‘Disgusted’ Maguire’s eye-popping statement

‘Disgusted’ Maguire’s eye-popping statement

An exasperated Michael Maguire made a monumental statement during the half-time break in Wests Tigers’ 66-16 thumping at the hands of Melbourne.

As the rugby league world sat in anticipation of how Maguire would respond to his team copping a 40-0 first-half flogging, the 2014 Rabbitohs premiership coach puffed out his chest, eyeballed his charges and was very short in his address. He then marshalled his assistant coaches and they trudged out of the sheds, leaving the players to themselves.

Melbourne had threatened to shred the record books in their ruthless opening half. In the Storm’s biggest-ever win over the Tigers, in Round 18, 2001, they only led 24-0 at half-time. And Craig Bellamy’s men ran in the first four tries of the second half last night, before the rot was eventually stopped when young Tigers centre Tommy Talau sliced through for a try in the 56th minute.

“He has left it to the players and he is absolutely disgusted and so he should be,” said former NSW Blues hooker Michael Ennis on Fox League’s coverage.

Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire lays down the law at half-time in his side’s belting at the hands of Melbourne. (Fox League)

Rugby league great Braith Anasta, who spent the final two years of his NRL career at the Tigers under coach Michael Potter, backed Maguire’s approach.

“Nothing he says at this point, I believe, is going to make a difference,” Anasta said.

“He has left it up to the players to try and regroup and show something in the second half.

“You see him barking orders and soon you will see him and the rest of his coaching staff leave the dressing room. They leave it to the players.

“Sometimes you are better off saying nothing.”

Storm and Roosters legend Cooper Cronk gave a very blunt reading of Maguire’s half-time approach.

“It is a statement to say basically, ‘You guys sort it out yourselves,” Cronk said.

“Because everything we have spoken about and practised this week you have not delivered this game.

“So anything I am going to say you are not listening to, so go ahead and fix it yourselves. You have 40 minutes to at least salvage some type of pride.”

Tale of the tape: Wests Tigers second-rower Luke Garner cuts a dejected figure in the Melbourne belting. (Getty)

Despite footage showing Maguire speaking some words to his team at half-time, the New Zealand Test coach denied saying a word in his post-match press conference.

“I didn’t say anything at half-time,” a defiant Maguire told reporters.

“They know what we need to do. They’re men, and they spoke about it themselves.”

Ennis described Melbourne’s Sunshine Coast Stadium outing as “a Wednesday night training drill”.

Ten of the Storm’s starting 13 crossed for a try, with halfback Jahrome Hughes and centre Reimis Smith collecting a double each.

Remarkably, wingers Josh Addo-Carr and George Jennings were not among the long list of try-scorers.

The Tigers will collide with another premiership contender when they meet the Rabbitohs at Leichardt Oval next Sunday.

The Storm celebrate a try in their belting of the Tigers. (Getty)

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