SHEENS RECALLS THE BEST AND WORST HALVES OF FOOTY
By Wayne Cousins
10/09/2011 12:50:29 PM
It was the best and worst of two halves but Wests Tigers Head Coach Tim Sheens was happy to just walk away with a good victory over St George-Illawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium last night.
The game’s most experienced described the first half performance in the 21-12 win as disappointing due to ‘poor sets, poor options and poor kicking’. The lacklustre effort saw Wests Tigers trail 12-6 at half-time in the opening qualifying final.
“We stayed in the game at 12-6. That was the only positive of the first half,’’ Sheens said.
“It was probably the worst first half of footy we have played in a long time. I can’t believe for a semi-final we weren’t 20 (points) down.
“I’ve got to credit our defence for that. At least we defended well.”
Sheens said the team spoke at half-time about not trying to go around the Dragons. He described the second half performance as one of the team’s best in a long time. Wests Tigers won the second half 15-0.
“We had to kick better and we needed to make ground. We had to play football but not to the point of always going sideline to sideline,’’ he revealed.
“We played some footy. The very first set got us off to a good start. We actually talked about the first set and what exactly what we would do and we did it.
“It gave us a good start to the second half and from there, we seemed to grow from that and went well.
“The second half we were a hell of a lot better and when we didn’t go away, they started to panic a little bit.
“To the credit of the boys, we held our composure a lot better, forced some errors from them, and came home with the result.”
Wests Tigers Captain Robbie Farah said the side kept coming off its own line in the first half and made bad options at the end of their sets.
“They were starting sets on the half way line. It is pretty easy to play footy when you get the ball on the halfway line,’’ Farah said.
“We made things hard for ourselves but we fixed that. The fact that they kept taking the two and going for the two and tried a field goal just before half-time gave us a bit of confidence too.
“Maybe they thought they were going to beat us 13-12 or something. We knew we had points in us.”
Sheens remains hopeful centre Chris Lawrence would return for the team’s next finals match.
“Chris Lawrence might be a chance to be back this week. Todd Payten might play as well,’’ he said.
"I didn’t lose anyone tonight and I should be closer to a full complement next week if things go our way.
"Chris is a quality player and we obviously love to have him back but I am not going to play him if he is not fit.”