Curtis - Jimmy pay tribute to Benji
From: The Australian
August 28, 2013 12:00AM
CURTIS Sironen and James Tedesco might be the future for Wests Tigers but they each paid tribute yesterday to the player who started out as their idol and is now one of their best friends.
“Everyone in rugby league will be sad to see him go - definitely us,” 20-year-old Sironen lamented about Benji Marshall, who celebrates his 200th match on Friday night against Souths.
“We’ve been good mates as well as teammates. I’m very grateful I got to spend as much time as I have with Benji. Being in the halves with him; getting to debut alongside him . . . he’s taught me so much, things I’ll never forget.”
Sironen was essentially born in the Tigers’ den. His famous dad Paul holds the Balmain club record of 246 games.
But Sironen delights in the fact that for all his father’s NSW and Australia jerseys, he never got to play alongside Marshall.
"Obviously with Dad I’ve always been around the club. I watched Benji as a young bloke so it’s been awesome to come into the side and play with guys like him and Robbie (Farah).
“They were some of my idols growing up, but I don’t see them that way now. They are my teammates.”
Tedesco remembers the nerves coming into first grade.
“You’re a bit overawed by some of the players but Benji welcomed me,” said Tedesco, who is also only 20 but has 18 NRL games to his name.
"I’m very sorry to see Benji go, but I’m definitely soaking up these last two games with him. I’m really going to miss our talks.
“He always told me to be confident. Coming in as a fullback and having to boss around first-graders is one of the hardest things. But he told me to stick to my guns and helped me with my positional play.”
Friday night’s match against South Sydney at Allianz Stadium is the Tigers’ last home game of the season. They are away to North Queensland for round 26.
It is also Farah’s first game back from injury after three weeks on the sidelines and his 202nd - breaking Chris Heighington’s record (201) for the joint venture club. And it is Lote Tuqiri’s 150th NRL game after a seven-year sojourn in rugby union between his time with the Broncos and the Tigers.
Marshall is heading to rugby, which has upset many fans of the Tigers, along with his drop in form.
“I said to (coach) Mick (Potter) the whole time, ‘You don’t have to select me if I shouldn’t be selected’,” Marshall said.
"There’s no guarantees in sport and I don’t expect any favours. But it’s worked out that I’ve got to 200 and I’m happy about that. It’s been a long road with ups and downs.
“I missed something like 46 games due to injury. So it could have been a lot more but that’s the way footy goes.”
Marshall said he never listened to the knockers and doomsayers.
“It’s been such a great ride and thanks to everyone for their support,” he said
1. Tone down the hype, please
There can be no denying young rookie Luke Brooks made a tremendous debut for Wests Tigers on the weekend. He is obviously a player of immense potential. He has skill, awareness and a useful kicking game. However, some of the hysteria in the media as a result of his performance is just ridiculous. It’s over the top.
This young man is only 18 years of age and has a long way to go. Please give him some time and space to mature his game over the next few years before we go creating undue pressure with unrealistic expectations. Brooks may well one day realise some of the predictions being made about him; but he has a lot more to experience and learn before he can come anywhere near living up to the hype being heaped upon him. Patience everyone, please.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/league-news/easy-tigers-brooks-needs-time-to-learn-20130827-2sodv.html#ixzz2dIyNw8Lg
Shut up, gould