Sheen not content with a place on the bench


Tom Norris

BILLY SHEEN is targeting a North Wales Crusaders’ starting role after his two-try man of the match performance against Whitehaven.

The half-back made the most of a chance to impress following an injury to captain Andy Moulsdale, scoring both of his team’s tries in the 17-10 loss.

Sheen is now hoping that his performance will be enough to force himself into the starting XIII for the home encounter with Doncaster on Sunday, May 27.

Up until now, Sheen has been forced to bide his time with head coach Clive Griffiths naming him amongst the replacements for seven of the club’s nine competitive matches this season.

His two tries provided a timely reminder of his ability and Sheen is now looking to make one of the two half-back positions his own.

“Considering I didn’t think I was going to come on it wasn’t too bad!” he explained after the contest.

“I needed to prove a point and I think I did that, hopefully it works out and I can get a starting position.

“He (Griffiths) has gone with more maturity to be honest and I agree with him when he does that.

“I need more opportunity at times, but it is up to me to work hard and really push my case for a starting role.

“I think I have been working hard in training and it has paid off on the pitch. I got my opportunity and hopefully I have sealed a place.”

On adapting to Championship One, he added: “It is a good level for me.

“I am quite young and hopefully, once I have settled in at this level, I can try and go higher.”

Rather than bask in the glory of his two tries, the 22-year-old insisted that he would rather have beaten a Whitehaven side that Crusaders proved more than a match for.

Sheen’s tries twice handed Crusaders the lead, but Whitehaven showed their experience to battle back and take home the points.

“I would liked to have got the win rather than score two tries,” he reflected. “I thought we were the better team on the day and our defence was good so we can hopefully push on and get some more wins this season.

“We need to start getting back-to-back wins, we haven’t had them yet this season.”

With captain Moulsdale on the sidelines and the experienced Christiaan Roets injured, Sheen was seen cajoling his side during the second period.

Both Sheen and fellow half-back Jamie Durbin were vocal out on the field, and the former Leigh Centurion explained why he felt the need to express his opinion.

“Sometimes we just need some more enthusiasm in the game,” he highlighted.

“When the opposition score near the end of matches and we think that we have lost it, but we need to get on with it.

“One or two lads have a bit more enthusiasm than others and they need to lift the team because sides like Whitehaven aren’t going to come here and throw away points.

“Teams like Whitehaven will dig in and that is something we need to do, we need to match them.”

- Wrexham Bradley Raiders slipped to a 34-12 defeat against Rhyl and Prestatyn Panthers on the opening day of the inaugural North Wales Championship season.

A hat-trick from Paul Selwood - enhanced by a brace by Liam Kennedy and a further score - sealed the win for the Panthers, who were ahead after the first minute.

Rob Morris’ try opened the Raiders’ account for the campaign after 25 minutes, but the home side found themselves 34-6 down at the break.

An improved second-half showing from Wrexham saw them win the second period 6-0, Matt Whitley crossing over.

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