It's time for a new tune, not hits and memories

Kickoff: 3pm, Sunday 3 April
Venue: Sydney Football Stadium
Telecast: Ch.9 Delay
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It's time for a new tune, not hits and memories

Post by willow » Sun 03 Apr, 2011 7:14 pm

It's time for a new tune, not hits and memories
Benji Marshall
April 3, 2011

I realise everyone wants to recall our game against the Roosters in the qualifying final last year. And that's understandable: it was one of the great ones. But at the Tigers, we have been doing our best not to look back on that game.

We lost it and I felt partly responsible. I went off with a knee injury with seven minutes to go and the team had to play with 12 men. I felt like I let the team down.

Today is a different day, a different game and we've got a different squad, as they do. When you try and make too much out of a previous game - talking about revenge or trying to get one back on them - it doesn't work. This game's got nothing to do with last year and everything to do with trying to get two points to keep our season moving.

For us, that clash with the Roosters was a missed opportunity. It was a game we should have won and, really, we deserved to win, even though you can take nothing away from the Roosters. For sheer entertainment, the game was amazing.

Simon Dwyer's hit on Jared Waerea-Hargreaves will stand out for many. Jared's a strong player and a strong runner but for Simon to do that … it was great entertainment and something that will be shown on highlight reels for some time. I think it was the start of one of the great match-ups. They'll be out to get each other again.

The Roosters are a dangerous team. Todd Carney is starting to find some form again. We have had injury problems this week and the match will definitely test the strength of our young guys. They've stood up over the past couple of weeks, showing they're capable of performing well at this level, but we're going to need that again - and then some. This is going to be their biggest test. The longer the season goes on, the harder it is to stay consistent for a young guy.

It'll be a big test for Jacob Miller. I've seen a lot of him through the pre-season. I've seen his development, how much he has matured, the way he controls his voice and his direction of the team. He's got a very good kicking game, he's enthusiastic, very fit and he's a tough kid - he doesn't mind getting stuck in there in defence and having a go. He's definitely got what it takes to be a regular first-grader.

At the same time, we're also bringing in experienced first-graders Geoff Daniela and Mitch Brown. Tim Moltzen is a regular first-grader in any side. As much as we lose a lot in attack without Robert Lui, Chris Lawrence and Lote Tuqiri, I think we gain different aspects. Mitch is good in the air, Geoff has got great footwork and is a really good defender. I think Tim has got future Origin player written all over him.

I've never been more confident in the depth of the team, including Andrew Fifita, Dwyer and Aaron Woods - where has he come from? We've got so much talent out but the guys who have come in are doing an outstanding job. And I'll back the young guys every day of the week.

I felt awful for Chris. A dislocated hip is just so uncommon. The worst part is that it happened just when it seemed like everything was going right: we were starting to build a great combination on the left side and his defence was outstanding. In my opinion, he had been the best centre of the season alongside Jamal Idris. He had so much going for him - that is the devastating part. He would have made my NSW team.

But if anyone can come back strong it's him. He's probably one of the most professional 21-year-olds I've come across, in terms of recovery and rehab. The first thing he said after the injury was: ''I'll be back.'' I believe him.

I've learned that when you are missing players, the harder you try, the worse it gets. The smart thing for the senior players to do is lead by example, instead of trying to do everything. The young blokes will follow.

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