Wests Tigers’ secret tactic in win over Penrith revealed: How coach Tim Sheens pulled off a simple masterstroke to set his team up for huge upset win over premiers
- Tigers cunning tactic aids in upset win
- Sheens instructed players to tape wrists
- Tape provides more grip on the ball
Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens employed a secret tactic to help end his side’s 273-day losing streak and defeat two-time reigning premiers Penrith 12-8 in torrential rain on Saturday night.
It was a win that nobody saw coming and halts the Tigers’ losing streak, which featured seven losses to begin the season after finishing 2022 with five straight defeats.
Playing in pouring rain at Bathurst’s Carrington Park, Sheens instructed his players to wear heavy strapping tape around their wrists to provide more grip on the ball in the slippery conditions.
It was a ploy the veteran boss learned while he was coaching in England, and the move paid dividends.
The Tigers made fewer mistakes than the Panthers, with an excellent completion rate of 90 per cent – but the strapping tape trick nearly backfired in the final minutes.
Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens used a wily trick to help end his side’s 273-day losing streak and defeat two-time reigning premiers Penrith 12-8 in torrential rain on Saturday night
Sheens instructed his players to wear strapping tape around their wrists to provide more grip on the ball in the slippery conditions – a move he learned while coaching in England
Prop David Klemmer’s tape got stuck to the ball and caused an error with two minutes left on the clock, but the Tigers battled through to hold on for a gutsy victory.
‘It’s not just a win, it’s a really good win,’ Sheens said afterwards.
‘There was no luck in it. We worked really, really hard.
‘We had a good game plan, we thought – we prepared for the rain and the boys carried it out almost to the letter.
‘That will show the guys that if they stick to what they’re prepared to do, we’ve got a decent football team there.’
The result intensifies pressure on an admittedly undermanned Panthers side that has now started their premiership defence with four wins and four losses.
‘In the conditions, they played better,’ Panthers coach Ivan Cleary said.
‘They deserve a lot of credit but we didn’t play real smart tonight.
The Tigers made fewer mistakes than the Panthers, clocking up an excellent completion rate of 90 per cent in shocking conditions
It was a win that nobody saw coming and halts the Tigers’ losing streak, which saw them suffer seven losses to begin the season after ending 2022 with five straight defeats
‘We definitely feel like we added to the loss ourselves tonight.’
Without injured halves partner Adam Doueihi, much-maligned No.7 Luke Brooks rose to the challenge of booting the Tigers into momentum.
The Tigers’ two tries both came directly after Brooks 40/20 kicks, the first of which was in the first set of the night.
After his first pinpoint effort, Brooks threaded a grubber through the defence to give Brandon Wakeham the opening try – all before the reigning premiers had touched the ball.
‘His kicking game was how we won today,’ Koroisau said of Brooks.