NRL 360 host Braith Anasta has pinpointed the moment Tim Sheens 'panicked' during the Wests Tigers' abysmal loss to Newcastle, expressing his disbelief that the coach decided to leave the box and go down to the sideline in the final stages of the game. The Tigers slumped to 0-2 on the season after a 14-12 loss to the Knights, which has been described as one of their worst performances in club history.
The Knights lost Kalyn Ponga and Jayden Brailey to separate concussions, while Tyson Frizell suffered an ankle injury and Jacob Saifiti was sent off for a high tackle. But the Tigers couldn't capitalise on their depleted opponents and eventually fell to a two-point loss.
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Discussing their performance on NRL 360 on Tuesday night, Anasta and fellow panellist Paul Crawley highlighted how Sheens left assistant coaches Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah in the box and headed down to the sidelines in the final 10 minutes. Crawley said: “The other concerning fact was Tim Sheens on the sideline carrying on like it was a grand final – the concern in his face.”
Anasta said: “When I saw Sheens on the sideline, I thought it looks like a semi-final. There’s five minutes to go and he’s running down from the box.
“There was a sense of panic and urgency for a round two game, I thought it just looked a worry … he’s obviously desperate. I reckon he wanted to get the message to his players, he would have been so frustrated watching what they were delivering … He just looked quite desperate there.”
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Paul Kent also took exception to comments from Tigers chairman Lee Hagipantelis that the side just needed "a little bit more in attack" and they would be 2-0. Kent said: “If my aunty had wheels, she’d be a bike. Of course if they attacked better they would have won the game – every team from the weekend could have said that.
“It’s easy to identify, it’s hard to fix. The problem is the Tigers are rudderless in attack … their attack was awful. They look like a team that don’t know how to attack.
“There was a period there where Api Koroisau looked around and basically threw his hands up in frustration at dummy half, because he didn’t know what they were doing. Didn’t know who wanted the ball or where they were going.
“For a first grade NRL team, who are full time footballers, who are professionals, who are supposed to train every day, it’s unacceptable. It’s unacceptable that a team doesn’t know how to (attack).”
Kent bemoaned the fact that the Tigers didn't look to attack the Knights down the middle due to their lack of troops. “After 20 minutes, your opposition has got one player on the bench, you play through the middle, wear them down, because they can’t replace the big men in the middle. That is football 101.”
David Riccio said the Tigers simply need to "dumb it down." He added: "The entire three months (of off-season) all we’ve heard is how Wests Tigers are going to be this attacking force. Clearly that’s not the case.
"They have to dumb it down against the Bulldogs. Strip it right back, get back to simply completing sets and getting through their plays. The side-to-side trip, it’s not working.”
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