Rising Tigers put Sharks on edge

SHARKS back-rower Jayson Bukuya is well aware that some of his teammates have added incentive to take down the in-form Wests Tigers tomorrow night, but he just wants the two points.

Bukuya admitted four Sharks players - former Tigers teammates Beau Ryan, Chris Heighington, Andrew Fifita and Bryce Gibbs - had a genuine desire to beat their former clubmates.

"The Wests Tigers boys will have a few points to prove, but that's not really for me (as added motivation)," Bukuya said.

After looking in danger of finishing with the wooden spoon after being thrashed 54-10 by the Rabbitohs in round 10, the Wests Tigers have turned around their form.

They are back in finals contention after winning four of their past five games, including a 22-4 victory over reigning premier the Melbourne Storm last Saturday night.

Bukuya, who heads to the Warriors for two years at the end of the season, says the victory over the Storm has ensured the Sharks will not take the Tigers lightly.

"They've got a lot of guys in their team that have good footwork, and it's starting to come together for them," he said.

"Benji Marshall is starting to find some form. He's a key opponent we'll need to watch out for and defensively do a good job on. Adam Blair is also starting to play well and is fitting in nicely in their front row."

While the Tigers have been in good form, the Sharks are coming off a disappointing 24-4 loss to the Cowboys in Townsville last Sunday night after trailing by only four points with 10 minutes remaining.

"We weren't really happy with our effort," Bukuya said. "We were confident of winning, but you can't give a side so much possession and expect to win."

Bukuya also said that although the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigation had been a distraction earlier in the season, the players had managed to put that to the back of their minds.

"We looked at each other in the eyes and said 'things have got to change'," he said. "The boys are enjoying each other's company now."

Topics:  cronulla sharks nrl rugby league wests tigers

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