Sheens wants more from Wests Tigers
April 8, 2010 - 6:29PM
His side may be sitting third on the NRL ladder, but Tim Sheens insists Wests Tigers’ form needs to improve if they are to remain a genuine contender for a top-four spot.
Sheens admitted the Tigers were fortunate to beat Canberra on Sunday after clawing back a 22-10 half-time deficit to win 35-22, and said the Raiders had shown up his side in the first half.
“We’ve been patchy, I was very happy with the Parramatta game, but the other games have been up and down. We had an ordinary loss to the Roosters and were on our way to a loss last week at Canberra,” Sheens said.
“I wouldn’t say we are in great form, but patches of form and the Raiders fired a shot across our bows last week.”
The Tigers are yet to enjoy a seven-day turnaround this season, and face another road trip this Saturday when they take on North Queensland in Townsville, a place where they lost 42-14 last season.
Sheens admitted he is finding it difficult to prepare his side in the manner he would like ahead of matches.
“There is more time spent on the recovery than on the paddock so we have to be light on them, not change too many things in the team,” he said.
"It is very difficult, we will have just two sessions this week, the rest has been spent in the pool.
“It would be nice to get in a rhythm on seven-day turnarounds but that won’t happen.”
The veteran coach, who celebrated his 300th victory last week, is expecting a fast start from the Cowboys, who ended Gold Coast’s unbeaten start to the season last Saturday, and told his side they cannot keep allowing teams to open up big leads.
“The crowd up there in Townsville really got into it and they and Johnathan (Thurston) played them into the game and once they get their noses in front they are very hard to stop,” he said.
“Last year they put 40 points on us, it was our worst loss and we have to work hard at mentally preparing as physically, we can’t do a lot.”
The form of Lote Tuqiri is one thing that has pleased Sheens, with the dual international winger making a seamless transition back into the NRL following his eight-year rugby stint.
Tuqiri has bagged four tries in as many games, and Sheens said he is unsurprised that his star signing has made an immediate impact.
“He is doing what he has to do, he’s working off the ball, he is taking his hit-ups when he has to and his dummy-half runs are good and he finishes his opportunities when he gets them,” Sheens said.
The Tigers will be without prop Keith Galloway for the trip to Townsville after the 24-year-old failed from a shoulder injury he picked up against the Raiders.
He is also sweating on the fitness of centre Blake Ayshford who is battling an ankle problem.