Outgoing Tigers coach Brett Kimmorley believes his side avoided going to a very dark place after they trailed 42-0 at halftime against the Raiders.
The 56-10 loss was a bad way to end a terrible season from the Tigers, who finished with just four wins and conceded a whopping 679 points, the most in the competition to win the wooden spoon.
However, Kimmorley believes it could have been so much worse if his team didn’t turn things around to some degree in the second half.
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“Yeah it was really tough,” Kimmorley said.
“We spoke about last game together and some connection. One of our home venues as well, so it was important to play well.
“But it was a really poor first half and it could have been extremely ugly if it had stayed on that path.
“We said at halftime we had to change a few things and fix some things. We had to be a lot better.
“It doesn’t change the full-time result, but 16-10 in the second half was a better outcome than what is could have potentially got to, which would have been very dark and very bad for the club.”
Kimmorley called for the Tigers to develop and practice more toughness both at training and in games to turn around their poor run of results.
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“You have got to train extremely hard to and you have got to get really good leaders in the team that are competitive,” Kimmorley said.
“You have got to go through some hard times and learn how to win in difficult times.
“At the moment we have lost some players over most of the year. When you lose players you find ways of losing games of football.
“Other teams that are at the top of the ladder find ways of winning games of football.
“It’s not a culture thing, but you can change it. It takes a lot of hard work. It takes a lot of belief. It takes a lot of being tough in the tough moments in the game.
“It would have been a training run for them for a period there today.
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“You have got to handle the toughness and the fight and play for 80 minutes and train that way as well.”
Kimmorley finished with just two wins from his 12 games since taking over after Michael Maguire was sacked and was asked about where the club is at.
“I’ve coached us for 12 matches now and we have had some challenges when we are not in the competition and it becomes very hard and the scoreline becomes worse,” Kimmorley said.
“I thought today they were good in the second half. They tried hard.
“I look back at my 12 weeks, I thought about it yesterday and I thought there was a chance that we could have won five or six of the matches.
“If certain scenarios changed and we made better choices when the game was on the line and then it changes your mindset the next week when you go into the game confident and you are going well.
“It has been a difficult time. It has been challenging. The club has made a decision to go in a new direction.
“I wish Tim, Robbie and Benji all the best. There will be some new players that have been blooded this year, so they will be first graders next year rather than thinking they are development players.
“They have got some players coming in. The players are a really good bunch of blokes. The players are all connected. They do train hard together. They care about each other, which is probably the hardest thing to do at a football club.
“You have just got to find out how you can become a winning football club.”