his rival a verbal dressing down.
Klemmer was adamant on Wednesday there was nothing personal about the matter after his club swap with Hastings over the off-season, and that he had done nothing wrong.
"I don't know the bloke," Klemmer said.
"It's just one of those things, I was looking out for my mate and my mate didn't want to go out there and talk.
"So I just intervened and cut it out. It was nothing that bad."
When asked if he thought the incident required him to step in or was confrontation enough, Klemmer was adamant he was in the right.
"The security guard stepped in. I just went over," the prop said.
"It was pretty harmless. It might have looked a different way, but there was nothing in it."
The matter summed up the Tigers' hapless start to the season, with two losses at Leichhardt Oval and Sunday's coming against a severely-depleted Knights.
Fullback Daine Laurie, second-rower Isaiah Papali'i and bench hooker Jake Simpkin all join Talau in missing this weekend against Canterbury at Belmore.
Star five-eighth Adam Doueihi also has an injury concern, after he sat out the end of training on Wednesday with foot bruising.
The Tigers look a long way from the team whose attack gave fans genuine hope in the last week of trials at Belmore three-and-a-half weeks ago.
But they insist they can recover.
"That day we didn't drop too much and were pretty patient with the footy," Klemmer said.
"There was a lot of completions, our defence was pretty good.
"We're not helping ourselves, we're not holding on to the football. You can't win footy games if you drop it. It's big for us to hold it and complete."
Senior player Alex Twal also insisted things were not as dim now as early last season, when the Tigers started 0-5 and coach Michael Maguire was ultimately sacked.
"It's definitely not what it was last year. I can assure you that," Twal said.
"We haven't hit panic stations. We had a lot of new recruits, we're still building.
"We've just got to complete. We haven't been completing our sets."