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Tigers lock downplays Wests' run to finals

By Russell Jackson 15/08/2011 04:17:41 PM Comments (0)

Wests Tigers lock Chris Heighington says his in-form side has too much to play for to take anybody lightly in the lead-up to the NRL finals.

On paper the Tigers appear to have a dream run starting on Sunday with Parramatta, who are second last, followed by cellar dwellers Gold Coast and finally Cronulla (12th).

But Heighington has been around the game too long to look beyond the next game.

The Tigers are sixth on the ladder and just one win from the top four after their 32-18 victory over Penrith on Friday night.

"Every game is hard in the NRL, obviously we've got Parra this week and they beat us a couple of weeks back ... we've got three more games and we're going to give it all we've got," Heighington said.

"Obviously going into the finals in fourth position would be really good for us but we've just got to keep winning and worry about our own team."

The Tigers are chasing their sixth consecutive victory and line up against the Eels who have lost their past five games.

Coincidentally, the Eels' last victory was against the Tigers, 22-6 in round 18.

"They are really dangerous, they've got an awesome forward pack and they've obviously got Jarryd Hayne in that team," Heighington said.

Dual international Lote Tuqiri is confident he'll make his return from a quadricep injury.

Tuqiri has been out for nearly a month and was put through his paces in a training session at Concord Oval on Monday that included running up the stairs of NSW rugby's former showpiece stadium under the watchful eye of a Tigers conditioner.

Heighington was impressed: "I had a chat to him earlier and he reckons he is a chance of playing. He was looking pretty quick out there.

"He'll probably do a bit more tomorrow and we'll see after that."

Utility Mitch Brown, who is playing left centre in place of the injured the Chris Lawrence, has also covered for Tuqiri on the wing during the season and hopes he can be part of the Tigers' finals team when they are back to full strength.

Lawrence is expected to return from his hamstring injury for week one of the finals.

"It is tough, they're such great players ... it's been really hard for me to actually get a start this year," Brown said.

"I'm hoping I can be in there somewhere when they come back for the semi-finals.

"We really want to get that top four spot. I don't think anyone wants to finish seventh or eighth and Melbourne or Manly."

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