Wests Tigers captain puts team and himself on notice following poor start to the season
James Tamou is used to success following stints with Penrith and North Queensland, so he won’t stop until he achieves similar results at the Wests Tigers.
Tigers coach Michael Maguire dropped Leilua following last weekend’s big loss to the Roosters after he produced a poor display.
Tamou respects Maguire’s decision, but believes there are plenty of Tigers players that need to be better – including himself.
“It is not just Joey,” Tamou said about Tigers players that need to aim up.
“It is all of us that need to look in the mirror and make some changes, myself especially.
“Us middles have had some deep discussions this week and we want to keep it simple play our game.”
Leilua has been accused of lacking effort and being lazy following his average display against the Roosters, which included seven missed tackles from his nine tackle attempts.
Tamou, though, doesn’t agree with the critics and says the former Roosters, Knights and Raiders back has been one of the Tigers’ leading trainers.
“The boys were saying he has been the best trainer this pre-season with doing extras and things like that,” he said.
“A few of the boys have said this is the best we’ve seen of him, so I don’t think he is far off.
“When he is at his best, he is devastating so we will definitely need him during the year.”
The Tigers have received a boost for Sunday’s clash against the unbeaten Newcastle Knights with prop Zane Musgrove to return from suspension.
Musgrove missed the opening two rounds after copping a shoulder charge suspension in the pre-season All-Stars game.
Tamou believes the former South Sydney prop is primed for a big performance against the Knights.
“He (Zane) is itching to get going and he has been like a caged animal, so he is ready to unleash,” he said.
“He has been watching from the sidelines in the last couple of weeks and he is hurting as well.
“He is ready to play, and I can’t wait to play alongside him.
“He is aggressive in the middle and connects us – everything we need to be better.”