Wests Tigers deny crisis meetings after reports coach would be sacked
The Wests Tigers have denied that they are holding crisis talks with the view of axing coach Michael Maguire, despite reports to the contrary.
The Tigers have just one win after seven rounds and already face the prospect of missing the finals for the 10th straight time.
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While the side pushed the Rabbitohs to a golden point thriller last week, the side has been slammed for its performances this season, including a humiliating first half on the day they paid tribute to the late Tommy Raudonikis.
But it was ANZAC Day’s 40-6 loss to the Manly Sea Eagles that appears to be the final straw.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Tigers officials are fed up with the results and have ordered an immediate review.
The report added that there would be a series of crisis meetings over the next 48 hours, with a clause in his recent two-year extension allowing the club to walk away without too much of a financial hit as he has a cap on a potential payout.
But The Daily Telegraph’s Phil Rothfield quoted chairman Lee Hagipantelis, who denied crisis meetings were taking place.
“You can’t guarantee anything. Still, I’m not saying his job is on the line,” he said.
He added that he had spoked to directors at the ground who said they were “grossly disappointed” by the result with Manly but said they wouldn’t panic.
The club also put out a statement.
“Contrary to a media report in the Sydney Morning Herald, Wests Tigers can vehemently deny there are crisis meetings being held at the club,” the statement read.
“Whilst disappointed with recent results, all at Wests Tigers remain firmly united and committed to producing a strong and competitive season together, and ready to get back to work tomorrow in preparation for Round 8.”
The Tigers’ thrashing at the hands of Manly sees them in 14th but only on points differential ahead of Brisbane and Canterbury, despite being the worst defensive team in the league so far this year, having conceded 218 points.
After seven rounds, the 2021 side is the worst defensive side in the club’s history.
There is no job security in NRL coaching.Source:Getty Images
Maguire spoke often last season about changing the culture of the club, but despite the thrashing by the Sea Eagles, he said the club is “building”.
“We can see the team they’re capable of [being] but it’s those ebbs and flows of the game that we just don’t handle. Last week we did, this week we didn’t,” he said.
“We’re building. We’ve changed a little bit of what we’ve probably done over the last six months or eight months with where we’re taking the team.
“We’ve had to look at our recruiting and we’ve looked at our roster and we’re bringing in some younger guys that will learn how to handle those things. We need to learn how to do that very quickly because we’re representing everyone within the club.
“You can see that we’ve got some good talent coming through, but we need to be able to handle those games and learn how to do that.”
But if Maguire was sacked from his role, he wouldn’t be the first this season with Sharks coach John Morris unceremoniously dumped by Cronulla.
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