The 2010 Four Nations is one that Australia will want to forget after they lost it to New Zealand. There’s one man however who is vowing that the Aussies will return, and he wants to be guide them to the Rugby League World Cup.
That man is current Australian and Wests Tigers coach, Tim Sheens.
Veteran coach Sheens hopes that the loss in the Four Nations will give both him and the players a chance to avenge their defeat in this years Four Nations.
‘It’s one of those things where you need to be invited [to continue], and if I was invited, yes I would,” Sheens said.
”The challenge for us now is to win back the Four Nations, which we won in England last year. An ongoing challenge is not only to win that back – because there is no Four Nations the year after – but to win the World Cup.
”Both are in England. The experience I had in England last year was valuable from my point of view in that I know the system there now.
”I’m interested in winning those two pieces of silverware back.
”My simple answer is, if invited, I would [continue].”
Sheens, who is regarded the most experienced coach in the NRL, acknowledges that the decision as to whether or not he retains the Australian head coaching position is out of his control.
”There’s no doubt the pressure that comes with the job is that you’re the favourites, even if you’ve got half your team out,” he said.
”That comes with the history of the Australian team over the last 40 years. If you win you don’t get the credit for it as such because you’re expected to win. When you lose you’re criticised and could find yourself out of a job.
”I understand that, and I’m not offering any excuses. We won all the [pool] games of the tournament but that’s where you get your criticism. People will accept a loss in a game here and there, but they don’t accept the loss of a tournament. If you’re judged by that alone, a lot of us wouldn’t be in the business.
”When you’re in the business long enough you understand there is going to be criticism. That’s part of it.
”It’s still about effort, and if you go down, you want to go down fighting. The Australian boys didn’t let the jumper down.”
The Kiwi team have now defeated the Australians in three of the last 4 tournaments, and are thus staking their claim to be acknowledged as number 1 international team in the Rugby League world.
Asked if he felt this was the case, Sheens replied: ”That’s not for me to say, that’s for other people.”
”These things are momentary anyway. We had the Four Nations, we’ve had this and that. We didn’t have the World Cup but were still considered favourites. It’s like saying [Golden Boot winner Benji] Marshall is the best player in the world. Halfway through the year, [critics] were calling him disgraceful after we got flogged by Souths.
”They were all over him, and now he’s the best player in the world.
”You’re up one minute and down the next; nobody holds those things forever. It’s all about form and performance. You only have to look at the Australian cricket team – it’s about ongoing development. You’ve got to stay competitive, and work hard to hold the mantle of being strong.”