NRL Tigers desperate to avoid slow start - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL Tigers desperate to avoid slow start

Joe Barton 18/06/2011 05:30:53 PM Comments (0)

Wests Tigers' coach Tim Sheens must surely be hoping his team can wake up before the 60-minute mark on Sunday when they take on NRL heavyweights Melbourne at Leichhardt Oval.

The Tigers have won four of their past six matches, but they've had Sheens tearing his hair out at various points during each of the victories.

Since their 49-12 thrashing of Canberra in round eight, the Tigers had trailed in four of five matches at the break, while they were deadlocked at 10-all against Newcastle in round 13.

Despite their sluggish starts, the Tigers have been able to escape with victories over Penrith, Newcastle and the Warriors, largely due to big second halves involving moments of brilliance from star five-eighth Benji Marshall.

But Sheens conceded his team could not keep giving up leads and expecting big plays to cover the cracks.

"We need more and more consistency. We're forced to make plays to play catch-up and you're not going to win enough games," the veteran coach said.

"St George showed us that. We didn't play well in the first half. We played better in the second half (of a 24-18 loss).

"It comes down to making sure that from the first minute to the last minute, (we compete) and whenever we've beaten Melbourne that's what we've had to do. We've had to play well for 80 minutes."

Inspirational Tigers' backrower Gareth Ellis said it was a huge benefit to have Marshall in his side when the clutch moments needed to be made.

"He definitely does come up with some big plays, not only in attack but in defence," Ellis raved.

"He saves one or two tries every week with his ability to chase back and stop tries as well, so he's a massive part of what we do."

One thing working in the Tigers' favour is an impressive record at Leichhardt Oval, where they have won six of their past seven matches, including the golden-point Newcastle victory.

But Sheens said his side should not use that as their security blanket either.

"The ground won't have anything to do with it outside of us not having to travel," Sheens added.

"The ground nor the crowd won't win it for us. It will give us a better atmosphere, but we've got to play well enough to win the game.

"Right at the moment, if our guys start to think that just turning up at Leichhardt will win it for you, we've done that a couple of times and got our backsides smacked, so I'd like to think they remember that."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news