Marshall magic gets Tigers home against Manly

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    Superstar Benji Marshall engineered a stunning Wests Tigers comeback as they downed Manly 14-12 in a bruising Friday night NRL clash at Bluetongue Stadium.

    In a classic game of two halves, the Tigers showed they were ready to mix it with the big boys in coming back from 12-0 down to dominate the second half with three unanswered tries.

    Marshall created two of them, the second a stunning 50m effort for Chris Lawrence that included a brilliant no-look pass.

    As well as Lawrence, Robert Lui and Blake Ayshford scored tries for the Tigers with Marshall booting one from three in front of a sell-out 20,059 in Gosford.

    For the Sea Eagles, Brett Stewart and Matt Ballin scored tries with Jamie Lyon kicking two from two.

    The pre-match hype over a simmering feud between the clubs threatened to explode in a third minute dust-up but the match soon settled into the kind of bruise-fest the finals are certain to bring.

    The physical Manly machine had looked to be cruising at 12-0 at the break before Marshall sparked a three-try Tigers onslaught in the space of seven minutes.

    Lui grabbed a clever Marshall ball in the 56th minute and touched down and the Tigers almost had another three minutes later when Lawrence was ruled not to have grounded the ball by video referee Sean Hampstead.

    They only had to wait another two minutes, though, for Ayshford to latch onto a pass from Robbie Farah that Manly players complained was forward.

    A shocking conversion miss from Marshall close to the posts left the Sea Eagles in front 12-10.

    But the superstar five-eighth made amends with some trademark magic in the 63rd minute, making the bust and delivering the no-look pass for Lawrence to complete a 50m effort and make it 14-12 in favour of the Tigers.

    Earlier, Stewart had scored in the 13th minute when he sped onto a superb offload from impressive halfback Daly Cherry-Evans, Lyon’s conversion making it 6-0.

    Ballin dummied and scooted over from dummy half in the 33rd minute, catching Tigers prop Aaron Woods out at marker as he appealed to the referee for a penalty.

    Manly missed an opportunity to join Melbourne at the top of the NRL ladder on 34 points, while the Tigers notched three straight wins for the first time in 2011 to cling to their place in the top eight.

    Perhaps proving he has eyes in the back of his head, Marshall denied his pass to Lawrence was a no-looker.

    “I looked. Of course I looked. I thought I looked,” he said.

    “It was a big win for us, we’ve been lacking a bit of confidence lately, in the last couple of weeks we’ve been really trying to find that.

    “Tonight was a real test for us and, 12-0 down at halftime, for the boys to come out second half and put on that performance, it’s a big step for us.

    “But we didn’t win the grand final.”

    Manly coach Des Hasler was unimpressed by the pass that led to Ayshford’s try.

    “I think all 20,000 people saw it, I don’t think the officials did,” he said.

    “It was two feet forward, one step back.”

    With a pre-season charity cricket match at the centre of the supposed feud between the old fibros and silvertails, Tigers coach Tim Sheens couldn’t resist throwing out another challenge.

    “We’ll get them at cricket next year too, just quietly,” he said.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (7)

    • July 30th 2011 @ 8:38am
      oikee said | July 30th 2011 @ 8:38am | ! Report

      Lead them into a false sense of sequrity and then hammered them, showed Manly (the great pretenders) how to play footy.
      Manly had nothing, just lazy overweight players chasing their tails. Lyon, Stewart’s and the young halves got shown up by the best player in the world.
      Yo Benji, you rock brother. Great win.

    • July 30th 2011 @ 11:02am
      Mr Cool said | July 30th 2011 @ 11:02am | ! Report

      Just like the Dragoms last Monday.. Manly thought they had the game won and took their foot off the pedal.. It was great game to watch.

      I thought the umpires leant towards Manly a little. BUT, If this game was played again next week, Tigers would be buried… Manly will probably win this years championship. this game must have taught them an important lesson so close to finals time.

      For two thirds of the game Benji was sleeping.. not what i would call great game.. I have seen him dominate games for full 80 mins. not wait till the oher side took a nap!

    • July 30th 2011 @ 12:18pm
      Sea Eagle of Brisbane said | July 30th 2011 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

      Well, regardless that Farah’s pass was way forward, it is not why we lost. No points in the second half just not good enough. No excuses really other than 5 days earlier we had a hard game against the Panthers. No drama, we are in July and the GF is in October so plenty of time left to get back in to top gear. I think the boys only in third gear now.

      • July 30th 2011 @ 1:47pm
        Jimbo said | July 30th 2011 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

        Yeah agreed. They seemed to lose the plot completely after the Tigs scored that first try. All they needed to do was string 2 or 3 decent sets together, get to the kick and get out of their own half, but they couldn’t manage that. Daly Cherry Evans habit of running backwards out of contact and losing a lot of yardage was infuriating also.

        • July 30th 2011 @ 3:47pm
          Sea Eagle of Brisbane said | July 30th 2011 @ 3:47pm | ! Report

          Daly is a young man, he’ll learn from the smarties (B Stewart, Watmough, Lyon and Ballin).
          Had the game been in Brooky, I think it would have been an easy win. 3 times on the road (even though it was a ‘home’ game for us) is not that what the players would enjoy, it was more like mental fatigue at the end than anything else. The home ground would have helped to overcome on that, the hostile Gosford crowd was not helping.
          I cannot believe why we took the game to Gosford, we would have had the same crowd at home and our stadium owners would have had well deserved revenue as well. Silly stuff really.

    • August 1st 2011 @ 3:41pm
      Big Time said | August 1st 2011 @ 3:41pm | ! Report

      Benji did a few good things, but his game in general was pretty ordinary. Tigers looked unorganised for most of the game, and a lot of this was on the back of Benji running around like a chook with its head cut off. Their forwards won Tigers the game. They were tough and really took it to the Sea Eagle’s pack. It was pretty even for the whole match, but the Tigers pack wore them down in the last 15.

    • August 4th 2011 @ 12:03pm
      Jaceman said | August 4th 2011 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

      Manly cop another raw deal from referee. Referee Robinson gets dropped for missing Farah forward pass for Wests to win game. Remmeber touchie that got dropped for missing 10 metre forward pass for parramatta to come from behind and beat manly..Somehow the referee in line (Hayne) got off scot free and refereed SOO later that year 2010. Must have friends in high places…

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