Episode 1 of the Wests Tigers' new documentary tracking their 2021 NRL season will premiere on Monday evening, going through the first four games of what has been a difficult season thus far.
While the Tigers lost three of their first four games this season, the docuseries focuses on every aspect of the team.
With unique insights from coach Michael Maguire, trainer Ronnie Palmer and CEO Justin Pascoe, the club have opened their doors to give fans an all-access look at the club, which will be reflected heavily in the different angles covered through the first episode.
Expect to be taken into the coaching box like never before as the cameras roll with every twist and turn of emotion and jubilation for Maguire and his staff. Expect too to be taken through the fan experience on game day, and that of the CEO Pascoe when the Tigers rolled into Newcastle during Round 3, their only victory out of the opening four games.
It will also ride the journey with some of the Tigers' biggest fans, including 11-year-old Lachlan McShane, who comments that he has never seen the Tigers win a premiership.
“I’d like to see them win a premiership, because when they won it, I wasn’t born yet," he says, speaking from what looks more like a Tigers club foyer than a bedroom.
The episode also begins to break down the mental fabric and mentality of what it takes to play in the NRL, and just how far teams will go to win, and how far coaches will go to drive their teams. New captain James Tamou will feature heavily throughout the series, and does so in Episode 1.
“You’re thinking in your head, I’m going to run through a wall here, for this team and for the coach," says Tamou.
As coach of the team, Michael Maguire is heavily featured too. The opening game of the season, a loss to the Raiders in Canberra, and the fourth game against the Eels, also a loss, ride with Maguire in the coaches box for much of the footage. Fans will be given an unprecedented level of access, watching Maguire's pre-game speech, halftime address and post-game debrief to his team, as well as getting an in-depth look at his instructions and mannerisms throughout the contest.
NRL coaching is widely regarded as one of sport's toughest job, and new rules this season haven't helped with the average size of victories getting larger, and the seemingly enormous talent gulf between the top group of teams and the remainder growing larger.
And yet, with the Tigers at the wrong end of the table, fans will get to see a mostly positive Maguire during the early part of the season as he addresses his team.
In one particular address, fans will get to see Maguire tell his team exactly how close they are.
"The Wests Tigers are always in a f#$king game. Go and enjoy yourselves out there today. Where we end up will be determined by how hard we want to do things every single day," says Maguire in the dressing rooms.
The raw emotion and passion of Maguire will be shown throughout the first episode as he attempts to turn the Tigers around.
"Wild Wests" documentary trailer:
CEO Justin Pascoe says Maguire simply cares about his players.
"Madge is a guy that cares more about his players and his player's life than any other coach I have ever worked with," says Pascoe.
While the second game features fans of the club, and the third rides with CEO Justin Pascoe on a rare game as a fan, the fourth against Parramatta will also feature heavily with trainer Ron Palmer as he goes about his business helping the team to prepare and stay on track on-field.
Wild Wests may particularly appeal to Tigers fans, but this is a must-watch for NRL fans of every club. It allows an unprecedented look at the inner workings of an NRL club, particularly on game day.
It's like nothing ever seen before in rugby league media, with the club throwing their doors open to every angle.
“We’re all striving for the same thing, and that’s to be a successful team, playing in a grand final and getting success," says McGuire in one interview.
Wild Wests follows that journey. It's one you don't want to miss as the docuseries rolls out over its four episodes.
Episode 1 of Wild Wests: Tales From Tiger Town will be broadcast on Fox League 502, Fox 8 and Kayo Sports on Monday evening at 7:30pm (AEST).