Sheens sees funny side of RL Test delay

Looking out over Brisbane on Saturday, Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens admits he could not help but laugh.

Glorious sunshine bathed the city in stark contrast to the torrential rain that on Friday night forced a Kangaroos Test to be abandoned for the first time in Australia.

“I sure did have a chuckle. Brisbane have turned it on for us – hopefully it is the same tomorrow,” Sheens laughed on Saturday.

While he had an ironic laugh over Queensland weather’s fickle nature, Sheens was also happy about the prospect of Australia unleashing on a dry track when they finally kick off against the Kiwis at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.

Indeed Sheens could only find positives after NRL head of football Todd Greenberg made the “big call” to postpone Friday night’s match as showers caused flooding, disrupted public transport and cut roads in Brisbane.

“The fact that it will be dry gives us an ability to play a much more open style,” Sheens said.

“We will see a better game of football, people will get value for their money.

“And it’s a seven day turnaround now instead of five – we should see physically a better side so that’s one bonus.

“If they played last night it wouldn’t have been much of a game to watch to be honest.”

Sheens admitted the match’s unprecedented circumstances had initially thrown him when it came to preparation.

But he said there would be no excuses as New Zealand look to notch three straight wins over Australia for the first time since 1953.

The Kiwis have also not won the mid-year trans-Tasman Test since 1998.

“We haven’t had this circumstance in my career,” Sheens said.

“Mentally the side that handles it the best will have the advantage.

“(But) we get back on a training field today so we are back to normal.

“No one is going to panic. We know what we need to do – there will be no excuses from us.”

Sheens said his team’s four rookies – Alex Johnston, Josh Dugan, Trent Merrin and Will Chambers – would have no problem sweating on their Test debut for another day.

Although it seems Johnston – who was a non-playing member of the 2014 Four Nations squad – had his anxious moments.

“Obviously emotionally they were very high particularly, the debutants,” Sheens said.

“But they are handling it well.

“They are happy to know they are still playing, particularly Alex Johnston who missed out on a game at the Four Nations last year.”

Kangaroos captain Cameron Smith admitted they wanted to play on Friday night before the match was postponed after more than 100mm of rain dumped down on Brisbane.

But he looked forward to tackling New Zealand at a dry Suncorp Stadium.

“The target was Friday night to come out and play well but that was taken out of our hands,” he said.

“For the good of the game, a dry track will be good.”

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