Brett Kimmorley has warned there is no quick fix for Wests Tigers after their horror week ended with Brent Naden sent off in a 30-4 thrashing from Manly.
Five days after coach Michael Maguire was axed, the Tigers suffered another second-half capitulation at Campbelltown in their first game under interim boss Kimmorley.
In the game at 6-4 down at the break, the Tigers were ultimately torn to shreds in the second half as Naden was banished for an ugly up-ending tackle on Jake Trbojevic.
Haumole Olakau’atu was the star for the Sea Eagles, scoring a try, busting 10 tackles and breaking the line three times as part of a one-man demolition job on the Tigers’ left edge.
But he was far from the only headache for the joint-venture, with their season all but over at 3-11 and eyes at the club already on next year.
“There is no quick fix to this unfortunately,” Kimmorley said.
“We haven’t won a second half all year on the scoreboard.
“It’s not just a matter of skill or what we need to do. It’s a matter of training hard, buying in together, making small improvements week in week out … trusting the system and then seeing who the players are that can do that.”
Naden, meanwhile, can expect to be sidelined for at least the next month.
With Trbojevic caught in a two-man tackle, the Canterbury-turned-Tigers centre lifted the Manly lock’s legs and drove him into the ground.
Trbojevic got up unscathed but it didn’t stop Naden becoming the first Tigers player sent off since Corey Pearson, for retaliation, in 2002.
“I was all good,” Trbojevic insisted afterwards.
“He was very apologetic. Just momentum of me trying to find the ground anyway. He was a bit unlucky.
“It didn’t hurt at all. There was no malice in it.”
Regardless, Trbojevic’s sympathy would have done little to turn around what was a nightmare day for Naden and a Tigers team that missed 24 tackles in the second half.
The centre bombed the Tigers’ best chance to take an early lead when he bounced the ball over the line, before he suffered a head knock trying to tackle Olakau’atu.
And while he passed the concussion test, Naden might have wished he had stayed off the field.
Two of Manly’s second-half tries came against the 26-year-old’s defence, with Rueben Garrick the first to run through him after Olakau’atu had burst downfield in the previous set.
Moments later Olakau’atu claimed a try himself, spinning through Naden and two other defenders to make it 16-4.
With Naden off the field, Tolutau Koula extended Manly’s lead when he went 55 metres to score, before Josh Aloiai completed a double against his old club.
The win ensured Manly kept pace with the top eight, in ninth and behind the Sydney Roosters only on for-and-against.
The struggling Tigers’ eyes will now be fixed firmly on next season and the search for a new full-time coach.