In what is officially a period of hardship and dismay for the Wests Tigers following their nail-biting loss to the Dragons in the preliminary final, the Tigers have vowed to return a stronger and better side in 2011.

Winger Beau Ryan, who earlier in the week, spoke of ‘touching the Dragons up’ was clearly distraught in the aftermath of the game, so much so, that he was unable to speak.

“It is a horrible feeling, but at the same time, I feel immensely proud of every single player in our team, we left nothing out there, gave everything we had, but we just didn’t get the bounce of the ball,” Ryan said.

Ryan, who was actually a Dragons junior, almost breathed fire into the Tigers game at the death with an ambitious kick-and-chase, that ultimately didn’t come off with the ball ending in Darius Boyd’s hands.

Whilst Ryan admitted that the option he chose was in fact the wrong one, he strongly believes that the Tigers will come back in 2011 as a force to be reckoned with yet again.

“For most of us it is our first taste of finals footy and when you look around you see so many young faces,” he said.

“How much will they learn from games like tonight? Blake Ayshford, Robert Lui, Andrew Fifita, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Simon Dwyer – they are all like 22 or under and have so much talent and potential.

“The Dragons learnt from their finals experience from last year and so will we.

“But they went two and out, we have done better than that this year, and will be back and we will be better for this.”

Coach Tim Sheens was refusing to comment on an incident involving Dragons lock Jeremy Smith whereby he kneed Tigers winger Lote Tuqiri in the ribs, an incident many thought should have been a penalty.

“We just didn’t seem to get any decisions go in our favour,” centre Ayshford said.

“We were on top out there in the second half and I honestly think had we held them for another five minutes or so, when we led 12-6, we would have won as they were running out of ideas.

“It really feels like the one that got away, but we will be back, we are a young side and this is just the start for us.”

By ricky

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