Prince crowned comeback king, but Tigers look like dummies
Gold Coast 20 Wests Tigers 14 Steve Mascord
April 16, 2011
TIM SHEENS last night blasted his Wests Tigers charges for falling for former teammate Scott Prince’s tricks.
The off-contract coach held little back after the defeat to Gold Coast, saying the slow, agonising capitulation after leading 14-0 at Skilled Park could end up defining the joint venture’s season. And he repeatedly berated the defence for falling for the dummies of Prince, a former Wests Tigers premiership winner.
‘‘I don’t care if he’s a former teammate - we spoke about not taking dummies off him all week and we did,’’ said captain Robbie Farah. ‘‘Good luck to him but I don’t care.’’
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Sheens added: ''You don’t take a dummy from Scott Prince. You expect him to run. We talked and talked and talked about it. He showed the ball. He showed it again and went around and put it under the posts. That’s not good enough.
''We’re brain-dead mainly because we shot ourselves in the foot time and time again. You keep Princey to the sideline instead of letting him run under the posts, you still maybe win. They’re the things that everyone will be regretting now. I’m not blaming anyone but they’re games that define your season.
‘‘You wonder why coaches lose hair and go grey. Twenty minutes of perfect footy, 6-0 penalty count or 6-1 - and then backwards from there. Not another point, didn’t even look like scoring another point. We were good enough to win this game, even with the issues we’ve got.’’
Prince knew his old coach would have ordered his troops to dump him on his backside as much as possible - and felt it was not always carried out within the rules of the game. ‘‘That’s the way Tim coaches - when a half goes to the line, you take him out,’’ Prince said.
‘‘Certainly with my kicking game, they didn’t miss me. I guess on that occasion [match-equalling try, 73 minutes], we were running that play all night. Gareth Ellis was a little bit lazy, I was able to slice through.’’
The skipper was flattened after a late field-goal attempt. ‘‘I was just kicking the footy - I think there’s a rule in place but it obviously wasn’t there tonight,’’ Prince said.
He admitted he needed to make up for a first-half gaffe when he flick-passed the ball to the opposition 15 metres from his own line. ‘‘I don’t know what was going on there - I felt like I was in the backyard with my kids,’’ Prince laughed. ‘‘I could just see Carty [coach John Cartwright] blowing up. I felt I let the team down and evened it up towards the end so I was quite happy.’’
Sheens did not think lock Chris Heighington would be charged over a high tackle for which he was reported on Titan Greg Bird.
Cartwright said a try awarded to Heighington in the first half was ‘‘a bit dodgy, benefit of the big doubt’’. He was relieved to register his second win of a campaign which had recently displayed foreboding signs.
‘‘Even at 14-0 down, I just had a feeling we were in control of the game if that makes sense,’’ he said. ''It was 79 tackles to eight at one stage that we had to make.
‘‘It’s a good thing that we have expectation on us now. You’d hate to be in your fifth year … and people are still feeling sorry for you.’’
Wests Tigers interchange forward Alan Schirnack has what could be a serious shoulder injury.