Predators forced onto the back foot
By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
THE hunter has become the hunted but assistant coach Royce Simmons said that wouldn't alter the blueprint which took Wests Tigers to a memorable 2005 NRL premiership.
Speaking after conducting a 'coach the coaches' clinic alongside other Wests Tigers and Keebra Park High officials at the Gladstone Leagues Club on Saturday, Simmons said the premiers would stick to the attacking style which swept them to last year's title.
"There's no doubt a lot of sides didn't pay us respect (last season), we just slipped under the radar,'' Simmons said. "It'll be tough for us this year because everyone wants to beat the premiers, that's always the way. But we won't change our style too much ? it's up to them to chase us.''
Simmons willingly shared with Gladstone district coaches the knowledge gained from 233 first grade games for Penrith and seven seasons at the coaching helm for the Panthers, knowing well the difficulties faced by coaches at all levels of the game.
Despite captaining Penrith and representing Australia and NSW during an outstanding career, Simmons, who has been named to assist NSW Origin coach Graham Murray this year, said he had not appreciated the demands required of the coaching role as a player.
"I don't think any player does (realise),'' Simmons said.
"Players only have to look after themselves, do their own training and then go home.
"I didn't know how much preparation goes into coaching ? there are so many areas you have to deal with.''
In addition to scoring two tries in his swansong, the Panthers' 1991 grand final victory over Canberra, Simmons listed the unbeaten 1986 Kangaroos tour of Great Britain, NSW's 3-0 cleansweep of Queensland the same year and Penrith's first semi-final in 1985 as career highlights.