The Wests Tigers are much smaller than Canterbury – and they are a club without egos.
Those were the two immediate observations Moses Mbye made about the Tigers as he prepares to face former employers the Bulldogs on Friday night.
Mbye has been fantastic in his first three games for the Tigers since he switched before June 30, despite feeling like an ”outcast” after being one of the last on Ivan Cleary’s bus.
Unlike Robbie Farah’s input in the lead-up to the shock win against his former club, South Sydney, Mbye said he was unlikely to have any intel that would help sink Canterbury as the Tigers chase their third win to stay in touch with the top eight.
“Robbie was a huge help and his game plan really helped us expose Souths,” Mbye said.
“For myself [this Friday], they deserve the respect of us turning up the way we need to turn up to beat them.
“It’s been really good since I’ve been here. It’s a lot different, and it’s a different sort of club.
“Canterbury is a much bigger club with more personnel around.
“At the Tigers, it’s a club full of no egos. It feels like a group of mates, and you turn up each day and play and it’s shown in the way they’ve been playing footy.
“They have beaten some top sides this year, and that comes down to efforts and working for each other.
“[No egos] was the first thing I noticed about the club. It was a big part of me coming here. It is a relatively new group. I felt like we could start something from scratch. I felt I was due for it and there was a need for it.
“I had some really good years at the Dogs. It’s a really good club and it was a home for me. I enjoyed my time there.
“I felt the Tigers was the right move for me and a big part of why was the culture, playing group and coaching staff. Everyone started together so we can build a group together and hopefully get good results.
“With a move, you’re nervous and a little bit anxious about what it’s going to be like, because you’re going into the unknown. I was more nervous turning up for my first day of training than I was for turning up for a game.
“You sort of feel like an outcast when you come into a playing squad that’s halfway through the year already.
“But I didn’t feel like that at all. All these boys made me feel right at home.”
One of the true gentlemen in the game, Mbye was never going to dump on Canterbury, especially with their salary-cap situation and the fact they are in a three-way dogfight for the wooden spoon.
“They are a quality side, and the games they’ve lost have been by two to six points,” Mbye said.
“That’s what sort of club Canterbury is. We know we are going to have to play 80 minutes against them. They will turn up and will put some pressure on us.
“It will be an emotional game, but I have a job to do here. You have to try and put the emotion aside. It’s so common now. It’s one of these things that happen all the time. My focus is at the Tigers.
“We went through a lot at Canterbury. I won’t forget that . . . I’ve got a lot of respect for the club, but my focus is here now and we have a job to do.”