NRL’s West Tigers coach Tim Sheens experiences ‘deja-vu’ off the back of loss to Newcastle Knights

Fresh off a close loss to Newcastle Knights (12-14), West Tigers coach Tim Sheens revealed he experienced “deja-vu” as the club squandered another opportunity to get their season underway.

The Tigers’ disappointing performance in round one against Gold Coast Titans was followed up by another missed opportunity on Sunday.

On the night, Sheen’s men had plenty of chances to topple the undermanned Knights, who lost four of their key players to injury and the sin-bin, including Kalyn Ponga in the opening minutes.

Alike their loss to the Titans, the Tigers were unable to generate any effective attacking thrusts, resulting in limited opportunities to score and ultimately win the game.

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Sheen said post-game that the club has been doing the right things during the week but seem unable to translate that to the weekend.

“A bit of deja vu really from last week,” Sheens said.

“It was very similar. We started well then give up the simple try and chased it all day.

“We had a couple of tough calls. Again same as last week. The referees rang us last week to say they got a couple of decisions wrong.

“I’d be interested to see the AJ no-try with the so-called obstruction. I thought the kid made the tackle personally but anyway we will look at that.

“But outside that deja vu. We are still just not gelling in and around the attacking area.”

Commentator and former player Michael Ennis took aim during the coverage of the match, saying the Tigers’ offensive performance was one of their worst in “recent history”.

“One of the most disappointing performances from the Tigers in recent history,” Ennis said.

“Their attack was absolutely diabolical.”

Ennis’ opinion was shared by Greg Alexander, who occupied the commentary box throughout the night.

“You can’t help but be critical of the Tigers,” Alexander said.

“The Tigers were very similar to last week against the Titans.

“They had all that ball early and every time they got down there they either kicked dead, their passing was poor. Their execution was poor.

“Their six or seven errors have all been on the attack. That denied them any chance to score more than one try in the first half.”

Unfortunately for the Tigers going forward, they could be without some of their star players due to some heavy knocks, including Tommy Talau.

Talau was hit high by Newcastle’s Jackson Hastings, with Sheen believing the 22-year-old has done some serious damage, with the club confirming a broken nose.

“The couple of boys I am going to lose for next week they are not real happy about it and neither am I,” Sheens said.

“Tommy has a broken nose so it (Hastings hit) was high. And he failed his HIA, so that means we will lose him next week.

“So do you think I’m happy? No.”

Sheen may also be without Jake Simpson for a few weeks, who came out of a clash with Jacob Saifiti second best.

“The one on Jake was a bad one. He is not well, so we will lose him next week as well. Maybe even a couple of weeks,” Sheen said.

“It was a fairly heavy knock. It deserved a send-off and it got one. That doesn’t help us next week when we lose the kid.”

The Tigers – along with the Eels and Raiders – remain winless after the opening two rounds of the 2023 season.

West Tigers faces the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Sunday, March 19 at Belmore Sports Ground.

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