It’s been a baptism of fire for Brandon Wakeham, the new Wests Tigers half. He’s come into a team that so far has not been able to snag a win from their first four NRL games.
Wakeham was one of three players rolled out to face the media after a training session at Campbelltown Stadium this morning.
South West Voice in Macarthur asked Wakeham if the timing of his selection for his new club meant some extra pressure for him, and how was he handling the lack of wins so far.
“I didn’t win too much at the Bulldogs when I was there,’’ he responds.
“We all want to win, and seeing us train I know we’re not far off.
“But also, a few different options and the result is different in some of those games we lost,’’ he says.
“We’re working on simplifying our game and I feel that every week we’re getting better.’’
Also fronting the media was Asu “AJ” Kepaoa, who played in the forwards at the start of the season before returning to the backline in the 24-12 loss to the Storm in Melbourne last weekend.
He too was upbeat, telling the media this was “just another week’’ for the team.
Asked if head coach Tim Sheens was getting impatient and starting to crack the whip at training, Kepaoa said this wasn’t the case.
“Sheens is calm, still just saying to the playing group block the outside noise,’’ he said.
Kepaoa has been named in the centres for the round five clash against the Broncos in Brisbane this Saturday night (April 1).
And just to confirm what Kepaoa and Wakeham were saying this morning, there are no changes to the starting side from the one that took to the field in Melbourne.
But there are three changes to the bench, with hooker Jake Simpkin returning to the side for the first time since suffering concussion against the Knights in round two.
Highly rated youngster Justin Matamua and Starford To’a are also named in the 17 with Daine Laurie, Shawn Blore and Alex Seyfarth included in the extended squad but unlikely to play.
WEST TIGERS TEAM LIST:
1. Adam Doueihi
2. Charlie Staines
3. Brent Naden
4. Asu Kepaoa
5. Junior Tupou
6. Brandon Wakeham
7. Luke Brooks
8. Stefano Utoikamanu
9. Api Koroisau (c)
10. David Klemmer
11. Isaiah Papali’i
12. John Bateman
13. Fonua Pole
14. Jake Simpkin
15. Alex Twal
16. Justin Matamua
17. Starford To’a
18. Shawn Blore
19. Joe Ofahengaue
20. Tuki Simpkins
21. Daine Laurie
22. Alex Seyfarth