Benji and Robbie have got Tigers loving their football again



  • Benji and Robbie have got Tigers loving their football again
    By [Phil Gould]
    March 30, 2019 — 5.14pm

    Veterans Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall have provided a calming influence and valuable inspiration for their younger Wests Tigers teammates so far this season. Not to mention their football smarts and winning mentality.

    Wests Tigers will win again today on the back of their leadership and skill. Of this I am sure.

    This is a fit, confident and hungry football team. They look like they are loving their football; they play with smiles on their faces.

    Home victories over the Sea Eagles and the Warriors have been great reward for an obviously productive and hard-working off-season.

    Farah and Marshall will again point these young players in the right direction. They will overwhelm a Canterbury team that’s been forced to make early season selection changes in an effort to find some semblance of form.

    Time will tell whether these personnel adjustments represent the first signs of panic, or an inevitable changing of the guard that builds for a better future. I just can’t see them rallying from such a dismal loss to the Eels last weekend in time to trouble a form team like the Tigers.

    Anyway, back to the wily old competitors Farah and Marshall.

    They are in such wonderful form. They are making it look easy. Not bad for a couple of old blokes who have been written off as ready for retirement more than a couple of times in recent years.

    Farah, in particular, has been a dominant force. He is playing with such wonderful guile. He is constantly teasing opposing teams around the play-the-ball area. His legs might not roll over with the same speed he showed in his younger years, however, he has become so quick between the ears; he’s a step ahead of most.

    His controlled passing game brings the Tigers forwards onto the ball with great confidence. His tactical kicking game has kept his side on the front foot and even produced points with pinpoint accuracy.

    His energy and enthusiasm has been infectious. His confident attitude and demeanour lifts his teammates.

    Same goes for Benji, who these days plays with such responsibility and control, as compared to the adventurous risk-taker who took the rugby league world by storm 15 years ago.

    Occasionally we see the old flash and flare. Most of the time, though, we see in Benji an old pro, playing with great patience and purpose.

    Mind you, the Tigers are far from a two-man team.

    Halfback Luke Brooks had an outstanding 2018 season and has kicked off this campaign in great form. He has found the perfect balance between his passing and running game. The great playmakers throughout history were also dangerous ball runners. The running game makes the passing game. Brooks has unlocked the secret.

    Fullback Moses Mbye is an incredibly dangerous ball runner. He will be heavily spotted by his former Bulldog teammates this afternoon. Somehow, though, I’m extremely confident he will be a constant thorn in their side.

    Watching the way Parramatta cut the Bulldogs back line to ribbons last weekend, Mbye will fancy his chances out wide on Sunday.

    I love Tigers wingers Corey Thompson and Mahe Fonua. They are very different kinds of players, but the one thing they have in common is that they both love to have the ball in their hands; they can make things happen.

    I also like the signing of former Rooster Ryan Matterson. He is a smart footballer with an aggressive attacking mindset. His versatility is a real asset to the Tigers. I see him complementing the playmakers and becoming a real force in this team.

    The Bulldogs have been poor in their opening two matches. No good mincing words. I anticipated they would bounce back with a better performance against the Eels last Sunday. They did. However, it only lasted 15 minutes.

    They are better than than what they’ve delivered so far.

    Their defence at times has been very un-Bulldog like. They are showing little enterprise or confidence in attack.

    They’ve made significant changes to their spine for this afternoon’s clash with the selection of a new fullback in Nick Meaney and hooker in Jeremy Marshall-King. This will bring some excitement and enthusiasm to their play.

    Will Hopoate’s move to the centres could assist their defensive reads out wide. He has the experience.

    Their forward pack reads as a hard-working group, capable of churning out long minutes. They will need to lift and play as a unit.

    What the Bulldogs don’t have at the moment is anyone who can provide what Farah and Marshall are delivering for Wests Tigers.

    In the end, though, this will prove to be the difference between the two teams.

    Wests Tigers by eight.

    Enjoy your Sunday football.



  • The downside of having these two back is having to read article after article after article of fluff.



  • Or just give it a miss and move on.



  • Nah, rather not.



  • These two have always brought increased media exposure to this club. As long as they play well or we continue winning that will be the case. Even if we go on a losing streak the media will be interested.

    It should allow a lot of the others to fly under the radar a bit.



  • @Kev:

    These two have always brought increased media exposure to this club. As long as they play well or we continue winning that will be the case. Even if we go on a losing streak the media will be interested.

    It should allow a lot of the others to fly under the radar a bit.

    And it’s good publicity, the fans love these two. I give the articles a miss as Ive read them a hundred times over but it helps the profile of the club.



  • Lets hope we win and move onto next week injury free

    Next



  • Pretty much liked all the goody goody feeling of the article - till I saw that the writer was Gus.
    That’s when I switched off.



  • When benji and robbie leave, the media are going to be scraping the barrel for articles on the tigers



  • Way it is going, they should be leaving in the next couple of weeks.



  • Robbie has not been too bad Benji is invisible Grub must be a shoe in after that first half



  • @jadtiger:

    Robbie has not been too bad Benji is invisible Grub must be a shoe in after that first half

    We can only hope, the Benji love is really annoying, he had done bugger all, Farah though is playing well



  • Dear Gus,

    Nope.

    Love,
    Reality



  • What Benji love? The forum universally agrees he’s finished.



  • @GNR4LIFE:

    What Benji love? The forum universally agrees he’s finished.

    I said the media, we might think we are the media but we are not


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