Sheens channels '05 spirit - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sheens channels '05 spirit

By Steve Jancetic and Ben Horne 24/09/2010 07:01:25 PM Comments (0)

It may not be the emotional wave of 2005, but Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens is doing all he can to channel the energy from one of the greatest finals upsets of all-time ahead of Saturday night's preliminary final rematch with St George Illawarra.

While much has changed in the five years since the Tigers bundled the Dragons out of the 2005 premiership race, one thing is all too familiar - the Tigers' underdog status.

"We'd already over-achieved once we made the top four let alone the semis so everything was devil may care," Sheens said of the Cinderella run.

"We didn't care if we won or lost. We just turned up - if we were going to have a drink on the Monday, we were going to have a drink on the Monday and we just kept pushing those Mondays back."

But while Sheens admits the stakes may be higher this time around, he admits the perception of his side hasn't altered too much with the Dragons again heavy favourites.

"A lot of people didn't rate us that we'd get there (in 2005) nor that we'd get this far (this year)," he said.

"So we've still got a little bit of what was there in 05."

But that's it as far as Sheens is concerned, the veteran coach adamant there was no mental advantage for his side heading into another game against the Dragons.

"I don't think you really draw on that," he said.

"It's really what we're doing at the moment rather than what we're doing five years ago,.

"But the fact it was five years ago, the only benefit there of course is that they've had 100 games since then.

"So that's the experience that you've gained and the team's got a lot more experience on that basis."

The win back in 2005 came in the midst of a purple patch of form for the Tigers in matches against the Dragons, when they won six of seven over a four-year period.

The Dragons have won the past two contests, including a 34-10 thumping at WIN Jubilee Oval in round 16 this year when the red and whites ran away with the game late.

"They scored just before halftime, in the last minute of the half and two tries in the last three minutes so it was 18 points there," Sheens said.

"If you look at that in the scoreline, that's something they just persevered and persevered and we just shut down.

"(We) just lacked that little bit of concentration so they're the things you've got to concentrate on for 80. I expect in a semi-final to do a lot more of that than we did at Kogarah."

The Tigers held a closed session at ANZ Stadium on Friday, with doubt still surrounding whether John Skandalis or Andrew Fifita would take injured prop Todd Payten's spot in the squad.

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