Benji Marshall is class.
The last 3 weeks I have seen him create so many great opportunities for his outside men. He has created holes for centres, and created overlaps for our wingers.
If he had some classy outside backs outside him, he would have created a few linebreaks and extra tries for his outside men. It was the same story against the Roosters. Unfortunately, we just don’t have the class hitting the whole, or the speed at the end of the backline (EG - The Nofo kick for Thompson try. If it was a fast winger, he just sprints away there, but as Nofos slow he has to kick. This is one of many examples as well).
I honestly don’t think theres many 5/8s in the game who would offer more for us than what he does. But if you don’t have the cattle around you, its pretty hard.
Would re-sign him at the right price ina heartbeat
He may have just breached the 300 game milestone but Michael Maguire will urge Benji Marshall to push on and play in 2020.
Marshall was one of the Tigers’ best in the 30-18 loss to the Eels on an afternoon which celebrated the star playmaker’s decorated career.
Marshall may refuse to entertain talk about his playing future beyond this season but Maguire was not shy when asked if he would like the 38th man to play 300 NRL games to push on next year.
“Yeah, I am,” Maguire said when asked if he was urging Marshall to play in 2020. "Obviously as a coach you get to know your players and this week I really got to see what is right around Benji Marshall and a real understanding of what he has gone through.
"We have only known each other six, seven months now but to understand where he has come from as a young kid to win the finals and go through so much throughout his career… but the one thing that stood out to me was his family. That really stood out to me this week and what that means to him and what that means to them as well.
“For him to keep playing … I believe that he can. It’s about the excitement that he brings to training each day and each week. That’s why I can say that.”
Marshall has been one of the Tigers’ best through a rollercoaster season, leading many to believe he could go around again next season. The joint venture club currently sits 11th on the premiership ladder but given just one win separates seventh and 14th, finals remain a live hope.
Dragging the Tigers to the top eight remains Marshall’s sole focus.
“The important thing for me is to make the finals and win the competition,” Marshall said. “Realistically, that is the focus. I just don’t want to get caught up and worry about next year, now. Now is really important to me. Our group, our team. As a leader, I need to drive that and if I am focusing ahead too far, I don’t think that will get the best out of me. For now, we need to win and we need to win now.”
Future aside, Marshall will never forget the week leading up to his 300th match. The result may not have gone the Tigers’ way but Marshall went out of his way to thank the club and everyone else who have passed on their best wishes.
“I’m really lucky and I have to thank the Wests Tigers. The week they have put together for me has been unbelievable,” he said. "Madge had my family in there for the presentation of my jersey last night. That meant a lot to me. That got me.
“The video I did with NRL.com during the week, that got me. Running out with my son, I cried again. I reckon I have cried more this week than I have in the last year.”
Yep … very disappointed with what support he got from his team members today.
Just compare today’s rubbish to how Melbourne guys made sure that Smith got what he deserves for his 400th game. They ran hard, hit hard and when they got challenged they responded in winning manner.
We were just a bunch of pussycats … hopeless. They should be ashamed … and Madge and the fans deserve better.
Ladder finish a big factor in Benji’s future after 300th
Sun 14 Jul 2019, 08:20 PM
Milestone man Benji Marshall won’t be rushed into a decision on his future after a bittersweet finish to his 300th NRL appearance at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday.
Marshall said he would give all the celebrations back if it meant the Wests Tigers could reverse their 30-18 loss to the Eels as the club’s finals aspirations took a big hit leading into next week’s clash with Canberra.
The veteran playmaker tried his best to spark the side after they trailed 16-4 at the break but costly errors, three missed conversions and a bombed four-pointer in the second half helped the Eels go on with a 12-point victory.
“It was a special day but to be honest I would’ve rather got the result,” Marshall said.
"It’s hard to be excited or celebrate because I want to win and make the finals. I hate losing, I would rather that be a win with where we’re sitting on the table, no doubt. And our group does try but there’s a lot of things we need to work on.
“As a leader part of my job is to do that and that didn’t happen. Simple errors cost us a lot and we were chasing the game.”
An emotional Marshall was greeted by a strong core of family and friends after a jersey presentation on-field to celebrate his achievements, which included a traditional haka as a mark of respect.
Family blast out emotional Haka for Marshall
“I’m lucky I’ve got a really strong family that taught me a lot of those values when I was younger – discipline, resilience and never giving up,” Marshall said.
"I’m really lucky with the support, to play rugby league for a job, that’s where I just pinch myself.
“I’ve got a lot of gratitude. You’ve got to appreciate and enjoy the moments.”
Marshall’s future is expected to be further questioned with eight weeks of the regular season remaining.
He said he’s physically in a great shape to play on and has the backing of Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire to do so.
“I just don’t want to get caught up about worrying about next year because now is important to me,” Marshall said.
"If I’m focusing ahead too far I don’t know if that will get the best out of me. I feel great and we’ve got a great medical staff that I feel like I could do it.
“But I’m not alone in this decision. A lot of things go into it. That’s another discussion that will happen in the next month or so but there’s no time frame for me.”
The Tigers were level with the Eels on tries scored in Sunday’s clash but goal-kicking proved the difference with Esan Marsters and Moses Mbye combining for just one goal from four attempts.
Marshall addresses Bankwest Stadium after his 300th match
Eels playmaker Mitchell Moses produced a clean day with the boot, including three shots at penalty goal.
“We need to have a good look at ourselves,” Maguire said. "We’ve got to make sure we get our goal-kicking right but I can say there is a lot of work being done in that area.
“It’s just one of those things we need to look at, simple as that. I’ve seen the group change as I’ve gone throughout the season. We’re aware of where we sit on the ladder.”
It’s just one bad decision after the next I’m stating to wonder how Pascoe keeps his job clearly it’s not based on on field results.
Ivan Cleary era
Fans are slowly waking up to his incompetence.