FINE LINE BETWEEN CONFIDENCE AND EXCITEMENT
By Wayne Cousins
15/09/2011 3:23:14 PM
Wests Tigers Head Coach Tim Sheens says it is a fine line between keeping his players grounded and enjoying the excitement of finals football.
Sheens said the win over premiers St George-Illawarra Dragons would give his side plenty of confidence ahead of Friday night’s semi-final against the Warriors at the Sydney Football Stadium.
“It is an elimination game now so you need to be careful about where they are mentally but you also have to be enjoying your footy and being confident in your ability which we are,’’ Sheens said.
“You also have to respect your opposition. Just because they (the Warriors) lost (to Brisbane) doesn’t mean anything. Last year we lost and came out and beat Canberra.
“If anything, it will motivate the Warriors and they haven’t put too many back-to-back bad games this year.
“I expect the reaction from that could be very positive from them and if we are not careful, it could be negative for us if we don’t show them the respect they are due.”
Sheens said the players enjoyed the win over the Dragons after many rugby league tipsters wrote them off in the opening qualifying final.
“Last week you could hear it in their voice after the game, in the song. That was a big game for us and we weren’t expected to win it,’’ Sheens added.
“No one gave us any chance of winning it and we have come out and won it pretty well in the end.
“It gave them the confidence I think they needed.”
Sheens said his team would not be focusing on any single players in the Warriors, particularly winger Manu Vatuvei who has come under heavy fire for his poor performance against the Broncos.
“We have to look at it as our team versus their team and not go looking at isolate one player. That is the worst thing you can do in a game, trying to make something happen,’’ Sheens said.
“We still have to look at them as a team and work at our strengths and their weaknesses.
“Up until that point, Manu had a great season. Nothing is going to tell me he won’t come out and catch everything and score three tries. That is what we have to be careful about.
“They have plenty of danger men and that’s why we have to pay them the respect and worry about lots of players in their side instead of just worrying about Manu. We have got to be on our game.”