Sironen keeps Tigers’ NRL starting spot
June 5, 2012 - 2:39PM
Young playmaker Curtis Sironen has retained his starting spot at five-eighth for Wests Tigers’ NRL clash with Melbourne on Friday night, with coach Tim Sheens warning the teenager to brace for a much tougher contest than he had last week.
The 18-year-old was a late replacement for Blake Ayshford last Saturday when he scored the opening try in the 40-0 romp over Canberra.
It was Sironen’s first start for the Tigers in the top grade and his second appearance at NRL level after coming off the bench in the win over North Queensland a week earlier.
“Curtis will start. I don’t think Blake Ayshford will be available,” Sheens said on Tuesday.
"So Curtis will get a six on his back this week … He did well (last week) but I’ve already told him that it’s not always that easy. You don’t win games by 40 every day.
“He’ll be under the pump at some stage and this is the sort of the side who will do that to you. They don’t give away much.”
The Tigers are chasing a seventh-straight win and their first against Melbourne in Victoria when they meet at AAMI Park and, while they are facing a reshuffled Storm team without Origin stars Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk, Sheens is anticipating a fierce battle.
“I don’t think they’ll change their structures much but they’ll have different combinations,” Sheens said.
"We haven’t beaten Melbourne in Melbourne as a franchise, so I don’t think anyone takes Melbourne lightly playing down there.
"They’ll have (Ryan) Hinchcliffe playing nine (hooker). He was talked about being a state player himself - they’re not going to be light-on in that area.
“They can grind out a win. They can beat you by 40 - they can beat you by two. They’ve just got that attitude and culture that if they can hang in there, they can get you … so we’re going to have to play 80 minutes of football.”
Sheens will make a decision late on Tuesday on the replacement for NSW Origin hooker Robbie Farah, with Tom Humble and Liam Fulton in the mix.