Tigers adamant they have clawed back NRL credibility
Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens insists his side has won back the respect of opponents after making South Sydney work hard for their latest NRL victory.
Beaten 20-0 by the Rabbitohs on Saturday, the Tigers had a right to feel as if they were better than the scoreline suggested after staying in the contest for 70 minutes.
After suffering their worst start to a season in 15 years, the Tigers have been genuinely competitive over the past five weeks.
They pushed Parramatta and Manly after their bye round before beating Penrith and St George Illawarra leading into the Souths clash.
It remained at 8-0 until late in the second half before the Rabbitohs scored two tries in the final nine minutes to seal the win.
And as far as Sheens is concerned, that is a sign of genuine improvement.
"We have been doing that for the last five weeks," Sheens said.
"We've had five weeks of staying in the game, being close. Really working hard for each other and and gaining respect from the opposition in that regard.
"Obviously, only the two wins that's the problem and we need to win more games. Everyone knows that.
"But first things first you need to be in the game, you need to be respected.
"They kicked a goal to go to 8-0 because they were worried about us. So that's a good start for us anyway."
Captain Apisai Koroisau believes the Tigers are playing with far more confidence now than a month ago.
Despite that, the Tigers remain rooted to the bottom of the ladder and with a long road ahead to be where they want to be.
They have scored the least amount of points of any team this season, albeit while their defence has improved considerably in the past month.
"Obviously we need to be able to score some points," Sheens said.
"The effort that we've been having in the yardage and the field position we're earning ... has been very good at the moment."