Tigers coach taking nothing for grantedIan McCullough
July 18, 2009 - 9:19AM
Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens says he is taking no notice of North Queensland’s poor recent record in Sydney ahead of Sunday’s NRL clash between the sides at Leichhardt Oval.
The Cowboys have not tasted victory in the Harbour City since August 2007 when they beat Penrith 30-26, but Sheens said the statistic had not crossed his mind as he prepared his side for a game they have to win to have any hope of reaching the finals.
“So-called jinx games or teams that you can’t beat and so-on, that means nothing to me and I’m sure it doesn’t to Neil Henry and the Cowboys either,” Sheens said.
"It’s all about this week and what you do about it, not what happened last week let alone last year or the year before.
“They’ve got to travel, their rep players have to back up. We have to turn up to play, to get into the game with them and give ourselves a chance.”
The Tigers kept alive their hopes of making the finals for the first time since their premiership-winning season in 2005 with a 54-20 win over Souths two weeks ago.
However, the veteran coach said he has no intention of piling pressure on his players by referring to the encounter with the high-flying Cowboys as a must-win game.
“There’s eight games and we want to win as many as we can,” Sheens said.
"Obviously that starts with this weekend. A win is not going to assure us of getting in (to the eight) and we’re certainly not out of it if we lose.
"Obviously we want to win the game and play well but you don’t put that sort of importance on any one game, certainly not at this stage of the season.
“But we’re well aware of the importance of playing well at Leichhardt and coming up with the win.”
With Johnathan Thurston’s form backing up from Origin matches having been outstanding this season, the Test coach said the Tigers were primed to stop the threat of the Kangaroos halfback and in-form fullback Matt Bowen.
“The Thurston-Bowen combination is the key to their side, there’s no doubt that they come up with most of their big plays,” Sheens said.
"He’s a great player but we’ve played them up here at Leichhardt before and beaten them well so we have a memory of that.
“We’ve got to turn up to play, they’d like to win. We have to win so I’m counting on that being a little bit of a difference.”