A reinforcing plate for stiffening an end wall of the water tub of a laundry washing machine. The plate is fastened to a central, recessed region of the end wall about a drive shaft and includes engagement features for contacting and engaging with complementary features formed on/in the end wall. A motor may be recess-mounted to the wall to reduce axial length of the motor and tub assembly. Once effectively engaged, the plate stiffens the thinned end wall, enabling effective transfer of out-of-balance forces from the shaft to the radially outer region of the end wall. The shape of the plate and/or the shape/arrangement of the engagement features enables rotational engagement of the plate to the end wall despite variations in plate and end wall dimensions from inherent manufacturing tolerances of those parts. A direct-drive motor assembly in which such a reinforcing plate forms a bearing housing is also described.