Tigers coach Sheens wary of Panthers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers coach Sheens wary of Panthers

By Ian McCullough 04/06/2009 04:51:25 PM Comments (0)

Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens has admitted his side's poor recent form against Penrith will give the Panthers the upper hand going into Friday's NRL clash at Leichhardt Oval.

The Tigers were twice beaten comfortably by a then-struggling Penrith side last year and Sheens said his team can't just call on the Leichhardt factor to end a run of four successive defeats.

"We have had one good win against Melbourne there this season, but we haven't had good results against Penrith recently so it is a bit of a psychological hurdle for us to overcome," said Sheens.

"However, we haven't played them at Leichhardt but we can't just rely on our good form there to get the victory.

"They will be confident they can beat us ... when you beat a side regularly you will feel that, but we have got to turn that around with a good defensive effort."

The Tigers are four points outside the top eight following their poor recent form, while injuries to centres Dean Collis and Chris Lawrence and prop Keith Galloway have left them short of firepower.

And Sheens is well aware his side needs a win at their spiritual home to stop their season slipping away.

"We are getting into a situation now where if you don't stay in touch it gets tough as there are less games to play and more you have to win," he said.

"The percentages say that is going to be hard to do, but key players are due to come back and I think the side will get stronger.

"We are not panicking just yet, but we've got to be able to play under that bit of anxiety to get to where we want to be."

The Tigers were beaten 14-0 by the Warriors last week in wet and windy conditions in Auckland, prompting stand-in skipper Benji Marshall to accuse some of his players of treating the trip to New Zealand like a holiday.

Sheens took exception to the comment and said his playmaker had apologised to him.

"It wasn't true that the players were on a holiday, Benji made a comment he regrets making ... although he was taken slightly out of context and said he didn't recall making it," Sheens said.

"He was very disappointed with his game and rightly so ... but the team was not there on a holiday, that I can guarantee.

"It was a dirty, muddy game and it was tough conditions to play football but on the day the commitment of the players was never in doubt."

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