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Sheens want Tigers to relax

By Ian McCullough 21/08/2010 10:26:26 AM Comments (0)

After five long years of waiting, the Wests Tigers are back into the NRL finals, and coach Tim Sheens is urging his players to relax and play without fear against Parramatta on Sunday.

The fourth-placed Tigers have not figured in the finals since their 2005 grand final win, and have the chance to snuff out the Eels' season once and for all at a sold-out Parramatta Stadium.

The Eels, who sit in 11th spot on the ladder, are once again doing things the hard way at the back end of the season, and although Sheens concedes the game is not a must-win one for his side, he said the pressure is all on the Daniel Anderson's side.

"You don't want to try not to win or worry about losing, but we want to be relaxed, although that doesn't mean we want to play circus football," Sheens said.

"But what we are going to do is play our style of game."

Sheens knows all about struggling to scrape into the eight in the final rounds of the season and said he has switched his focus to trying a secure a top-four finish and a home final.

"The season is all about where you finish and certainly if you lose all three games and play ordinary it hurts your for and against. You don't want to go into the finals on the back of defeats," he said.

"We do have a few players out and we do want to win the game, but I am not demanding that they win at all costs, it is not that sort of game.

"We have been in their position for the last four years ... it is just about where we finish, we want to relax and that probably suits us."

Sheens said he is satisfied with his side's season so far, but concerned about switching off and missing out on a top-four finish.

"I am not silly enough to say I am not happy, but there is still three games to go and a lot of footy to be played," he said.

"I am sure three weeks ago Penrith were happy with where they were, the Roosters were on a roll and all of a sudden they have lost two so you start second guessing yourself.

"You can't afford to stop and think everything is fine."

Eels fullback Jarryd Hayne was the inspiration behind his side's 26-18 win over the Tigers 12 months ago when his side were in a similar position on the ladder.

Sheens is well aware of the threat of the NSW and Test superstar but believes Parramatta are no longer relying on just the 22-year-old to win them games.

"Parramatta are a big, strong side with good second phase and more than Hayne are playing well for them," he said.

Jarryd is a very big player for them, but they are a big, strong side and we have struggled against Manly and St George in recent weeks and they are similar, so we have to get over that otherwise it will be tough."

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