Coach gives pass mark

Getting there: Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor still holds high hopes of his side playing finals football this year. Picture: Anna WarrSix out of 10.
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That’s the score Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor has given his side at the half way point of the season.

“We started really well and the last month we’ve been strong but that period in the middle was no good enough,” he said.

“We want to be more consistent.

“The opportunity is still there top make an impression.

“That’s the beauty of how tight this competition is –you have a few wins and it puts you in a good position.

“But we have to consolidate that position by continuing to win games.”

For the last five years “youth” and “development”havebeen used asexcuses for lacklustre seasons.

However with players like James Tedesco, Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks no longer considered rookies, that age is no longer a defense for failure.

While Taylor said the side was still developing, he didn’t believe that was an excuse for not playing finals football.

“We are definitely still developing but there’s no reason we can’t make the eight because we are still developing,” he said.

“There’s not too many teams at this point of the year who have given up on making the eight.”

In a year that’s beenmore up and down than an elevator, Taylor said there had been plenty of positives.

One of thosewas acquisition Jordan Rankin.

The former Gold Coast Titans prodigy started the season on the wing and filled in at fullback while Tedesco was sidelined for a few weeks.

Taylor said the 24-year-old had been unlucky to find himself out of the NRL side in the last few weeks,

“It’s been a tough decision to leave him out of the side but with Teddy coming back and Josh Addo Carr playing well, it was a decision I had to make,” he said.

“But the way he came to the club and the way he has applied himself has been superb.

“He is an example of what we are trying to achieve here in terms of professionalism.”

Another impressive recruit has been 20-year-old Josh Aloiai.

After making the shift from the Parramatta Eels in the off-season, the back rowerfound his way onto thebench after a few games.

His impressive form eventually saw him force his way into the starting side.

Taylor said his performances showed why thesoftly spoken New Zealander commanded respect on the field.

“He’s one of the nicest guys you will ever meet but you wouldn’t want to be standing in front of him when he’s running at you,” Taylor said.

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