Sheens wary of letting guard down v Fiji

15Jan

Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens admits Australia face a genuine Rugby League World Cup danger game against an ambitious Fiji in St Helens.

苏州美甲

The Group A teams meet on Saturday (Sunday morning AEDT), with Australia looking to take their game to the next level after a 28-20 win over England in the tournament opener.

The Kangaroos have won all three previous clashes with Fiji by more than 50 points but the Bati have never looked stronger; their squad littered with NRL talent across the park.

And while it would be a major surprise if the Kangaroos are seriously troubled, Sheens says Fiji are capable of exploiting any complacency or a lack of focus from his men.

“You can’t afford to let your guard and get beat,” Sheens said as Australia trained in drizzle at the 18,000-capacity Langtree Park on Friday.

“Realistically, from our point of view, we’ve got to come out and be aggressive, kick and chase and play what we know is our game.

“We’ll get our opportunities near their line but we don’t want to rush those opportunities.

“Ireland did that (in an opening 32-14 loss to Fiji) … we’re going to have to be a bit more clinical.”

The Petero Civoniceva-led Fijians were physical and aggressive in their opening match, with Sheens revealing Ireland and Canberra prop Brett White had told Kangaroos players he’d never been so sore after a game.

Sheens expects much of the same on what is expected to be a cold, wet night in St Helens.

“There’ll be the odd tackle that rocks the stadium,” he said.

“I think that’s what this sort of football is about.

“It’s been shown with Samoa and New Zealand, and a few of the other games, they’ve been very high impact.”

Sheens predicted debutants Josh Papalii and Boyd Corner would handle the occasion well and backed Daly Cherry-Evans to slot into the side smoothly at halfback in place of the rested Cooper Cronk.

Fiji will be without centre Wes Naiqama (back) but they won’t be lacking any belief, with tough forward Ashton Sims adamant the 2008 World Cup semi-finalists felt they could pull off what would be the tournament’s biggest ever upset.

“We’re going out there to win, there’s no two ways about it,” said Sims, one of three Sims brothers in the side.

“If there’s guys who don’t think we can win, I don’t really want to play.

“We’ve got our backs against the wall big time, I understand that, but most guys don’t player rugby league just to be competitive. We want to win.”

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