By Wayne Cousins
29/05/2010 12:23:15 AM

His team may have turned on the razzle dazzle but for Wests Tigers Coach Tim Sheens, it was the defensive effort that pleased him the most.

Leading 16-6 at half-time, Wests Tigers ripped the Warriors apart in the second half to win 50-6 in front of a disappointing crowd of 10,061 at Campbelltown Sports Stadium - one of the club’s traditional home grounds.

“I’m more delighted with the points not scored against us. The points (margin) takes us back into the positive,’’ Sheens said.

“That’s two weeks in a row we have only had six points scored against us and I think that is what we really needed after getting 50 scored against us. It was what we needed to start thinking about being serious about our footy.

“No-one is going to take us seriously if we just give up easy points so we have really focused on that over the last couple of weeks.

“I challenged them last night hard as I did last week and they have responded really well. To their credit, I’m really pleased with that attitude more so than the points scored. That’s a bonus for us.”

Sheens said he had a few concerns in the first half, particularly when left centre Chris Lawrence dropped the ball with the line open.

“I always worry about games that when you suppose to score or you should have scored and we were the better side and then all of a sudden, you are 6-4 down,’’ Sheens said.

“Those last five minutes in the first half probably is what we needed. We set a goal at half-time. The Warriors are the best side in the league in the third 20 and we are the worst. We wanted to go nil all with them for the 20 minute mark and the fact that we scored some points was great.

“We didn’t let them score so that was important for us.”

Sheens added that the defensive aspect came down to a good mental attitude.

“ We know we can score points but it is about everyone turning up, preparing well and being ready to put your body on the line in defence,” he said.

“That’s always the hard thing over 26 rounds, just being consistent in that area of your game.”


Sheens and Farah happy with defence
May 29, 2010

WESTS TIGERS are getting their groove back in attack, but coach Tim Sheens isn't getting carried away. Like you would expect from someone who knows from experience that defence is the key, his heart was warmed by the fact his team conceded only six points against the Warriors last night, as opposed to scoring 50.

"The points we scored take us back into the positive [on points for-and-against differential]," he said. "But for two weeks in a row we've only had six points scored against us. That's what we needed after having 50 scored against us [by South Sydney], if we wanted to be taken seriously about our footy. I challenged the guys defensively last week and again this week, and they responded well. The points scored is a bonus for us."

That loss to the Rabbitohs – 50-10 in round 10 – was the fourth straight defeat for the Tigers and it put their season at the crossroads. They went into camp in Newcastle two days before last week's game against the Knights and emerged to win 23-6\. Last night they went back to one of their many home grounds - Campbelltown Stadium – and really got the party started.

But the challenge is still there to keep it up. The Tigers are known for looking good over a period of time and then losing that momentum, but if the attitude of their captain, Robbie Farah, after last night's game is shared by the rest of the team, then the signs are good. Like Sheens, he wasn't getting carried away.

"It's a bit of attitude," Farah replied, when asked how the Tigers had managed to go from that flogging from Souths to conceding a total of just 12 points in winning their next two games. "We hit rock bottom and we were pretty honest with each other in our discussions. At the end of the day, you can talk all you like, but you have to put that into action.

"But one big win doesn't get you back in form. Last time we played at Campbelltown we lost and the last time we played a home game anywhere we got booed off by our fans [against Souths, at the SCG]. We've still got work to do."

After playing the Knights, Farah said winning that game was the easy part and that the real test would be whether they could back it up against the Warriors. Early on, the Tigers were their own worst enemies, but then the cream rose to the top, and Benji Marshall and Farah started to make things happen.

The Warriors weren't capable of improving as much as they had to if they were going to win the game from 22-6 down. The inadequacies in their defence were being exposed, while the Tigers were holding the Warriors out without too much trouble. The Warriors lost their playmaker, Brett Seymour, before half-time, which didn't help.

Greg Prichard

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