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Wests Tigers dig in, upset Dragons in NRL

Michael Maguire insisted it was never about him, but there would have been few more relieved men after the Wests Tigers' 16-8 win over St George Illawarra.

A week after he had the blowtorch applied to him, Maguire watched on as the Tigers claimed just their second win of the season in beating the Dragons.

Five-eighth Adam Doueihi put on a masterclass, fullback Daine Laurie always looked threatening and debutant Zac Cini scored a try in front of a busload of his friends.

NSW hopeful Zac Lomax came away from the game with his State of Origin prospects in doubt when he suffered a suspected broken thumb from some friendly fire.

But still, the story was Maguire, and the under-fire coach who just needed a win.

"It was more about the team and the organisation," Maguire said.

"Those wins are game changers for your mindset and how you turn up each week.

"It was ugly at times, but they rode the highs and lows of the game all the way to the end."

The key for the Tigers is what happens next, given they are yet to string together three straight wins under Maguire.

"We've been through this and had a win, but we've got to make sure we back it up," he said.

"I could just see a real difference in their head space, and how they played for and dug in for each other."

After they trailed 8-4 at halftime, Maguire's men dominated the second half with 67 per cent possession as they spent most of it camped on the Dragons' line.

The Tigers were far from great as a team but on the score of individual influence, Doueihi was brilliant.

After his worst game of the year last week, Doueihi put three players through for linebreaks as he also busted through three tackles himself.

The No.6 kicked across field for the Tigers' first to Tommy Talau, and forced an error with a grubber kick in the lead-up to one of the team's second-half tries.

Laurie also bust through the line to put the Tigers on the attack for their first and threw the last ball for Cini's try.

The only people riding the rollercoaster harder than Maguire were Cini's fans in the Southern Stand.

The group shot to life straight after halftime when the 20-year-old appeared to have scored his first try, only for the bunker to overrule.

But five minutes later some of them were up dancing shirtless again, when the Minchinbury junior crossed to send the Tigers further in front.

Joey Leilua then sealed it late, running through where Lomax would have been,

The Dragons meanwhile hurt themselves, as they lacked cohesion in attack at times in their third straight loss.

They completed at just 75 per cent, and had only 18 play-the-balls in the Tigers' half in the second half.

Making matters worse, winger Cody Ramsey also suffered an apparent rib injury with Mikaele Ravalawa and Jordan Pereira still both suspended next week.

"We just couldn't get out of our own end. A lot of that was to their credit with their set ends," coach Anthony Griffin said.

"We had to defend 55 plays in our 20, we had 10 up the other end.

"It was a tough effort for our guys to keep turning up."

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