The Wests Tigers aren't in any hurry to throw John Bateman into their first-grade side, despite suffering a 22-10 loss to the Gold Coast Titans to open their season.
Bateman was forced to watch on from the sidelines as the Titans raced out to a 12-2 half-time lead, whilst the Tigers continued to splutter in attack, making metres through the middle but lost when it came to finding the try line.
Rookie second-rower Shawn Blore suffered a nasty concussion just 18 minutes into the match, spoiling his comeback game after failing his HIA, and will need to jump through some hoops to play Newcastle on Sunday.
Despite the obvious temptation to throw Bateman into the deep end, the Englishman has joined on a four-year deal, and Tim Sheens is happy to play the waiting game.
"I won't commit too much on John," Sheens told AAP.
"He has just landed basically, is settling in. Still doesn't know the plays. I'm not going to push him if we don't think he is ready.
"If it was a grand final this week, he would play.
"But we have invested four years in him and I am not going to ruin the opportunity early by pushing him through because we have lost a game."
It was a deflating afternoon for Wests Tigers' fans, while Bateman didn't play, new recruits Apisai Koroisau, David Klemmer, Charlie Staines and Isaiah Papali'i did, with big expectations regarding the squad this season.
New captain, Koroisau, came off the bench in a late switch which is likely to be amended this week after a clunky attacking display from their spine, rolling up the field only to lose their bearings when it came to an actual attacking set of six.
The Tigers only have three games all season at the 'eighth wonder of the world', Leichhardt Oval, their spiritual home, and have already fallen in their first match this year, with the second coming on Sunday afternoon against the Knights.
While a 68% competition rate is alarming, it's a simple method how the club can amend it. While fans are sure to be frustrated after 2022 saw them secure the wooden spoon, Tim Sheens isn't panicking just yet.
"We didn't throw it in. They were still trying until the end," Sheens said.
"The effort needs to be there and I think it was. If the effort isn't there, then I am worried."
Wests host Newcastle on Sunday afternoon, with both sides desperate to get a win on the board early in the season.