Tell-all Tigers doco exposes intriguing Michael Maguire reality

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The new documentary shows a side to Tigers coach Michael Maguire that many league may find surprising. Pic: Getty
The new documentary shows a side to Tigers coach Michael Maguire that many league may find surprising. Pic: Getty

Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire might just have ruined his reputation by appearing in the fly-on-the-wall documentary Wild Wests – Tales from Tigerland.

Judging from the first of Fox Sports' four-part series, there's none of the control freak, overbearing, in-your-face, text-sending, half madman Madge we've been led to believe exists.

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Passionate? Yes.Demanding? Yes. Organised and in control? Yes. Too intense? No.

What comes across is Maguire's unrelenting commitment to - and concern for - his players and his belief in them as they negotiate the 2021 season.

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After pushing the Eels all the way in their round four loss, the Tigers coach chokes back tears as he tells his players: "F..king hell, you got me you blokes.

"I just saw the effort out there…it's what we're all about as a team.

"I'm a bit emotional here because the f..ken effort we are putting in is f..ken right.

"I want youse to f..ken believe that."

Seen here, a promotional photo for a new documentary series on the Wests Tigers.
The Tigers and coach Michael Maguire take league fans into their own inner sanctum in the intriguing new documentary series. Pic: Fox Sports

Maguire swears a lot but that comes with the territory when you're coaching the most enigmatic team in the NRL.

He comes across as the right man for this toughest of jobs.

It was a brave decision by the Tigers to allow the Fox cameras unfettered access to their inner-sanctum.

Rugby league clubs are conservative and introverted by nature and fiercely guard their trade secrets.

Ask them what day it is and they ask 'who wants to know?'.

The Tigers are the first club to open themselves up in the rawest possible way and it makes for fascinating viewing.    

It also shows a club comfortable in its own skin and willing to challenge perceptions.

The first episode of Wild Wests – Tales from Tigerland premieres on Foxtel/Kayo at 7.30pm on July 19, with episodes two and three to follow in consecutive weeks (August 9 and 16) following the Olympics. 

The final episode will air Monday, August 30, ahead of the NRL finals.

Rest just making up the numbers

Penrith fans will put up a fair argument, but do we just save time and money and wrap up this Covid-affected season now and hand the trophy to the Melbourne Storm?

Yes, they are that good.

Already without Ryan Papenhuyzen and Harry Grant, the Storm rested Josh Addo-Carr and Christian Welch and had Dale Finucane, Cameron Munster and Felise Kaufusi backing up from Origin III and still belted Newcastle 48-4 on Saturday night. 

Seen here, Melbourne Storm players celebrate during their win over the Newcastle Knights in round 18.
The Melbourne Storm thrashed the Newcastle Knights in round 18 to maintain their position on top of the NRL ladder.

They have won 14 in a row, racking up an astonishing 632 points for the season and passing 40 in 11 of those victories.

Melbourne has scored 116 tries at an average of around eight a game and is on track to blow away several long-standing records.

They are an absolute joy to watch and you just wonder who is capable of stopping them.

The Panthers, with Jarome Luai and Nathan Cleary back, will have a bit to say on that front and the Roosters, Rabbitohs and Eels have all had their moments without really mounting consistently strong cases.

Manly is a team on the rise but the Sea Eagles are not in Melbourne's class.

No-one is.

Lewis loses his cool but not fan support

It seems brain snaps are great for business.

An online petition calling on the Bulldogs to re-sign Lachlan Lewis gathered hundreds of new signatures in the 24 hours after the five-eighth's surprise taekwondo move on Cody Walker.

Pictured here, Bulldogs star Lachlan Lewis is sent to the sin bin against the Rabbitohs.
Lachlan Lewis was sin-binned for his bizarre halftime brain snap against the Rabbitohs. Pic: Getty

We're not sure if that's an endorsement for Lewis or the anti-Walker movement in action, but his stocks have definitely risen.     

Just what Walker said to Lewis to elicit such a response is unclear, but this is rugby league so don’t expect it to take long for all to be revealed.

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

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