BENJI WRESTLES WITH OWN DEMONS IN HEAT
By Wayne Cousins
4/03/2012 10:37:25 PM
Benji Marshall might have kicked the winning field goal to sink Cronulla 17-16 but he was the first to admit he wrestled with his own demons in the humid conditions.
Filling in for an exhausted captain Robbie Farah at the post match press conference, Marshall was grateful the field goal practice at the end of each training session had paid off at Leichhardt Oval.
The Kiwi five-eighth said he wanted to take a field goal attempt in the set before full-time down the other end of the field but was glad his team got an opportunity early in golden point.
“We shifted the ball, got some good yards and brought it back to the middle,’’ Marshall said.
“(Cronulla prop) Bryce Gibbs actually got a hand to it and said to me after the game that if he didn’t touch it, it wouldn’t have went over. So, thanks Bryce.
“It was tough. I was up and down a bit, I was bit inconsistent and pretty disappointed about my play. We came off with the play at the end. When you finish a game like that, it is a positive. The good thing is that there are so many rounds still to improve.
“If you want to win the game, you put your hand up at the end and you take the field goal shot. I wanted it.”
Wests Tigers Head Coach Tim Sheens said it was a big play by lock Chris Heighington and prop Aaron Woods to charge down a field goal attempt by Todd Carney in the first minute of golden point.
He admitted his lost their way in the second half after leading 12-4 at half-time.
“We had poor completions and we were brain dead,’’ he said.
“That happens when you are exhausted from dehydration. You stop thinking. We still had enough structure though for Beau (Ryan’s) try. We threw the ball wide and I thought we could have played a little bit better earlier in the game but we were making good yards and we did a couple of silly things.
“We completed but didn’t complete well. We were behind in the penalty count but there were other issues for us.
“I can’t fault the effort as in 100 per cent commitment. When you are in a game like that, that’s all you can wish for – 100 per cent commitment and we got that from the 17 guys.”
Marshall echoed Sheens’ thoughts, saying his team-mates forgot it was the last tackle at times.
“It is very hard to explain unless you are actually out there and understand how your mind actually blanks when you are that tired,’’ Marshall added.
“We have got a lot of work to do and we probably won’t be (premiership) favourites after today which is great.”