But Maguire started to see red as the Cowboys refused to go away.
They scored three tries in seven minutes, including a double to Kyle Feldt that featured a penalty try.
Harry Grant was placed on report as he charged across and collected Feldt in the head with a shin. The young hooker would be massively unlucky to be charged by the match review committee.
The Tigers made a whopping 51 tackles inside their own 20m and finished the final 15 minutes with one man on the bench.
Rob Jennings heard a “pop” in his hamstring as he scored a try, Alex Twal lasted for half an hour before he suffered a knee injury, and big Zane Musgrove hobbled off late with what appeared to be a dodgy knee.
The Tigers held on for a 36-20 triumph – but Maguire and the fans know it could have been so much more.
“There were definitely two parts to that game,” Maguire said. “The first half we were in control, that second half we lost control and lost momentum.
“But the one thing I did have, based off the back of a lot of conversations we’ve had the past couple of weeks, was [a team] who walked in and were filthy with themselves.
“It was good to see they were willing to talk about what they needed to do and make sure they fix that up for next week.”
It was the Tigers’ third win of the season and, if they can play more like the first half rather than the second, they should go a long way to dusting Canterbury on Sunday week.
Grant is a keeper and was busy again around the middle, even drawing praise from Cowboys skipper Jason Taumalolo.
Cowboys coach Paul Green would have been pleased with the comeback. For the amount of ball they had, anything less than four tries would have been a disappointment.
“There’s no doubt that second half we showed what we’re capable of, but there were no excuses for the first half,” Green said.
“We just didn’t handle moments in the first half … we needed more resilience there.”
The Cowboys were without Val Holmes, Michael Morgan, John Asiata and Jordan McLean. Holmes and McLean were a chance next week, but Green said they would need at least another week.
A win would have been handy for the Cowboys given the torrid set of fixtures that await them, including games against the Knights, Parramatta, the Roosters, Penrith, Manly and the Raiders.
Benji Marshall watched from the stands for a second week and it is hard to see him being brought back.
Grant was excellent while little winger David Nofoaluma ran for 211m and had four tackle busts. The only person to run for more metres was Taumalolo, who dropped the ball on the first set allowing the Tigers to score as the handful of corporates out west were taking their seats.
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.