Stopping Benji no one-man job: Dragons
September 6, 2011 - 5:19PM
Elevated to State of Origin to shut down Greg Inglis, St George Illawarra backrower Beau Scott has now been handed the unenviable task of shackling Wests Tigers superstar Benji Marshall.
Scott will be the Dragons’ ‘Benji Stopper’ at ANZ Stadium on Friday night, the premiers desperate to contain the Tigers playmaker after he tore them apart just a matter of weeks ago.
But as Scott notes, and history has proved time and again, stopping Marshall takes more than just one player.
“We’ve had a few games against each other the last couple of years, he’s a gifted and very talented player,” Scott said of Marshall.
“He’s on my side of the field so I guess that will be one of my roles during the game, but he’s not a one-person man.”
Marshall scored one try and set up the match-winner for Beau Ryan in the Tigers’ 16-14 round 22 win at the Sydney Football Stadium - he, Ryan and centre Chris Lawrence tormenting the Dragons’ right side defence.
With defensive partners Mark Gasnier (hip) and Jamie Soward (back) hobbled by injury that night, Scott was left exposed far too often, coming up with a season-high five missed tackles and a season-low 19 tackles.
Marshall claimed that win over the Dragons came down to persistence rather than individual brilliance.
“We just stuck together as a team,” he said.
"We were down 8-0 and there was 20 minutes to go and we just did the little things, kick chase and pretty much played a Dragons game on the Dragons and made them come out of their corners and made them work.
"Not many teams do that to the Dragons and we were fortunate enough to get away with that victory, but it was only two points in that game and they were right in it at the end.
While Marshall has continued his stellar form through the closing rounds of the season, Lawrence has been sidelined by a hamstring strain sustained in the last moments of that win over the Dragons.
He returns on Friday night alongside Marshall and veteran winger Lote Tuqiri for what will be just the fifth time the trio have lined up together in 2012.
The Tigers enter the game on the back of eight straight wins, but the Dragons have broken out of their funk with back-to-back victories over the Warriors and Penrith following a five-game losing streak.
Winger Brett Morris said the side was always confident it would get it together as the Dragons attempt to become the first team since Brisbane in 1992-93 to win consecutive premierships in a unified competition.
“You don’t just go crap all of a sudden,” Morris said.
"We’ve got things in place here that we do quite well and we just fell away from those things.
“It was just a matter of getting back to those things.”