NRL news 2023: Canterbury Bulldogs boss Phil Gould calls out Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens bluff amid John Bateman mystery


Phil Gould believes he was caught bluffing Tim Sheens.

Prized Wests Tigers rookie John Bateman was named to the club’s squad for the first time this season on Tuesday afternoon, but Sheens only listed the former Raiders tough guy in the No. 20.

Bateman’s absence in the first two rounds caused a stir, especially among already disgruntled Tigers fans.

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Gould, Canterbury’s chief football officer, believes Bateman will face the Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon despite not being named in the Tigers’ 17.

“The club is in the best position to assess whether a player is ready,” Gould told Wide World of Sports. Six tackles with Gus.

“I note that he was named on the bench… An expanded bench. Why would you name him if you weren’t going to play him? I expect him to play this weekend.”

The noise surrounding Bateman’s absence in the first and second rounds was amplified by the Tigers’ loss at Leichhardt Oval to the Titans and Knights.

Many Tigers fans were seething because a top striker watched from the touchline as the beleaguered club’s woes entered another season.

Sheens explained the absence by saying the England international was “still settling in”, while Tigers chairman Lee Hagipantelis told SEN radio he still had to “acclimate or learn all the pieces. “.

“He had visa issues and couldn’t get out here until a bit later, he had a World Cup campaign there so he probably had some time off,” Gould said on his podcast.

“A lot of World Cup players have had a shortened pre-season (or) off-season, and a number of them are showing a bit of rust at the start of reason, which is what you would expect.

“They (Tigers) will play him (Bateman) when he’s ready.

“Ideally you don’t let the desperation of your club, because you’ve lost a few games, dictate that you’re going to throw a guy out if he’s not quite ready.

“I can only assume because they have appointed him, that he will play, and if he plays he will be ready.

“He’s a world class striker so they would love to play against him.”

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Gould played down the doomsday feeling surrounding the Tigers, who the Bulldogs will meet at the Belmore Sports Ground on Sunday afternoon.

“When you lose, everybody’s an expert,” the Bulldogs supremo said.

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“Everyone wants to pick your team, everyone wants to coach your team, everyone wants to coach your coach, then eventually they want to fire your coach.

“It’s never as good as they say, it’s never as bad as they say.”

He also suggested he was wary of the Tigers heading into the third round.

“It’s not the kind of team history that shows he’s great as a favorite,” Gould said.

“This week with underdog status makes them infinitely more dangerous… They’ll be a different prospect this week.”

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