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Tigers a realistic finals chance: Anasta

Braith Anasta says Wests Tigers can rebound from a horror 2013 to emerge as an NRL finals force next season.
Tigers a realistic finals chance: Anasta
by AAP

By James MacSmith

SYDNEY, Nov 29 AAP - Braith Anasta says Wests Tigers can rebound from a horror 2013 to emerge as an NRL finals force next season.

The joint venture endured one of its worst seasons under first-year coach Mick Potter, finishing second last with only seven wins.

But utility Anasta said with better luck with injuries, and a number of promising youngsters such as Tim Simona and Luke Brooks coming through the ranks, the Tigers can return to the finals after a two-year absence.

"I think we are a realistic finals chance," Anasta said.

"A lot of people probably won't think so after last season and they have every right to think so but I just look at the talent we have here ...

"We had kids on the field for the majority of last season and they got better as the year went on.

"It takes a lot to get used to first grade week in, week out and I think they will benefit immensely from that season and they will be better for it next year."

Next year represents the first season since 2002 the Tigers will take the field without the Super Rugby-bound Benji Marshall and Anasta said it will represent a new era for the club.

"Pre-season so far has been a bit strange without Benji to be honest," Anasta said.

"He has pretty much been the Tigers and with Robbie (Farah) at the World Cup and not here too it's all a bit surreal.

"Benji was always the life of the party and such a leader but it is a new culture now and a new beginning.

"We are going to miss him but it really gives an opportunity for other blokes to stand up and be counted and it probably means we will play a different style of football too.

"So it gives more of the young guys a chance and it gives us all a chance to start afresh.




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