Terry towels up Tigers

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Terry towels up Tigers

Post by Discussion Bot » Tue 27 Mar, 2012 1:01 am

One group of men hunched, huffing and broken; the other quick and eager. Canberra came for a match few expected them to win. Clearly they were some of the few to believe, however.

The Tigers lost Robbie Farah but still had Benji Marshall, right? Well, the Raiders also had Terry Campese, a five-eighth who is finding his game again after a long stretch of injuries. He is still a game-breaker, scoring to take the Raiders to a lead from which not even Marshall himself could rescue the Tigers.

The Tigers have now lost three matches in a row, and they looked every bit the beaten outfit last night. The match officials were not popular in Campbelltown, although they never are, even in glorious victory, but by full-time it was the 17 men on the field who had earned the ire of the Tigers supporters.

To compound their misery, centre Chris Lawrence was also placed on report for a lifting tackle on Canberra winger Jack Wighton, who had earlier been at the centre of a tackle on Marshall that was also reported.

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Post by willow » Tue 27 Mar, 2012 12:31 pm

C-word rears its head after latest loss but Sheens refuses to panic
Michael Chammas
March 27, 2012

IF NOT for a refereeing blunder in golden point extra-time against Cronulla in the opening round, Wests Tigers would be languishing this morning pointless at the foot of the ladder alongside the floundering Parramatta Eels.

The Tigers' 1-3 record in their first four games represents their worst start to a season since 2007, when they lost their opening four games and missed out on the finals.

Despite his team's grim predicament, coach Tim Sheens was unfazed last night, refusing to entertain the notion that the Tigers were a team in crisis.

''Three [losses] in a row, it's been a while,'' he said. ''We've been in these positions before. We've been criticised by everybody and sundry, and we've fought our way out of it. We're a close group and that's what footy is about. We've got to prepare and turn up next week. It'll turn as long as we prepare well and work hard.''

The last time the Tigers lost three in a row was just after the State of Origin period last year, when the losing streak triggered a stirring resurgence. They went on to win the next eight games to not only sneak into the top eight but claim a position in the top four.

They continued their rich vein of form into the finals to overcome St George Illawarra in the opening week of the play-offs only to bow out against eventual grand finalists the Warriors, who halted their nine-game winning streak with a narrow 22-20 win at the Sydney Football Stadium on their way to the decider.

Stand-in skipper Benji Marshall, who assumed the role in the absence of suspended hooker Robbie Farah, believes it's too early in the season to start panicking.

''We're close, and that's one of the most important things,'' Marshall said. ''To get through times when they're tough you've got to be close as a team, and we're very close. But at the same time it's not panic stations yet. We're not at the back end of the season yet and we have to win every game to stay in the comp. We've lost three games now, there's only one way to turn it around and that's win the next one.''

Sheens was again critical of the referees after last night's match.

He said the pressure those penalties placed on his side made it extremely difficult for them to get themselves back in the match.

''[It was] an 8-3 penalty count, 6-0 at one stage in the second half, 9-3 last week,'' the coach said.

''So 17-6 in two weeks is really just putting us under the pump, particularly with key people out. It puts a lot of the young guys under a bit of pressure … I think a couple of them were a bit harsh, particularly the one where he played the ball and I thought he lost it. They're the things that turn a game, but at the end of the day, two weeks in a row we've got some issues discipline-wise that we're going to have to address.''

The veteran coach held discussions with referees boss Bill Harrigan last week after his side copped a number of bad decisions against the Dragons. Last night Sheens said he expected a similar conversation with Harrigan this week as he was not impressed by the men in the middle.

''I got some apologies about some of them last week and I'm sure I'll get a couple about tonight, too,'' he said. ''But at the end of the day, that's the way it goes and you've got to be able to defend it and tonight we didn't. It's one of those things you'd like to go over but in the heat of the moment there were a couple of things I wasn't happy with.''

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