Marsters holds no grudge towards Cleary
NRL.com Reporter in England
Sun 28 Oct 2018, 06:54 AM
Esan Marsters says he holds no hard feelings over Ivan Cleary’s departure from the Wests Tigers despite re-signing with the club under the assumption Cleary would be coaching the side into the future.
Wests Tigers forwards Russell Packer and Ben Matulino signed on long-term deals with the Tigers in 2018 with Cleary a key figure in their decision, while Robbie Farah’s return was rubberstamped by the well-liked coach.
Cleary sent a text message to Wests Tigers players speaking of his departure on Saturday - which was obtained by NRL.com - but Marsters said he never received one due to a change of sim card in the United Kingdom. He learned of the message via social media.
Cleary handed Marsters his NRL debut in 2017 and is currently on tour with the Kiwis under expected replacement Michael Maguire.
“Leading into it there was a lot of build up with Ivan’s future but in the end he’s going where his heart is,” Marsters told NRL.com in Hull following Saturday’s Test match.
"It’s disappointing but I can’t be angry at him because he gave me my chance and that’s why I’m here playing for the Kiwis at the moment.
“I’m grateful for him, I know it’s a shock for many of our fans and the club but he’s doing what’s best for him and his family.”
The joint venture has endured a tough five-year period with four different coaches.
Marsters was confident Maguire, who is expected to be announced as Wests Tigers coach for the next three seasons, would be a success at the club.
“He’s been really good for me so far and helped me develop my game over here,” Marsters said.
"I think knowing he’s going to be at the Tigers now he’ll probably put a bit more work into me over the coming weeks.
"Everyone is good at adapting, a lot of the boys have had different coaches so we’re used to it.
“All we can do is control what we do on the field and that will start with having a great pre-season when it rolls around and we’ll get back on track.”
Marsters scored the opening try for the Kiwis overnight in their 18-16 loss to England in game one of the three-Test series in Hull on Saturday.
A late try sealed the win for England as the Kiwis let themselves down with ball control and discipline late.
“It was a different experience, very loud,” Marsters said.
"It’s all about learning from that and taking it to the next level. We’re still trying to get combinations right and need to knuckle down and correct what went wrong.
“We’re not phased by the 1-0 [series] scoreline, if we can fix a few things we’re confident of winning the last two games of the series.”
The Kiwis will travel to Liverpool on Sunday night (AEDT) ahead of the second Test at Anfield on November 4.