Sheens warns Tigers must focus in NRL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sheens warns Tigers must focus in NRL

Rob Forsaith 26/08/2011 06:28:18 PM Comments (0)

Six consecutive wins have lifted Wests Tigers to sixth spot on the NRL ladder and, while pundits suggest a top four berth is on the cards, coach Tim Sheens is more worried about his side "crashing and burning".

The Tigers are in scintillating form and have the most comfortable draw of the finalists, with games to follow against 15th-placed Gold Coast and 13th-placed Cronulla.

For Sheens, the challenge over the next fortnight will be as much about finetuning mental skills as tweaking their rugby league prowess.

Wests will play finals regardless of their next two results, but Sheens doesn't want to hear his players talking about it, especially speculation over where they will finish on the ladder.

"We have talked about taking our eyes out of the rear vision mirror this week and making sure we keep our eyes on the road otherwise you find yourself crashing and burning," Sheens said on Friday.

"I've spoken to the players for weeks now not to even consider it (making the top four). Just to win the games and see what happens.

"It may or may not be in our control. All we can control really is trying to win these two games.

"We can't finish out of the eight but you could finish as high as fourth or as low as eighth. From our point of view, it is still pretty much head down and work hard for this game.

"I'm not even thinking about Cronulla yet. I am just worried about this week."

Sheens' comments came only a day after captain Robbie Farah admitted he was thinking about a top four finish.

"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't (on my mind)," Farah said.

"We know that it's in our hands ... if we can take care of our business and win our last two games that will ensure us minimum of fifth spot, but depending on for and against maybe fourth."

Sheens said he had been in the game too long to speculate about where his side will finish on the ladder.

"You are only one game away from a problem or an injury. At the moment, we will accept the fact that we are looking a lot better on the field as far as our numbers are concerned that we did say eight weeks ago," he said.

"We need to just win the game. I don't care how we win it or by how much. We need to take the two points.

"We need to win these two games. I never start counting on anything because I have been in the game too long."

The Tigers will host the Titans on Monday night at Campbelltown Stadium, with internationals Gareth Ellis and Lote Tuqiri to return from injury.

Sheens said he had realistic expectations about Tuqiri's comeback.

"It really is a matter of Lote just doing his job. I'm not expecting any miracles from him.

"We want to get a little bit of football under Lote. Every game back he has been injured. He has only played five games this year."

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