Expectation not lost on Sheens - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Expectation not lost on Sheens

By Steve Jancetic 24/10/2009 06:47:11 PM Comments (0)

Australian rugby league coach Tim Sheens knows the score - populate the trophy cabinet or perish.

Such is the pressure that comes with coaching the Kangaroos that failure is rarely tolerated.

And like every other tournament or series they have gone into over the late three decades, Australia are again favourites to bring home the spoils from the Four Nations tournament.

Despite their stunning upset loss to New Zealand in last year's World Cup final, Australia are still regarded as the top dogs in international rugby league - a mantle earned as much for their dominant performances over the years as the plethora of talented players they have to chose from.

But with that comes an expectation - an expectation of success.

Just look at the last two national coaches who failed to deliver the silverware.

Wayne Bennett, the most successful coach in NRL history, stood down from the post in the wake of Australia's 24-0 loss to New Zealand in the Tri-Nations final in 2005, the first time an Australian side had lost a series in 32 years.

Ricky Stuart suffered the same fate after Australia's 34-20 loss in last year's World Cup final - though his demise was related more to the public outcry at his post-game abuse of referee Ashley Klein.

Still, neither man kept their job after failing to capture the trophy - a fact not lost on Sheens who admits coaches are just as accountable for performances as players.

"If by chance we go home without a series win, there'll be calls for my departure as well," Sheens said.

"There's a lot of people not in the side now that were in the side earlier in the year - maybe some of these guys won't be there next year if they don't play well and don't continue their form when they get back to Sydney.

"Coaches are in the same boat."

But while Sheens' approach is that of a realist, it is not one which will determine his coaching philosophy.

"You don't sit there worrying about it and I won't coach accordingly - I won't coach to save my job - I'll coach to win," Sheens said.

"I don't worry about me personally, it's about the team and the team is more important than all of us."

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