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Laurie will learn: Wests Tigers coach

By Ian McCullough 25/06/2009 05:31:57 PM Comments (0)

Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens has backed young prop Daine Laurie to bounce back from his nightmare display against Melbourne for Friday's NRL clash with St George Illawarra.

Sheens was furious with the 24-year-old last Sunday after he dropped the ball just 10 metres short of the tryline when under no pressure and then conceded the penalty that led to the Storm's matchwinning try.

Despite his strong words following the 14-12 defeat at Olympic Park, Sheens said Laurie will become a better player following the mistake.

"I have had a talk to him about it, I was misquoted a bit last week saying it was embarrassing ... it was a mistake that I have seen many players make," said Sheens.

"In a career that is going to happen to you, you are going to jag one you should never have jagged and you are going to drop one you should never have dropped, it is just part of his learning curve.

"He was upset with himself and that's what I am concerned about ... although he is going on 25 he is still a rookie and you have to understand he will have ups and downs in his game and confidence."

Sheens also revealed plans to turn Laurie into a second rower and earmarked him as a future representative player.

"This is his first full year in grade and this time next year he will be a huge asset to the club and a representative player," said Sheens.

"I see Daine as a wide running second rower in the future and that is where I am hoping to play next season, I reckon he will be devastating."

Laurie was also backed by his skipper Robbie Farah who said he has the full respect of the Tigers players.

"We love having him in the side, he is raw and still learning," Farah said.

"He dropped the ball when wide open, but he was there supporting up the middle and what other front rower in the comp would be doing that?

"He has got that in his game where he can produce something brilliant and sometimes let down the side, but he will turn into a key player for us. If we can clean the edges on him he can be anything."

Sheens admitted Friday's clash at the Sydney Football Stadium is a must-win game for his side who are in danger of missing out on the finals for the fourth successive season following six defeats in their last seven games.

"Last week was another narrow loss and the season is starting to wind down if we are not careful and we are going to find ourselves with no chance at all (of making the eight) and we need to win this game," said Sheens.

"St George are very strong at winning their sets and wearing you down and we have to play them with respect.

"If we try too many thing or try to be too fancy we are going to shoot ourselves in the foot which is what we do when we are at our worst.

"We have to come up with a gameplan in mind and try and grind a way to a win ... the finals are there for anyone ... we just have to win enough games."

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