Tigers coach Michael Maguire delivers an emotional pre-game speech
Tigers coach Michael Maguire delivers an emotional pre-game speech

Maguire: ‘He's crazy, he looked like he was going to cry’

Wests Tigers recruit Luciano Leilau can't get enough of his new coach's passion.

The former St George Illawarra backrower experienced Michael Maguire's emotions last weekend when the coach delivered his first pre-game rev-up of the season.

"Oh, I can't say what he said … he just said 'f*** 'em, let's go'. But it but it was my first time where I saw him getting really, really emotional," Leilua said.

"He's crazy. He looked like he was going to cry but he was really fired up. It was really, really good. I loved it.

"He got me pumped up because I was right next to him."

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New recruits Luciano Leilua and Adam Doueihi love the passion of coach Michael Maguire. Picture: AAP.
New recruits Luciano Leilua and Adam Doueihi love the passion of coach Michael Maguire. Picture: AAP.

And while the coronavirus outbreak has forced clubs to ban communal snack foods from the sheds, Leilua is hoping a Maguire pump-up is still on the menu tomorrow when the Tigers take on the Newcastle Knights at an empty Leichhardt Oval.

"Nah (I've never experienced anything like it). I've only had one coach, which was Mary (Paul McGregor), but Madge's speech was a bit different. It got me fired up, maybe you could say it got us the win. So I might tell Madge to keep going," he said.

A trimmed-down Leilua played 80 minutes on the right edge against his former side last Sunday in the 24-14 win, where he scored a try, ran for 107 metres and made 30 tackles. In promising news for SuperCoaches, Leilua confirmed his goal this season is to play as many minutes as possible.

"My expectation is to get that I will play the whole 80 minutes of the game and get involved and not be slacking off. I've been working hard with Madge (Maguire) on my defence, making sure I don't slack off and I put in a whole 80-minute performance," Leilua said.

Luciano Leilua was solid for the Tigers in Round 1, playing the whole 80 minutes in the backrow. Picture: Getty Images.
Luciano Leilua was solid for the Tigers in Round 1, playing the whole 80 minutes in the backrow. Picture: Getty Images.

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Fellow newcomer Adam Doueihi revealed his time in the centres will be short-lived. The former South Sydney utility joined the Tigers in late January after the Rabbitohs signed Latrell Mitchell, causing an oversupply of outside backs at Redfern.

Doueihi was earmarked as the Tigers' first choice fullback coming into the season but an injury to skipper Moses Mbye forced him to into the centres.

But Doueihi hasn't given up on his ambitions to play in the No.1 jumper, which will likely come at the expense of Corey Thompson.

"Yeah of course it is (my goal to play fullback). Thommo has done an amazing job there last year and this pre-season so while Moses is injured at the moment, I'll fill in at centre. But where ever Madge sees me in the team, then I'll be happy to put my hand up," Doueihi said.

Tigers coach Michael Maguire delivers an emotional pre-game speech
Tigers coach Michael Maguire delivers an emotional pre-game speech

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The versatile back also has his eye on Benji Marshall's kicking tee. Marshall stepped into the role as goal kicker for the first time in seven years after the departure of sharpshooter Esan Marsters.

"I've been practising every week. He's been kicking good this pre-season, I guess I came in late and hadn't kicked for a couple of years plus I came in late and I'm still finding my rhythm and I think Benji only missed one the weekend, so I'll give it to him in the time being," Doueihi said.

Originally published as Maguire: 'He's crazy, he looked like he was going to cry'


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