A few sets later, Maumalo knocked the ball on at the start of a fresh set deep inside the Tigers’ half.
From the ensuing scrum, the Tigers were penalised for throwing the ball away as the shot clock expired. So Brisbane took the two points on offer. Trailing 8-0, another awful loss beckoned.
It was mind-numbing to watch from a neutral perspective. It must have been much more painful for Maguire.
Thankfully for the coach and the Tigers faithful, the rest of the match was easier to digest.
“Really proud of the players off the back of what we’ve been going through in the last month,” Maguire said.
“We’ve had some ups and downs and there have been some challenging times, I guess. But to see the players and the way they are at the moment, we have to take a lot of belief out of what we did out there and take that forward.
“I know I’ve said it many times throughout the season but that’s what this group is capable of. The young men that I’ve got there are growing into what they need to do for each other and to see the two debutants [Junior Pauga and Tuki Simpkins] come on for the first time and play the way they did is really good to see.”
Tries to Jordan Riki and Thomas Flegler – who was the beneficiary of a brilliant Payne Haas play – sent the Tigers into the break trailing 18-10.
The teams then traded tries early in the second half. There were three lead changes in the space of 14 minutes.
But when Doueihi grubbered into the Broncos’ in-goal in the 69th minute and three separate Broncos managed to miss the chance to either ground the ball or bat it dead before Nofoaluma cleaned up the crumbs, all the early pain faded away.
Maumalo made up for of his earlier errors soon after, when he soared above Jamayne Isaako to claim a kick and offloaded to Pauga.
As Pauga slid over for his first NRL try, the pressure on Maguire eased ever so slightly. The congested nature of the race for eighth spot leaves the Tigers just one win from the last spot in the finals, despite currently sitting in 12th place.
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