The Wests Tigers have left the door open to bringing over Moses Mbye before the mid-season NRL transfer deadline and welcoming back Aaron Woods.
Mbye and Woods got an up-close look at their possible future side in the Tigers’ scrappy 14-10 win over Canterbury at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.
After watching his side grind out their ugliest win of the season, coach Ivan Cleary said he would welcome both Mbye and Woods to Concord.
Mbye has confirmed he is negotiations to join the Tigers on a reported three-year deal as the Dogs feel the effects of a salary cap squeeze.
“Every day we’re looking for good players, anyone will tell you at any NRL club it’s just the way the competition works,” Cleary said when asked of their interest in Mbye.
Asked if they had room in the cap to bring players over before the June 30 transfer deadline, Cleary said: “Yes we do … Things happen all the time. This week’s not going to be any different.”
Woods was booed as he took the first carry, in front of an 18,847-strong crowd, following his move to the Bulldogs this year.
The former Tigers skipper is reportedly being eyed off by several clubs as the Dogs seek to make room in the salary cap.
Cleary said while the joint venture were well-placed for front-rowers with Russell Packer and Ben Matulino, he would be welcomed back if he sought a return.
“Not at all,” Cleary said when asked if Woods had burned his bridges.
“When I got here, there was lots of players possibly leaving and Woodsy was one of those.
“From the time he made the decision to go to the Bulldogs to the rest of the year, I thought he played really well. I really enjoyed his company and what he added to the team.”
After Canterbury led 10-4 at halftime, former Bulldog Josh Reynolds was instrumental in sparking the Tigers in the second half.
Coming on at hooker, Reynolds showed his intent with one of his first touches when he took a quick tap and David Nofoaluma scored in the right corner soon after.
And when Chris Lawrence beat Mbye to a Tui Lolohea grubber, the Tigers grabbed the lead for the first time in the 66th minute and never surrendered it.
Kieran Foran’s performance will only intensify questions about his fitness after he ran just once for one metre after struggling through the warm-up with a back injury.
With the Tigers in front by four with just seven minutes to go Foran came up with a forward pass with the Bulldogs on the attack, putting a nail in their coffin.
After watching his side lose their fifth game in six weeks, coach Dean Pay lamented yet another second-half fadeout.
“I think it’s a mental issue,” Pay said.
“We got down the other end there and we got a little ball we we threw nothing at them.
“We’ve got to be better than that. We can’t just hit the ball up and expect to score tries.”