TIM SHEENS PROUD OF SECOND HALF
By Wayne Cousins
Saturday 19 May 2012 3:13 PM
The ability to fight back on several occasions and a polished second half performance pleased Wests Tigers Head Coach Tim Sheens in the 24-22 win over the Warriors.
Trailing 10-0 at half-time and having lost centre turned five-eighth Chris Lawrence to a minor hamstring injury, Wests Tigers dug deep and produced a fine second 40 minutes to record their fourth consecutive win.
Wests Tigers also did it without hooker and captain Robbie Farah due to NSW Origin duty, resulting in half-back Benji Marshall taking over the leadership role.
Sheens said his players did well in defence in the second half.
“They are a big side and if they get near your line, they are going to worry you. In the second half, the longer we kept them away from our line, the better,’’ Sheens said.
“The first half we just didn’t nail it and we chased the points. The second half we had repeat sets, kept the possession count high and kept the mistakes to zip. We were 20 from 20 (completion rates) so we didn’t make any errors which was a big effort.
“We grounded it out tonight when we had to. I’m disappointed about that last try. I think for and against I would have liked to have finished eight in front. Benji kicked great and nobody is telling me now to take him off goal kicking anymore either.
“A win is a win. At this stage of the season, you take every win no matter how matter you get them. You have just to grind it out particularly in the rep season. I know we only have one player out in Robbie but he is a pretty key player.”
Sheens praised Marshall for his ability to control the tempo of the game in the second half.
“I was going to play him at five-eighth in the second half (after losing Lawrence) but he didn’t want to. He wanted to stay at 7 and I’m glad we stuck to that,’’ Sheens offered.
“(Blake) Ayshford went to five-eighth and although he is more of a running player, he has played a lot of five-eighth as a kid.
“Benji controlled the game basically between the 9 and the outside backs. He controlled the field position of the game and everybody hooked in and tackled their backsides off. He got a lot more touches and that was important.”
Sheens is hoping Lawrence will be fit for next Sunday’s home game against Nth Qld Cowboys at Campbelltown Sports Stadium. Second-rower Chris Heighington is expected to make his return from a broken hand.