Former Tiger and current media pundit Joel Caine has slammed his former side after they finished yet another season without a finals berth.

Caine - a Tiger between 1999 and 2003 - stated that far more than just bad luck was at play for the Concord club to miss the eight for the 10th year straight.

“To make the finals in the NRL, you need to be in the top half,” Caine began bluntly on SEN 1170.

“Eight make the finals, eight miss out on the finals in every given year.

“So theoretically, in a salary cap world, it’s a flip of the coin chance for you to be in the finals.

“For those in mathematics, the chances of getting tails ten times, or missing the finals ten times, the odds of that are over 1000 to one.”

NRL Rd 16 - Wests Tigers v Rabbitohs
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 04: Luke Brooks of the Tigers looks on after a Rabbitohs try during the round 16 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Leichhardt Oval on July 04, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The back that finished his stints at Balmain and Wests with just shy of 250-points claimed a lack of leadership within the four-walls of the club's plethora of home bases was a key factor to their perrenial on-field failings.

“What I’d like to ask of the leadership group, is put your hands up if you are playing or performing to the level of your pay-packet,” Caine posed.

“I’m not just talking about on-field, but I’m talking about the standards you set, the way you train.

“For example, at the Melbourne Storm they had three names – (Cameron) Smith, (Cooper) Cronk and (Billy) Slater – yes, they were probably the three highest paid players at the Storm for a very long time, they were also the benchmark setters."

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 01: Cooper Cronk of the Storm walks off the field with team mates Billy Slater and Cameron Smith after winning the 2017 NRL Grand Final match between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The 42-year-old added weight to his theory by revealing a disappointing conversation he had previously partaken in with one of the side's current leaders.

“I happened to be at one of the launches for the Wests Tigers and a senior player came up to me and said, ‘Madge is training us too hard and this that and the other, poor me’, a senior player," Caine continued.

"From that moment, I knew we were cooked."

Due to his use of inclusive language, it is clear that the club still holds a place in Caine's heart, but the man who pulled on a black and gold jersey on 94-occasions suggested the Tigers' woes would continue unless proven victors were added to the their roster next year.

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“We need more winners that need to win at all cost,” Caine said.

“We need our leadership group to be the leaders.

“Not just in pay packet, but off the field, setting the benchmark off the field, the way they speak to sponsors the way they lead the way at training sessions.

“We need the leaders, we need competitive types, we need to observe how people play in menial drills, do they want to win?”

Caine then publicly asked the club's current playing list whether they had the gumption held by other sides within the competition when it comes to winning games.

“The most important thing - which you get from the Melbourne Storm, you get from the Bunnies, which you get from the Roosters,” he said.

“Are you staunch? Are you staunch as a player? Are you staunch as a coach? Have you been loyal to the coach?"

Wests Tigers Training Session
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 25: Tigers head coach Michael Maguire looks on during a Wests Tigers NRL training session at St. Luke's Park North on May 25, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Although rumours have been rife that head coach Michael Maguire's expletive laden tenure with the Tigers could well be over should he fall out of favour during the club's internal review, Caine believed the 2014 premiership winning steward was still the right man for the job.

The former Dragon, London Bronco and Salford Red signed off by continuing to question the player's commitment to 'Madge'.

Michael Maguire, who has given you guys both on and off the field absolutely everything, and that is plain to see," he said in finality.

“Have you been loyal to a bloke that at his last two clubs have won premierships?

Michael Maguire, is he the problem? No. Michael Maguire is the solution to a 10-year problem.”

The findings of the Tigers' review are yet to be completed and Maguire's future is still to be decided.

Still, a raft of names including Cameron Ciraldo, Wayne Bennett, Kristian Woolf, Brad Fittler, Paul Green, John Morris, Steve McNamara and Shane Flanagan were flagged as Maguire's potential replacements earlier this week.

 

 

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