Wests Tigers battling kicking history

Luke

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**Wests Tigers battling kicking history**

By Steve Jancetic AAP Wed, 21 Jul 2010 16:20:02

Wests Tigers will need to overcome a decade-long hoodoo to take out this year's NRL premiership if Benji Marshall's goalkicking wobbles extend into the finals series.

Not since Melbourne's inaugural premiership in 1999 has a team won the competition with a kicker striking the ball at a rate worse than Marshall's.

The champion five-eighth's tally of one from six against North Queensland on Monday night leaves him with a 2010 success rate of just 62.5 per cent.

It's the worst strike rate in the NRL by some way but more worryingly for the Tigers, it would leave the joint venture facing an uphill battle for premiership success should they advance to the finals.

Only once since the turn of the century has a team won the grand final with a kicker going at a success rate of lower than 70 per cent, with Panther Ryan Girdler's 2003 effort of 65.7 per cent hampered by an injury-plagued campaign.

Renowned superboot Daryl Halligan said he was confident his fellow Kiwi could overcome his recent staggers but admitted finals football would only accentuate the pressure on Marshall.

"Finals highlights everything," Halligan said.

"With the atmosphere and sudden-death games, it brings everything a little bit tighter and brings everything under the microscope a little bit more.

"The experience he had (on Monday night) was probably one he doesn't want to have too often.

"He mentioned he's working hard on it, so if he continues to do that he'll not only be better than he was the other night, he'll string a few together as well.

"Confidence plays a big part and Benji's got a lot of confidence."

With no other recognised options in the side, coach Tim Sheens said he would stick with Marshall in the role, but admitted he may need to do some more work with goalkicking coach Jason Taylor.

The best in the business in 2010 - Cowboys skipper Johnathan Thurston - has landed a stunning 37 goals from 42 attempts.

Despite having 30 more attempts, Marshall has landed just eight more goals than his Cowboys rival.

His four consecutive misses against the Cowboys at Leichhardt Oval on Monday night kept the visitors in the game until the 77th minute before Marshall's skills and speed helped ice the game for the Tigers.

"We're persevering there. The goalkicking coach comes back in this week and away we go again," Sheens said, while also pointing out Marshall was a perfect three from three against Gold Coast the previous week, when he also slotted home a miraculous field goal from halfway.

"I'd certainly like the percentages to be higher, but I'm not going to panic at this stage," Sheens said.

"No one else is practising."
 

ron_burgandy

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@innsaneink said:
Lote told the media Chris Lawrence was practising…I wasnt the only one to hear it.

One of them's lying. I wonder why......

as long as benji is in the team benji will take the kicks….
 

Centaur

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Pretty silly really, it is not as if Benji has anything to gain from continuing to kick. It's not as if it 'adds something to his arsenal' considering he is so bad at it.
 

king_sirro

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Pretty silly if no one else is practising. It doesnt matter if u have Matthew Ridge in the side, u should always have 2 or 3 others practising.
 

innsaneink

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@king sirro said:
Pretty silly if no one else is practising. It doesnt matter if u have Matthew Ridge in the side, u should always have 2 or 3 others practising.

Yes….I guess we go with someone with no kicking under his belt should Marshall be out injured or suspended for any time.

Smart.
 

Love_the_WestsTigers

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Regardless of who the 1st choice kicker is any team should always have atleast 1 backup kicker as most mentioned we need options. I guess many can kick but not too many can make the kick distance and i think thats why Benji is still kicking.Wish Robbie could kick , he does just about every other thing for the team.
We all know when Mark Flannagan was signed his profile said he could kick , its a mystery why no one else is seen practising or kicking.
 

Love_the_WestsTigers

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Regardless of who the 1st choice kicker is any team should always have atleast 1 backup kicker as most mentioned we need options. I guess many can kick but not too many can make the kick distance and i think thats why Benji is still kicking.Wish Robbie could kick , he does just about every other thing for the team.
We all know when Mark Flannagan was signed his profile said he could kick , its a mystery why no one else is seen practising or kicking.
 

Fraze23

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i remember in skandalis' first last game he took a penalty kick from 40 out about ten in from touch round the corner and nearly landed it. i reckon todd payten could probably kick. is there anything that bloke cant do? seriously tho we've got to have more than one bloke practising goal kicking
 

Luke

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Personally I think Benji should change his technique and kick like Thurston/El Masri/Gordon by curling the ball around instead of trying to kick it straight and hard. The wind takes too much hold of the ball I've noticed and strays it away.
 

Balmain_Tiger

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@Long Distance Tiger said:
@reyre2000 said:
@Balmain Tiger said:
bit drastic..**one off night** and we are doomed all of a sudden

Classic post.

At 62.5% it indicates a little more than just "one off night"

Yeah. More like a season off!!

benjis boot has one us so many games this season
most likely the last 10 games or so his kicking has been in fine form.
one off night since then and its back to these sort of posts.
if you dont think benjis kicking has improved greatly your kidding yourself
 

tsjonathan

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benjis boot has one us so many games this season
most likely the last 10 games or so his kicking has been in fine form.
one off night since then and its back to these sort of posts.
if you dont think benjis kicking has improved greatly your kidding yourself
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\
\
I definately wouldn't use the words "fine form"…
He needs to improve, there are no doubts about it. You are right he has landed some from the side lines but landing a couple a few weeks in a row and then missing some for another few weeks for a tally hovering around 60% just doesn't cut it imo in first grade.

I'm sure everyone can see the effects converted tries can have on the momentum of a game. There is such a fine line in first grade football between winning and losing games that kicking goals is just so important.

Perservering with benji at half back for over a year/ Perservering with Benji as a goal kicker.

Perhaps some similarities????
 

alien

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@Luke said:
Personally I think Benji should change his technique and kick like Thurston/El Masri/Gordon by curling the ball around instead of trying to kick it straight and hard. The wind takes too much hold of the ball I've noticed and strays it away.

He starting curling it a bit when Taylor starting coaching him and his percentage was worse kicking it that way. His percentage was better without Taylor's help.

@Love the WestsTigers said:
Wish Robbie could kick , he does just about every other thing for the team.

Robbie's percentage was 70%. Not outstanding but a better percentage than Marshall's.
 

reyre2000

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@Balmain Tiger said:
@reyre2000 said:
@Balmain Tiger said:
bit drastic..**one off night** and we are doomed all of a sudden

Classic post.

At 62.5% it indicates a little more than just "one off night"

benjis boot has one us so many games this season
most likely the last 10 games or so his kicking has been in fine form.
one off night since then and its back to these sort of posts.
if you dont think benjis kicking has improved greatly your kidding yourself

Well, **i must be kidding myself** because to be sitting at 62.5% now after "improving greatly" must mean that early in the season he was kicking at 40% or lower for his great improvement in kicking to now reach the mighty percentages of the low 60's. You know it makes sense with what i've just said.

Benji kicks like a busted. Always has, always will. He shouldn't be in the team to kick goals. His sole reason for being in the team is to win us games with his freakish skills during the run of play…...........and lets face it, I guess he is also in the team because of his marketabilty.
 
P

pearce_off

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I wonder if it is a matter of fatigue? With fresh legs I think he probably kicks in the 80%+ range at training, but with game fatigue he gets a bit sloppy with control. For example, after sprinting the length of the field for the last try on Monday, he looked way too buggered to take that kick - and surprise, surprise he missed.
I assume they are getting him to practice kicks after a taxing fitness session?
Despite doing some great things on the field on Monday, I was worried his disappointment of missing 4 straight was going to affect his field performance.
He doesn't need to take the kicks - I'd rather him be relieved of the burden. If he is only kicking at 62% he is clearly not our best option. With 9 or so 80 minute players, surely someone could be schooled to be a 70% kicker.
Maybe we should also look into the possibility of two kickers. A right footed kicker for kicks on the left and a left footer (Robbie) for kicks on the right.
For such an important point gathering mechanism, we seem to be treating it too lightly. If Benji hits 3/4 of the first 4 he missed, we don't have the heart attacks for 77 minutes.
If Benji was kicking 75% instead of 62%, we'd also be able to add another 18 pts to our for and against. That could be crucial to our top 8 (or top 4) aspirations.
 
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