SHEENS LOOKS AHEAD TO THE BULLDOGS
By Wayne Cousins
11/04/2010 12:30:50 AM
Wests Tigers Coach Tim Sheens says the team may have a light week’s preparation ahead of the round six blockbuster against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at the Sydney Football Stadium on Friday, May 16.
Speaking after watching his side tough out a gutsy 23-16 win over the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville on Saturday night, Sheens said he was proud of his team who did it with 15 men following the loss of half-back Tim Moltzen and prop Todd Payten.
Moltzen suffered a full tear of the anterior cruciate and lateral ligament to his left knee in the first half. It has all but ended his season.
Payten suffered a calf strain and did not see out the second half.
Wests Tigers have now won back-to-back away matches in Canberra and Townsville, prompting Sheens’ thoughts about having a light week at training.
“We finished with 15 and there were some issues to come out of the game,” Sheens told the media.
"They played two games in one there tonight.
"Totally exhausted, that’s what they were. They were hanging on.
“We came up with a couple of good plays and came up with a try to seal it so I can’t get too hard on anyone.”
With half-back Robert Lui still recovering from an ankle injury, Sheens admitted he may have to “manufacture” a half for the next few weeks until the talented Lui returns.
Two contenders for the seven jersey could be Blake Lazarus and Arana Taumata, who have played well in the halves in Balmain Ryde Eastwood’s strong start to the season. Taumata missed the round five match with an ankle injury but should return this week.
Lazarus was 18th man for the Wests Tigers in the win over Canberra and has plenty of talent whilst the skillful and light footed Taumata has previously had a taste of the NRL with the Bulldogs and Melbourne.
Wests Tigers share the competition lead with Melbourne, St George Illawarra and the Gold Coast and will face a Bulldogs side that lost to the Warriors in the final minute.