The Panthers have conceded 524 points in the past two seasons, averaging less than 12 points against per game. To put that in perspective, the Tigers have conceded 714 points this season alone at an average of almost 30 points a game.
Ciraldo is renowned for his strong relationship with the younger players at Penrith, a skill that will be required to help improve the Tigers’ inexperienced but talented roster.
As reported by the Herald over the weekend, Maguire wasn’t thrilled about the appointment of the club’s 2005 premiership-winning coach, Tim Sheens.
The club appointed Sheens without Maguire’s knowledge, but Sheens’ role was limited to pathways and development, kept out of football operations.
The appointment of a defence-minded rookie coach like Ciraldo could allow the Tigers to bring Sheens back into the fold to mentor Ciraldo and provide the attacking prowess that he is renowned for.
Sheens, who is now residing in England, isn’t due to arrive back in Australia until the end of October because of COVID-19 related delays. He has been assisting with the club’s internal review.
Chairman Lee Hagipantelis, who a few weeks ago said Maguire’s two-year tenure at the club wasn’t under threat, appears to have had a change of heart.
“I’m not in a position to speculate on anything until such time as the review process has been complete,” Hagipantelis told the Herald on Monday morning.
“It would be inappropriate for me to do so. There’s a full board to discuss those matters and determine a path forward.”
Former Sharks coach Shane Flanagan, who led Cronulla to a premiership in 2016, is understood to be interested in the job if it becomes vacant.
Flanagan’s strongest quality is his history of recruiting big-name players at Cronulla. It’s an area where the Tigers have struggled under Maguire.
Wayne Bennett would be the club’s best option considering his comments over the weekend about his regret in turning down the Tigers job in 2018.
However, Bennett is telling people that he plans to return to live in Queensland next year and has been linked to the expansion team in 2023 or 2024.
Other options include St Helens and Tonga coach Kristian Woolf, Queensland Origin coach Paul Green, NSW Origin coach Brad Fittler, ex-Sharks coach John Morris and Catalans coach Steve McNamara, who was once Trent Robinson’s assistant at the Roosters.
There is also speculation that both Parramatta’s Brad Arthur and North Queensland’s Todd Payten are both under pressure at their respective clubs which could provide the Tigers with some food for thought in the coming weeks.