Wests Tigers and the year 2018 are like two young lovers in the early stages of dating.
It’s been exciting, unexpected and a bit surreal.
The first win against the Sydney Roosters was a nice surprise – a bit like catching the eye of a stranger from across the other side of the bar. The round two win against Melbourne Storm was reminiscent of a first date. Awkward and nervous, but nevertheless, it ended reasonably well.
A two point loss to the Brisbane Broncos in round three was just a slight hiccup. A bit like your best mate calling your new flame, your ex’s name. Some times people – particularly referees – get it wrong and ruin the moment.
The round four win against the Parramatta Eels made everyone stand up and think “maybe this is the real deal”.
Win number four in round five was like saying “I love you” for the first time. Love – like two wins against Melbourne in one season – doesn’t come around very often. Sunday’s demolition of the Manly Sea Eagles, well that was just a typical Saturday night, watching movies cuddled up under a blanket. What a perfect way to spend the weekend.
But surely the bubble has to burst. Surely, the honeymoon period has to end at some point.
The question is “when”?
Anyone that has followed the Wests Tigers – or prior to 2000, the Western Suburbs Magpies – knows consistency isn’t something you can particularly rely on when it comes to Macarthur’s NRL side.
2005 was great. But the years since then have resembled an ugly separation. Coaches unceremoniously shown the door while a host of the club’s favourite sons have left the nest.
This week’s home game against the Newcastle Knights could be an even greater test than Manly at Brookvale or Melbourne south of the border.
This week, Wests Tigers are expected to win and make light work of the lowly placed Newcastle Knights.
Though, what is expected and what actually transpires can often be two totally different things. But one thing is for sure, Wests Tigers and 2018, so far, have enjoyed one helluva love story.