Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire is adamant his team will improve and turn their season around, despite suffering a 44-18 defeat at the hands of his former club South Sydney.

The loss plunged the battling venture back towards the bottom of the table and consigned them to their ninth loss of the season.

The Tigers actually had the better of the opening exchanges after soaking up pressure defensively, before hitting on the counter attack.

First, Asu Kepaoa read the Rabbitohs’ attacking shape perfectly to pick off a pass and race 90m to score. Then, Ken Maumalo made it two in two minutes with a tidy finish in the corner.

Their 12-0 advantage was eradicated though, when Jason Demetriou’s interchange forwards – Siliva Havili and Hame Sele – changed the momentum of the game upon their introductions.

“There are passages of play that show what our team is capable of,” Maguire said in the aftermath of the heavy loss.

“Just look at that first half.”

The Tigers did well to regain the lead in the shadows of half time. However, in the second period they were played off the park by a rampant South Sydney attack which was firing on all cylinders.

“We do seem to take a few steps forward and then go back, but that is part of where we are at the moment,” Maguire conceded.

The coach highlighted reasons for optimism at the club, despite the defeat dropping them to second-last in the table.

“We get Adam Doueihi coming back in. We get Alex Twal coming back in. David Nofoaluma.

“You just need to have a passage of consecutive wins and I know it is inside this team.”

Maguire was quick to find positives in his side’s first half performance, but wasn’t so complimentary about their second.

After leading 18-12 at the interval, they failed to register on the scoreboard again as the Rabbitohs piled on 32 unanswered points.

“We have got to play an 80-minute game,” Maguire declared.

“Last week we played an 80-minute game. We did it against Souths the last time we played them and Parramatta.

“We’ve got to go towards that and all of a sudden you put yourself back in the competition.”

The under-siege coach was certain that the Tigers were heading in the right direction and could still feature come finals time.

“The season is still alive,” Maguire said.

“We’ll turn it around, for sure.”

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