Sheens puts Inglis in elite company - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sheens puts Inglis in elite company

By Steve Jancetic 01/11/2009 01:15:19 PM Comments (0)

Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens believes Greg Inglis deserves being ranked alongside the finest centres Australia has produced after yet another stunning Test display.

Inglis was almost unstoppable as he toyed with rugby union-bound opposite Lee Smith when Australia defeated England 26-16 in their Four Nations clash in Wigan on Saturday, the Melbourne ace scoring one try and having a hand in three of the other four during a dominant first half display.

It was enough for Sheens to evoke comparisons with former Test skipper Mal Meninga, the only player to go on four Kangaroos tours, with England unable to handle Inglis' unique mix of size, speed, strength and composure.

"He's an extremely good player," Sheens said.

"We can't rely on just going to Greg all the time but he is in the Meninga mould and all of the great centres that Australia has produced, he's certainly up there with those.

"He's got a long way to go before he achieves those heights but he's certainly well on his way."

Certainly, the bigger occasion, the better Inglis seems to perform.

While he has been accused of drifting out of NRL matches, there is no doubting his performances in either the green and gold of Australia or the Maroon of Queensland.

Asked if he thought it was one his better displays for Australia, Inglis said: "I don't know. I don't replay my videos. I just go and about my business."

Halfback Johnathan Thurston was in no such doubt.

"He's a freak," Thurston said.

"Maybe last week (in the draw with New Zealand) we got into just trying to give him the ball for him to do something. This week we punched forward a bit more and exposed them on the edges.

"That was the game plan. It was good to see it work."

Inglis' dominance included numerous tackle busts and a runaway 80 metre try after a Danny McGuire pass found the ground and Johnathan Thurston fed the ball for Inglis.

After evading a desperate dive from the chasing Ryan Hall, Inglis appeared to taunt the packed DW Stadium as he waited in the in-goal for defenders to come before putting the ball down.

"I was puffing - I just needed a break before we went back," Inglis said.

"I just phased out a bit there.

"You get in the zone, you have to work out whether you want to pass on the inside or the outside."

Thurston, the man who set him up, said there was never any question whether he was going to score.

"As soon as I gave him the ball I was just walking with my hands up," he said.

"He still had 50 to go. It's just a pleasure to play with the man."

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