Warriors can bounce back, say NRL Tigers
September 12, 2011 - 6:29PM
Having flourished from a similar seemingly dire situation in 2011, Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens is not reading too much into the Warriors’ 40-10 trouncing at the hands of Brisbane.
Last year the Tigers bounced back from a heartbreaking, 100-minute, golden-point loss to the Sydney Roosters in week one of the finals to beat the Raiders in Canberra.
From there they went on to be denied a grand final appearance because of a field goal to St George Illawarra’s Jamie Soward.
So Sheens knows how easy it is to regroup in the space of seven days to get a season back on track.
“Just because they lost doesn’t mean (anything), last year we lost (to the Roosters) then came out and beat Canberra,” Sheens explained on Monday.
"You can’t expect what happened last week (to matter), if anything that will motivate the Warriors.
“They haven’t put too many back-to-back bad games together, so I’d expect the reaction from that to be very positive from them and if we’re not careful, to be negative from us if we don’t show them the respect that they’re due.”
Tigers skipper Robbie Farah said it would be foolish to underestimate the unpredictable Warriors - or expect them to produce a similarly lacklustre effort at the Sydney Football Stadium on Friday.
“They were off (but) I don’t think we’ll be looking too much at last week, I think that was an off night for them,” Farah said.
“Over the last two months they’ve been playing some great footy but last week I thought they were off their game and pretty much shot themselves in the foot a fair bit.”
The Tigers will receive one massive boost ahead of the do-or-die showdown however, with star centre Chris Lawrence declaring himself a certainty to take the field having recovered from a hamstring injury.
Lawrence, who has not played since suffering the injury in the Tigers’ round 22 victory over St George Illawarra, said he was close to playing in last Friday’s qualifying final with the Dragons but was a late scratching as a precaution.
Coach Tim Sheens confirmed Lawrence would be in the team announced on Tuesday and, while he was wary of saying the 22-year-old was a “sure thing”, Lawrence says there is no question about his availability.
“I’m playing no matter what,” he told reporters.
"I was pretty close (last week), I worked really hard earlier in the week and put my body through a lot.
“In our session on Thursday I had another run but my body was feeling the effects of a tough early week and the medical staff thought that going into a game fatigued like that is probably not the best preparation.”
Lawrence, who thought his season was over when he dislocated his hip against Canberra in round three, said it had been a tough year dealing with a series of injuries.
“(It’s been) very frustrating, it just feels like every time I get over one thing and I come to the back end of it something else happens,” he said.
"But I think that’s footy, you’ve got to cop the good with the bad and hopefully there can be some light at the end of the tunnel.
“We’re potentially only three games away from a grand final (win), that’s the motivating factor for me at the moment.”