Madge deserves to stay at the Tigers

It’s no secret that the Wests Tigers have performed well below the norm over the past few years, and with just 26 wins in 68 appearances since the start of the 2019 season, there is increasing pressure on one man: Wests Tigers head coach Michael. Maguire.

Maguire, 47, coached 68 games for the Tigers, with a lackluster winning percentage of just 38 percent, and that dismal record has sparked an internal club review.

Maguire, who played for seven years with the Canberra Raiders and Adelaide Rams as a center, winger and fullback, has faced increased pressure this season and is currently awaiting internal review findings to see s ‘he keeps his job.

Outside of the Wests Tigers, Maguire has shown a clear coaching ability, coaching the Wigan Warriors and South Sydney Rabbitohs ahead of the Tigers, as well as a small stint as a New Zealand coach.

In Wigan, Maguire showed his potential early on by winning the Rugby League Week Coach of the Month in February of his first season, as well as guiding Wigan to the League Leaders Shield in 2010, while also leading the standings with Wigan for the first time in ten years.

Madge also took the Warriors to their first Super League Grand Final in seven years in 2010, as well as winning the 2010 Coach of the Year. Wigan won the 2010 Super League Grand Final and the Final of the 2010 Super League. Challenge Cup 2011 before Maguire announced his resignation. and trains the Rabbitohs of South Sydney.

(Photo by Matt King / Getty Images)

In his first two years of training with the Bunnies, Maguire took them to two back-to-back finals, each time missing the one-game grand finale, and in 2014 won the NRL Premier over the Bulldogs. of Canterbury-Bankstown.

It was no surprise to many that Maguire was able to take Souths as far as his previous coaching record had shown he was capable of such achievements; however, that was a downtrend from here on, with Maguire being fired from his Souths head coach position at the end of the 2017 season, even though he had two seasons to run on his. contract.

Following the 2018 NRL season, Maguire was appointed head coach of the Wests Tigers from 2019 to the end of 2021, with his contract extended until the end of 2023 in December 2020. Madge has started his coaching tenure with the Tigers well, finishing ninth. in 2018, but there was a descent from there, with back-to-back top-six rankings in 2020 and 2021, leading to an internal club review.

Despite his record with the Tigers, Maguire has made it clear that he can coach, with a similar or even better record than current Penrith Panthers coach Ivan Cleary, before his return to the Chocolate Soldiers.

Cleary, who coached the Warriors and made his first stint with the Panthers before the Tigers, coached the Tigers for two years in 2017 and 2018 before being sacked and replaced by Maguire. Cleary, who has struggled in all three teams he coached previously, has been offered another chance at the Panthers where they reached the grand final in 2020, and is looking to do the same in 2021.

Ivan Cleary

(Photo by Ian Hitchcock / Getty Images)

Cleary only had a 42% winning percentage at the Tigers, which is similar to Maguire, returned to the Panthers where he currently has a 73% winning percentage, with a much better playing list and experience. It is certainly not a coincidence.

Certainly a coach plays an important role in the way the team plays and their ability to win, but so do the players. Wests has had only one home state representative each year since 2017, including Harry Grant, who was on loan from the Melbourne Storm.

Compare that to Cleary’s 2021 team Penrith Panthers who had seven reps in the Origin series. How is Maguire supposed to be competitive against teams like the Panthers when the Tigers are clearly under-represented in terms of elite and above average quality players?

As seen in the Fox Sports documentary series Tales of Tiger Town, Maguire knows what he’s doing and deserves a real hit with a lower squad as he can surely raise them with the right staff around him, these being other coaches and more experienced and better players.

Although Maguire is under so much pressure and the extension he signed at the end of 2020 is in question, Tigers president Lee Hagipantelis backed Maguire saying the struggling coach was essential to ensure “stability.” of the joint venture, defend the board’s decision to extend it.

Senior players such as James Tamou and Luciano Leilua also backed Madge, saying they believe he is the long-term coach the Tigers need.

With the contribution of senior players likely to have a role in a decision on the future of the coach, many experts are also concerned that there is no other coach in the market with the clear ability and ability. understanding of Maguire football.

Aside from Panthers assistant Cameron Ciraldo, there aren’t many candidates who appear to be putting pressure on Maguire’s job. Ciraldo, who appears to be Maguire’s clear replacement, has also shown the desire to coach and the knowledge to coach.

Despite this, many have argued that it would be foolish to name a new coach in these difficult times.

One of the reasons is that the appointment of a new head coach is essentially a reboot of the club, which clearly hasn’t worked. An alternative to that would be to bring new faces into the club, such as Tim Sheens, who looks set to take over the leadership of the Wests Tigers coaching staff, as well as other experienced people who are poised to move up the ranks of a low-end team.

Another problem is the money that Maguire will have to be paid. Instead of sacking the head coach after the head coach, the Tigers could surround Maguire with industry professionals who have experience in assistant coaching, which would be a huge advantage for him and the youngsters. Tigers players, who are still developing and learning the game.

It wouldn’t be the smartest decision to fire and then pay a coach hundreds of thousands of dollars when the club is already in financial trouble. This could set back plans for new developments and impact the club’s off-field performance.

Repetitive leaks from many club members who are clearly not on Maguire’s side have been the downfall of the Tigers head coach. It would be difficult to work in such a fractured club. But instead of sacking the coach, who has shown the utmost respect and loyalty to the club, the players and club staff who leaked these talks should be scrutinized and potentially moved.

To be fair, the internal review may find that Maguire is not fit to coach the Tigers beyond 2022. Either way, he has continued to respect the process and the club while many around him broke his trust.

Such disrespect to their coach could result in the defeat of the Wests Tigers culture for many years to come, and unfortunately could see Michael Maguire leave the NRL circle.

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