Round 4 Media Reports

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Round 4 Media Reports

Post by Discussion Bot » Sun 04 Apr, 2010 6:31 pm

[img]/images/stories/news-imgs/2010/round4_canberra.jpg[/img]Wests Tigers bounced back from a first-half slumber to deal Canberra a demoralising 35-22 NRL loss at Canberra Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Raiders were up 22-10 at halftime and looked set to continue their unbeaten record on home soil since round 20 last year, before the Tigers staged a remarkable comeback.

Tries to Benji Marshall, skipper Robbie Farah and Chris Lawrence were all the visitors needed to wrestle back momentum and even up the scores.

Farah's field goal had them one point clear with eight minutes remaining, before Liam Fulton ran through his second for the afternoon to crush the Raiders' hopes.

A final try right on the buzzer to Beau Ryan put the icing on the cake for the visitors.

The first half was almost exclusively all the Raiders.

Earlier in the week, Tim Sheens' men made the point they could ill afford to give the Raiders a good start. But they failed to take their own advice, letting Dane Tilse waltz over the line four minutes in for the easiest of opening tries.

It signalled a Raiders whitewash for the next 20 minutes as the Tigers struggled to find any path forward.

Joe Picker wasted a clear opportunity for the Raiders' second, but the home side more than up for it in the 15th minute courtesy of Jarrod Croker.

He ducked and weaved for 20 metres, evading the Tigers defence before leaping over the line and getting ball to ground with both heels in the air.

Another try to Shaun Fensom had the Raiders up by 16-0 before the Tigers finally got their first on the board thanks to Fulton, playing his first game back from a rib injury.

The Raiders replied straight away through Picker, but Marshall, set up by a flying Lote Tuqiri, had the visitors 22-10 with just seconds to go in the half.

It gave the Tigers' some much needed confidence heading into the final 40 minutes.

After an early arm-wrestle, tries to Farah and Lawrence had the Tigers back on an even keel, before they ran away for victory.

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Post by thewingfitz » Sun 04 Apr, 2010 7:47 pm

the raiders did what we did in rd 2 against roosters on warm afternoon used petrol to early and ran dry in 2nd half

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Post by willow » Sun 04 Apr, 2010 11:00 pm

By Wayne Cousins
4/04/2010 6:11:48 PM

A magnificent second half comeback has seen Wests Tigers pull of one of the finest wins in the club’s history at Canberra Stadium on Easter Sunday in round four of the Telstra Premiership.

Trailing by 12 points at half-time after the Canberra Raiders dominated the first half, Wests Tigers dug deep in defence before turning on their enterprising attack to record a superb 35-22 victory.

Wests Tigers went into the match as per the team named on Tuesday by coach Tim Sheens.

The Raiders opened the scoring in the fourth minute when prop Dane Tilse beat Gareth Ellis, Keith Galloway and Beau Ryan to score next to the posts for a 4-0 lead. It came on the back of a kick chase by full-back Josh Duggan who beat the attempted tackle of five-eighth Benji Marshall.

Five-eighth Terry Campese converted the try to give Canberra a 6-0 lead after five minutes.

The Raiders bombed a certain try in the sixth minute when a short ball by Campese put a forward in the gap only for the final pass to an unmarked winger go over the sideline.

A short grubber kick by Campese on the last tackle from 10 metres out saw winger Lote Tuqiri gather the ball only to be forced back in-goal to give the Raiders a repeat set from a drop out.

The Raiders got another set when Campese put through another kick for winger Mitch Brown to force over the deal ball line. Centre Joel Thompson was penalised for a double movement after he got up off the ground and dived over two players to force the ball down over the line out wide to score, only to be denied by referee Shayne Hayne in the 12th minute,

Canberra did get their second try two minutes later when they kept the ball alive through several hands before centre Jarrod Croker pushed past centre Blake Ayshford to race 25 metres to score in the left corner. Campese failed to convert the try for a 10-0 lead after 16 minutes.

The Raiders have dominated the opening quarter through a near perfect display.

Campese set up the third Canberra try when he gave an inside pass back to lock Shaun Fenson to beat the low tackle of prop Bryce Gibbs to score next to the posts. Campese converted the try for a 16-0 lead after 22 minutes.

Wests Tigers first half chance came in the 25th minute when hooker Robbie Farah darted 20 metres from dummy half before being taken into touch as he looked for support on the inside.

Gibbs almost scored when he ran off a pass by half-back Tim Moltzen only to be pulled down five metres short of the line. A play the ball by Gibbs saw a Canberra player dive on the ball only to be ruled offside in the 28th minute.

Video referee Tim Mander was called on in the next tackle when second-rower Gareth Ellis was held up over the line in search of second ever try for Wests Tigers. Ellis then played the ball before it was spread right through Moltzen before a short pass by lock Chris Heighington saw forward Liam Fulton split a tackle to score 10 metres away from the posts.

Marshall missed the easy conversion attempt to leave Wests Tigers trailing 16-4 after 30 minutes.

Canberra extended their lead four minutes later when Campese again stepped off his left foot to get through the line to offload in the tackle of Heighington to second-rower Joe Picker to score next to the posts.

Campese converted the try for a 22-4 lead after 35 minutes.

Wests Tigers showed some enterprising play in the 39th minute when a Marshall chip kick was regathered by Moltzen whose pass behind went to ground. Heighington picked the ball up and as he looked for support to his left, he dropped the ball.

A drop ball by 30 metres out from Canberra saw Tuqiri pick it up to race 50 metres down the sideline to link up with Marshall who stepped past three defenders to dive over in the corner right on half-time.

Marshall then converted the try from the sideline to leave Wests Tigers trailing 22-10 at half-time.

2nd Half

The opening four minutes of the second half saw both sides play some exciting rugby league with Tuqiri sparking the attack down the left flank again.

Some pressure by Tuqiri on former Wests Tigers second-rower Bronson Harrison saw the forward drop the ball with his winger unmarked. Harrison had a strong first half and was heavily involved in the Raiders’ attack with Campese.

Wests Tigers scored the try of the game in the 51st minute when a long cut out pass on his own line by Farah found Brown unmarked. The winger raced 40 metres down the right flank before linking with Moltzen who found support on the inside in Farah with the hooker racing away to score under the posts to complete a superb 95 metre try.

Marshall converted the try to leave Wests Tigers trailing 22-16.

Some very good attacking defence by the Wests Tigers outside backs in the 55th minute saw Canberra drop the ball 10 metres from the tryline.

Wests Tigers have still only used 15 players after 60 minutes with back-rower Mark Flanagan and utility Daniel Fitzhenry still sitting on the interchange bench.

Canberra received a penalty in the 61st minute after Wests Tigers were penalised for laying too long in a tackle. Campese failed to convert the penalty attempt from inside the Wests Tigers’ quarter after the ball hit the upright and fell into the arms of Moltzen.

Wests Tigers got a penalty in the next set before the set finished when Duggan was trapped in-goal from a Farah grubber kick. Flanagan entered the field in the 61st minute.

The pressure on Canberra told in the 65th minute when a pass from Marshall to Chris Lawrence saw the centre score behind the posts. Marshall converted the try to make it 22-22 with 14 minutes remaining.

A trysaving tackle by Duggan saw Lawrence loose the ball just 15 metres out from the tryline after the centre made a break after rising prop Andrew Fifita brushed off four defenders to offload. Wests Tigers have lifted their intensity in all areas.

Farah gave the Wests Tigers the lead for the first time in the 71st minute when he landed a 35 metre field goal off his left foot for a 23-22 scoreline. It has been a long haul back for Wests Tigers who trailed 16-4 after 30 minutes.

Canberra threw plenty at Wests Tigers in the 74th minute before a Campese bomb on the last tackle was defused by Tuqiri.

Wests Tigers received a penalty 25 metres out in front of the posts but instead of electing to go for goal, Marshall elected to take a tap.

The decision paid off when a short pass by Marshall opened up a hole for Liam Fulton to score behind the posts in the 78th minute with a huge smile on his face.

Marshall converted the try to give Wests Tigers a 29-22 scoreline.

From the re-start, Canberra kicked out on the full with Marshall electing to take a penalty goal attempt from half-way. Marshall’s kick didn’t make the distance.

Canberra got the ball back before a kick down the sideline saw Marshall take the ball. He did some fancy footwork before offloading a pass to Moltzen who raced downfield before offloading an inside pass to full-back Beau Ryan.

Ryan raced away for the posts and in scoring, received a shoulder charge from winger Daniel Vidot but still managed to put the ball down to cap off a remarkable comeback.

Marshall converted the try to give Wests Tigers a superb 35-22 victory in front of a crowd of 17, 112. Farah was named man-of-the-match.

The victory also gave coach Tim Sheens his 300th win as a career coach.

In winning, Wests Tigers also retained the 1989 League Legends Cup. The cup is played once a year between the two clubs to commemorate the 1989 Grand Final.

Wests Tigers has now won three of its first four matches this season to be entrenched in the top eight. Wests Tigers play Nth Queensland Cowboys in Townsville next Saturday night.

Earlier, Wests Tigers recorded its second win of the season in the Toyota Cup competition with a 42-34 victory over Canberra Raiders at Canberra Stadium.

Full-back Jake Mullaney reproduced his superb 2009 form in scoring three first half tries in the 6th, 12th and 32nd minutes. The talented goal-kicker also kicked five from eight goals to record a personal tally of 22 points for the game.

Other tryscorers for Wests Tigers were Jake Clarke (14th min), Joel Wisbey (23rd min), Limoni Kamuta (37th min), Ethan Tafili (46th min) and Faleula Finau (59th min).

The win puts Wests Tigers on 4 points, equal with the fifth placed Canberra.

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Post by willow » Sun 04 Apr, 2010 11:02 pm

Tigers turn tables on Canberra

Updated April 4, 2010 17:16:00

The Tigers reversed a 12-point half-time deficit to get up 35-22 over the Raiders at Canberra Stadium on Sunday afternoon, ending the Green Machine's four-game home winning streak.

Liam Fulton scored on either side of the break and Benji Marshall kicked five from six conversion attempts as the visitors scored 25 unanswered points to lock up their third win of the season.

Canberra's success at home stretched back to round 21 in 2009 when the Raiders smashed the Broncos 56-0; ironically, the last time they lost on their own field was one week earlier when the Tigers got up 25-4.

Touted earlier in the week as a battle of the five-eighths, the opening half showcased Canberra pivot Terry Campese's playmaking abilities.

He made a mess of a try opportunity on the wing with a wild pass that went into touch but quickly redeemed himself by having hands in two four-pointers thanks to some handy footwork.

Campese sparked the Raiders' surge with a quick break that eventually put Shaun Fensom over the line, and then bamboozled the Tigers defence with a lightning left-foot step before off-loading to Joe Picker.

But not to be outdone, Marshall and Robbie Farah dug their side out of the 22-10 half-time hole with individual tries as well as points from the boot.

Marshall could not miss in the second half and Farah's field goal with under 10 minutes to play put the Tigers into the lead for the first time.

Farah told Grandstand his team could have played better in the opening exchanges.

"We spoke about starting strong and not letting them score early," he said.

"Our start was disappointing but credit to us, we got the jump on them.

"The try at the end of the first half gave us a bit of a sniff, and we knew if we held them out and started scoring some points we'd have a chance."

Campese was equally unimpressed with the Raiders' fade-out.

"We haven't put two good halves together so far and that was the case again today," he said.

"We completed our sets and we know when we do that we're dangerous, so we've got to work on that for 80 minutes.

"The first five sets [in the second half] we dominated but we let them back in late in the second and we can't do that."

Marshall set up Fulton's second try to ice the win for Wests with under two minutes to go, and then Beau Ryan returned the restart kick from the Tigers' 30 metre line all the way back to score again at the siren.

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Post by willow » Sun 04 Apr, 2010 11:37 pm

Tigers run down Raiders in Canberra

Sun, 4 Apr 2010 19:27

A half-time spray from coach Tim Sheens helped Wests Tigers come from behind to record a 35-22 NRL victory over Canberra at Canberra Stadium on Sunday.

The Tigers trailed 22-10 at the interval and looked out for the count after an impressive opening 40 minutes from the Raiders.

But a sudden turnaround, led by the Tigers' skipper Robbie Farah and in-form five-eighth Benji Marshall - who chalked up 16 points - saw the visitors run in four unanswered second-half tries to seal a comprehensive 13-point win.

Liam Fulton, just back from injury, put the game out of the Raiders' clutches with his second try of the game with two minutes to spare, before fullback Beau Ryan added to hosts' pain with another four-pointer right on the buzzer.

Tigers mentor Tim Sheens, who celebrated his 300th first grade victory as a coach, was full of praise for his players, but refused to get carried away following his side's third victory in four games.

"To the credit of the senior blokes, who I gave a bit of a kick to the arse to at halftime ... took a bit more control of what we were doing," Sheens said.

"That's character.

"You can say maybe we didn't deserve to win based on our first half, but on our second half we did.

"And it's about playing two halves of football."

The Tigers had spent all week talking about the importance of restricting the Raiders to a quiet start, but failed to heed their own advice.

Twenty minutes into the game, the Raiders had stunned the visitors and led 16-0 with a series of missed opportunities behind them.

But, as Sheens put it, the gods appeared to favour the Tigers in small ways.

A desperate offload to Marshall in the dying seconds of the first half that led to a try, was critical in keeping the Tigers in the game, but Farah admitted he was lucky it came off.

"It was one of those plays where, if it doesn't pull off, I get kicked up the backside by the coach," the captain conceded.

And Farah, who scored the first of his side's four second-half tries, said he was disappointed at the Tigers' slow start to the game, given the attention they had paid to it during the week.

"We spoke about it all week ... about going with them from the opening kick off, but I could sense in the warm up for some reason we were flat," he said.

"But credit to us, we knew we had points in us."

The third-placed Tigers are now 3-1 ahead of another tough road trip against North Queensland next week.

Meanwhile, the Raiders were left to rue the one that got away as they slumped to their third defeat of the season.

"We had our hands around their throat and all of a sudden, somehow, they got out of it," skipper Alan Tongue said.

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Post by willow » Mon 05 Apr, 2010 9:21 am

Wests Tigers beat Canberra Raiders 35-22 with Benji Marshall inspirational in second half

* By Andrew Webster
* From: The Daily Telegraph
* April 05, 2010 12:00AM

THE Wests Tigers held two important meetings at Canberra Stadium yesterday.

One of them came minutes after fulltime following their absorbing 35-22 victory over the Raiders, with captain Robbie Farah holding court in middle of the on-field huddle.

"I just said that we have to expect better from each other," Farah recalled later. "For us to make a stand in this competition we can't go away and be 16 points down after 15 minutes. We're better than that. The gods shone on us today. We didn't deserve to win.

"To give this comp a fair crack, we have to do better than that."

The other crucial meeting came in the sheds at halftime, with the Tigers trailing 22-10 and lucky to be that close after Canberra had gifted them a try just before the break.

Coach Tim Sheens cornered Farah and halves Benji Marshall and Tim Moltzen and laid down some home truths.

"I gave all three of them a rev because we weren't getting the direction we needed," Sheens said. "They were kicking and chipping for themselves, running across field and not sticking to what we'd asked them to do. To their credit, after I gave them a kick in the arse, they took control of what we were doing."

Not so much take control but grab the game by the throat.

The Tigers ran in four unanswered tries in the second period, although it was Farah who deserves most of the accolades for it was the nuggety hooker who came up with the plays when it mattered.

His first came in the 51st minute, when he spied that Canberra's James Stuart had come in off his wing on the right with the Tigers camped on their own 5m line.

Farah hesitated for a nanosecond, shot a 30m long ball on to the chest of winger Mitch Brown, and seconds later was backing up and scooting 40m to finish what he started.

"It was one of those plays where if it doesn't come off I get a kick up the backside from the coach," Farah said. "I backed what I saw, they were short out wide - they made the decision for me."

Until then, the Raiders had owned this match. Five-eighth Terry Campese was so dominant you were already forming the headline in your head about him sending a message to NSW Origin selectors.

Even after Farah's try, Campese had the chance to push their lead out to eight points after Tigers back-rower Gareth Ellis had been penalised in front of the sticks.

Typical of the schizoid nature of this match, his attempt skewed off the woodwork.

As Sheens grinned later: "The gods were in favour of us."

It was the buffer the Raiders desperately needed, with coach David Furner struggling to tighten things up around the ruck with forwards Trevor Thurling (knee) and Joe Picker (flu) sitting on the bench and Farah and Marshall merely warming up.

Five minutes later, Marshall sent centre Chris Lawrence over with a short pass and then converted to lock it at 22-22. Five minutes after that, Farah slotted a 31m field goal to give the Tigers the lead. And five minutes after that, Liam Fulton was scoring his second.

A Beau Ryan four-pointer after the fulltime siren only added to the weirdness.

Said a dejected Raiders captain Alan Tongue: "We had our hands around their throat and let them get away."

The result marked Sheens' 300th victory in first grade.

Asked if he considered it a thrilling way to reach the milestone, Sheens said: "I survived it, put it that way. I'm not silly enough to say I don't enjoy it - but I've also had 300 losses."

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Post by willow » Mon 05 Apr, 2010 9:22 am

Entertainment doesn't get much better than this as two sides toss ball around
April 5, 2010


Just when you think you have seen it all, along comes a match that has you shaking your head in disbelief. For the footy fan it was an absolute pearler. The end-to-end, sideline-to-sideline action from start to finish gave us everything we could ever ask for in sporting entertainment.

For the respective coaches it was a whirlwind, roller-coaster ride of frustration and emotion; ending with guarded elation for the victor and gut-wrenching despair for the defeated. For the players … well, it certainly looked like they were all having fun.

It was one of those contests where one team dominates the early stages to run up a huge lead - only to see their opponents knuckle down to the chase and reel them in within the shadows of the winning post. To be honest, it was a game the Raiders never looked like losing. The Wests Tigers never looked like winning.

At one stage the Raiders led 22-4 and were in total control of the contest. The final score of 35-22 in favour of the Tigers gives you no indication of the flow of the match - but it does give you some idea of the entertainment value provided by two very talented football teams.

The bulk of the game was dominated by the Raiders. The Tigers scored one try in the last 30 seconds of the first half and two tries in the last three minutes of the second half. You take those four minutes out of the contest and the home team scores a comfortable victory. In these statistics alone perhaps we get some indication of the tale of the tape. The Raiders were clearly fatigued at the end of the match, while the Tigers finished full of running.

The Raiders were brilliant in the first half thanks to their rampaging pack. This is a big football team. David Shillington, Dane Tilse, Scott Logan, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs are huge men. They made ground with every carry and invariably came up with an offload at the end of the run to keep the attack bubbling along.

Off the back of this domination, five-eighth Terry Campese was truly masterful in the way he orchestrated proceedings and created opportunities for his ball runners. On several occasions his sharp left-foot step and powerful frame helped him surge through the front line of defence. He was making breaks and half-breaks at will and there seemed no end to his creativity.

The Tigers, who tackled their way to victory against Parramatta last week, looked anything but solid without the ball in the first half this week.

The most noticeable thing about modern-day football, however, is that momentum can shift dramatically during the 80 minutes of play. With that momentum usually comes points. Teams 10, 12, 16, and in this case 18 points behind on the scoreboard simply hold on to the belief their time will come.

I don't know how confident the Tigers were about a comeback, but once they sniffed the winds of change, they responded magnificently. Firstly, they steeled themselves in defence. They began to attack the ball carriers and put enormous pressure on the Raiders' playmakers. They forced a number of turnovers and this gradually ate into the confidence of the home side. The Tigers did not concede a point in the second half.

Enter Tigers captain Robbie Farah. He was a shining light even during the periods his team was struggling. He led the revival with his customary darts from dummy half and his creativity in the middle of the field.

He slowly sapped the energy of the Raiders' big men who were earlier causing them so much trouble with the ball. Farah also provided the crucial turning point in the match when he started and finished one of the most dazzling length-of-the-field tries you could ever wish to see in a game of football.

Under enormous pressure deep on their own try line the Tigers were getting bashed by the Raiders defence and going nowhere. Farah's vision to sense an opportunity out wide was special. The ability to throw the 30-metre cut-out pass with pinpoint accuracy onto the chest of his winger Mitch Brown was extraordinary. The desire to back up the play 50 metres down the field and run another 40 metres to score was exceptional.

The courage to attempt all this despite the pressure of the scoreboard and the state of play: priceless. And so too was this match. Brilliant.

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Post by willow » Mon 05 Apr, 2010 9:23 am

Even their opponents become believers as the Tigers rise from the dead
April 5, 2010

Canberra 22 Wests Tigers 35

ALAN TONGUE was bitterly disappointed the Raiders had blown a 22-4 lead just before half-time, but even the Canberra skipper admitted his admiration for the brilliance displayed by Benji Marshall and his Wests Tigers teammates to snatch one of the most stunning victories in the joint venture's history.

''Whether you play against them or you play for them or you support them or you don't, it is still an exciting brand of footy to watch and I've always admired the skill that they've got right across the board,'' Tongue told the Herald after the Tigers' second-half comeback clinched them a 13-point victory.

''I think everyone has seen the start to the year that they have had and Wests Tigers fans should be pretty excited about their team's prospects.''

With the Tigers trailing 22-4 less than a minute before the interval, Marshall ensured Tim Sheens's halftime address was not as ferocious as it might have been, by backing up Lote Tuqiri's touchline sprint and sidestepping two defenders before diving over to score in the corner.

Marshall converted from the sideline to kick-start the remarkable fightback that featured a 99-metre effort started and finished by hooker Robbie Farah.

It was the only one of the Tigers' four second-half tries in which Marshall didn't throw the final pass.

''We showed a bit of character to fight back in the second half but in the first half they were all over us,'' Marshall said.

Sheens said Marshall's try just before half-time had given the Tigers the momentum they needed and the visitors also had some luck when a 61st-minute penalty goal attempt by Canberra five-eighth Terry Campese, that would have extended the Raiders' lead to 24-16, hit the uprights.

''It appeared the football Gods were in our favour today in that regard,'' Sheens said.

''But it is a credit to the senior blokes who I gave a bit of a kick in the arse to at half-time. I think the three key blokes, Robbie, Benji and Timmy [Moltzen], took a bit more control of what we were doing.

''That's character. Everyone contributed and we certainly didn't play with any help from the officials or the crowd so we had to play under a fair amount of duress from that respect, so I was very pleased with the way we did that because you could say that maybe we didn't deserve to win based on our first half but based on our second half we did.''

After a first half in which Campese and boom fullback Josh Dugan terrorised the Tigers defence every time they touched the ball, the Raiders were unfortunate not to be ahead by more when back-rower Joe Picker passed over the sideline with winger James Stuart unmarked.

But things turned the Tigers way just seconds before half-time when Canberra halfback Josh McCrone lost the ball near halfway and Tuqiri sprinted down the sideline before putting Marshall over for a try.

If Farah's 51st-minute try - which began with his 30-metre pass just one metre out from the Tigers' line to Mitch Brown, and completed when he took the final pass from Moltzen - hadn't confirmed the momentum shift in favour of the Tigers, Campese's failed penalty did.

''I'm definitely disappointed in that,'' Campese said.

''To hit the post at that time of the game was pretty crucial.

''We've just to keep our heads up and stay positive. That was probably the best half of footy we've played all year. We just have to build on that and get better each week.''

Asked about his try, Farah said: ''It was one of those plays where if it didn't come off, I get a kick up the backside by the coach.

''But I backed what I saw. They were short out wide and they kind of made my decision for me. Their winger jammed up inside [in defence] and I was lucky enough to hit [Brown] with a good pass. I backed up on the inside. When you're desperate, you try those plays and I was lucky enough it came off.''

With centre Chris Lawrence finally scoring in the Tigers' fourth consecutive set of tackles following Campese's missed penalty goal, Farah then put his side ahead for the first time with a 72nd-minute field goal before late tries to Liam Fulton and Beau Ryan.

''I couldn't kick one at training yesterday but I was lucky enough to get it today,'' Farah said.

The only dampener was when Tigers centre Blake Ayshford was carried from the field after the full-time siren and looks set to be out for at least a month with a knee injury.

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Post by willow » Mon 05 Apr, 2010 9:24 am

Sheens deflects achievement to praise the character of his side after big comeback
April 5, 2010

TIM SHEENS last night insisted that raising his 300th career win at the ground he enjoyed most coaching success was of far less significance than the determination displayed by his Wests Tigers in fighting back against the Raiders.

The 35-22 victory enabled Sheens to celebrate the milestone in Canberra, where he enjoyed premiership success in 1989, 1990 and 1994, but of more concern to the Australian coach was that the Tigers are in a healthier position than in previous seasons after winning three of their opening four matches.

''Look, I'm not silly enough to say I don't enjoy it, but I've also had 300 losses,'' Sheens said of the achievement. ''But there's a lot to look forward to and I don't get caught up in that sort of thing.''

On the day Benji Marshall used his Sun-Herald column to call upon the Tigers to rally for their first play-off appearance since their 2005 grand-final triumph, Sheens outlined the importance of yesterday's win.

''At this stage last year we were two [wins] and one [loss] going into this game, and the year before it was the same,'' Sheens said. ''We had talked about that and we lost the next two games - this game and next week's game. Well, we have won today.

''After eight rounds the last couple of years we were four wins and four losses whereas the good sides had six or sevens wins so you've got to stay with them or you are going to fall back into the pack very quickly. A win away, in my opinion, is worth a lot to the team because it isn't easy to win down here [in Canberra] nor will it be next week away to the Cowboys. That's where you see the character in the team and I thought we stood up pretty well today.''

The most pleasing aspect of the win for Sheens was the way his players rectified their defence after trailing 22-10 at half-time to keep the Raiders scoreless in the second term. Canberra captain Alan Tongue said it was noticeable that the Tigers had improved in that area this season.

''I think they have got a lot more starch about them and a lot more grit, and I think that has been what they have been missing,'' Tongue said. ''They've always had the skill across the board - some weeks things stick more than others but they chance their hands every week - and when you are doing a game plan against them you look at what can they do, and they can do anything.

''From anywhere on the field they can have a crack at anything so they have always been a hard team to defend against and when things come off for them they are unbelievable. But I think, defensively, they are a lot better than they have been in the past. When you come up against a Tigers side you used to say 'we've got to score 40 points because you know they will score 30' but I think that has changed. I think that, defensively, they are a better team so it's harder to score against them.''

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