Sheens may keep new-look Kangaroos side - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sheens may keep new-look Kangaroos side

Ian McCullough 07/11/2010 07:00:40 PM Comments (0)

Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens hinted he may stick with his new-look pack for next week's Four Nations final in Brisbane following their superb performance against New Zealand on Saturday night.

Sheens included seven new faces in the team that beat the Kiwis 34-20, and he was full of praise for his re-tooled scrum as the Kangaroos produced their best performance of the tournament in front of a hostile crowd at Eden Park.

Debutant Matt Scott and fellow Queenslander David Shillington were outstanding in the front row up against powerful Kiwi pair Adam Blair and Frank Paul Nuuausala.

Skipper Darren Lockyer and Billy Slater will almost certainly return for Saturday's final in Brisbane in place of Todd Carney and Darius Boyd, but veteran prop Petero Civoniceva and Nate Myles - who was left out of the side in Auckland - are in danger of missing out.

Civoniceva started on the bench for the first time in almost a decade and with Sheens heaping praise on his forwards after the game, he may find himself saying there or even out of the 17-man squad.

"I wanted to see what everyone had, I wanted to put pressure on the squad, I think we have done that, a few guys not playing will be worried about being selected," Sheens said.

"It was a big, big game to play and the team improved from last week, a few of the veterans played very well.

"Cameron Smith and (Brent) Tate played very well (Paul) Gallen was strong.

"I was very impressed with the Canberra pair of Shillington and Tommy (Learoyd-Lahrs) and I thought the young guys like Scott who came in, did what they had to do."

Sheens said before the game that he was using the match to experiment on ideas for the final.

One of those was to use two hookers in tandem, with Smith and Robbie Farah combatting the threat of Kiwi rakes Issac Luke and Thomas Leuluai.

The plan worked to good effect with Farah setting up his Wests Tigers teammate Chris Lawrence for a debut try midway through the second half with a smart grubber out of dummy-half.

While pleased with how the pair, Sheens refused to say whether he would offer up a repeat dose in the final.

"The plan was always for Robbie to come on and speed us up out of dummy-half the way Luke does for the Kiwis and it worked well and added some dash to our ruck area," he said.

"But next week will be a very different game and we cannot think we have won the final already."

Carney admitted the speed of the game took him by surprise in the opening stages of his debut.

"It was really fast, as it should be at this level, and I really enjoyed it," he said.

"I would love the chance to come back and play again.

"I haven't really looked ahead to next week yet, Tim will address the team when we get to Brisbane on Monday, but I am happy to be where I am at the moment, to get a win in my first game is great.

"I am happy to play anywhere, off the bench, but if I'm on the sidelines, I know I can now say I have contributed to the side here and played a part."

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