Rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns is at a loss to explain how bad the Wests Tigers are after the team sunk to a 0-5 start to the season for a second consecutive year.

The Concord club is the first to achieve that since Newtown in 1968 – a 55-year first to signify the magnitude of the job in front of head coach Tim Sheens.

A 46-12 thumping at the hands of Brisbane on Saturday had Sheens joking with media, “I hope we beat the bye in a couple of weeks”.

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Johns is struggling to understand how a professional team can be so disorganised, particularly given the experience of Sheens, and the credentials of his assistants Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah.

“It’s hard to put into words. They looked like last night they gave up,” Johns told Nine’s Sunday Footy Show.

“For whatever reason the combinations just aren’t working. I don’t know who to point the finger at.

“The easy one to point it at is the coaches, but you look at the coaches – especially Tim Sheens, his record over the years, he knows the game better than anyone.

“I wouldn’t be pointing the finger at the coaches.”

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Fellow NRL great Billy Slater, however, is more convinced of where the blame lies for the dismal performances.

“Something needs to change… the biggest thing that has to change is the players’ attitudes,” Slater said.

“If that doesn’t change it doesn’t matter what number you’re wearing on your back.

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“They need to have a shift in their mindset and play some tough footy.”

The Tigers have not played NRL finals since Sheens was last coach of the club, in 2011.

He was sacked the following year and since then the coaching reins have cycled through Mick Potter, Jason Taylor, Ivan Cleary, and Michael Maguire – none of whose tenures ended harmoniously.

The return of Sheens, coupled with the additions of 2005 premiership legends Marshall and Farah, was meant to bring a change of fortunes for the embattled team.

Slater believes they spent too much time in pre-season focusing on attack and not enough on defence.

Brad Fittler says neither part of their game is going well.

“The first set of six they gave a penalty to Brisbane coming out of trouble. The second set of six coming out of trouble they gave them a penalty,” Fittler told the Sunday Footy Show.

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“Their first kick down in the attacking zone Brisbane got the ball back. Then their next set of six down on the line they kicked the ball dead.

“Defensively they can’t keep up with teams – they gave two penalties to Brisbane which took all the pressure off – and when they got down their end they can’t execute and put pressure on teams.

“On both sides of the court they are failing.

“They can’t execute, and they don’t have either the fitness or the discipline to be able to put pressure on the other team.”

The Tigers next face the Eels on Easter Monday, then are guaranteed two points when they have the round seven bye.

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