AAP Rugby

Tigers target leaky defence in NRL

By AAP Newswire

The Wests Tigers have put their leaky defence under the spotlight with statistics showing they're now letting in twice as many points as their flying start to the NRL season.

After a mid-season break, the Tigers are hoping they've turned over a new leaf after a disastrous couple of months which has seen them all but drop out of finals contention.

The Tigers were shaping as the fairytale story of this year after jumping out of the blocks with five wins from their first six on the back of some resilient defence.

According to Fox Sports Stats, the Tigers were the competition's best defensive side in the first six rounds, conceding just 11.2 points per game.

In the 10 games since then, they've let in twice that - 22.8 per game.

As well, in the same period, they've gone from conceding three linebreaks per game to 5.6 per game.

After leaking 102 points in their last three starts - losses to Cronulla, Canberra and Gold Coast - the Tigers have sought to put a stop to their defensive woes.

"A lot of it comes down to our defence," Tigers centre Esan Marsters said.

"We got criticised in the first couple of weeks about our attack and then we went the other way - our attack went up and our defence went down. Hopefully we can get back on track."

Heading into Sunday's clash with St George Illawarra, they are six points behind the eighth-placed Broncos. Another loss would spell the end of their faint finals hopes.

The team held an honesty session following training on Tuesday in which the side's defensive problems were laid bare.

Marsters said the playing group had put a renewed emphasis on their defence and getting back to what they were doing in the first month-and-a-half.

"We had just a few missed tackles in the first couple of rounds," Marsters said.

"A lot of that was people covering each other, that's what we want to work on - just having each other's back.

"Hopefully if we can do that at training, it can reflect on the field."