Benji Marshall critics have short memories

Jack Daniels Roar Pro

By Jack Daniels, Jack Daniels is a Roar Pro

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    Benji Marshall was once a beloved member of the Tigers for a reason. (AAP Image/Action Photographics, Colin Whelan)

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    I was seven years old when Benji Marshall threw that magical flick pass and was part of the Tigers grand final winning 2005 team.

    As I grew up and learn’t more and more about rugby league, Benji and the Tigers, and I realised that this guy was more than just a player who could step and flick pass.

    I remember going out to games aged 10 or 11 and watching Benji more than I watched the game.

    I remember thinking how great it was that I went for the team who had Benji Marshall.

    He was my favourite player.

    Every time Benji saved us at the death, every time he produced a magical try assist and I loved it when I would hear Gus Gould saying “he’s a freak”, it would put a smile on my dial.

    Those days are over and we can’t argue with the facts, Benji is playing how he used to. But it annoys me when people constantly hammer him for throwing a bad pass or missing a soft tackle.

    But everything he does right people seem to turn a blind eye on.

    Take David Nofoaluma’s extraordinary leap above Jorge Taufua’s head to score the possible try of the year.

    Who put up the perfectly placed kick… could it have been Benji Marshall? It was.

    Tigers fans are looking for the easy way out and just blame Benji or Potter for everything, now that Blair has hit some form.

    So when you think of bagging Benji, ask yourself the following questions.

    When was the last time I won the golden boot? When was the last time I won an NRL grand final?

    When was the last time I saved my country with two minutes to go in a Four Nations final? When was the last time I won a world cup?

    When was the last time I topped the NRL try assists in a season? When was the last time I captained my country in rugby league?

    When was the last time I was at the top of the most tries scored for the Wests Tigers?

    When did I every inspire hundreds of Tigers fans and kids in New Zealand to play and love league?

    Benji Marshall has done so much for the game and was an amazing player. One “bad” season doesn’t undo all of that.

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    The Crowd Says (21)

    • August 21st 2013 @ 9:57am
      Boydy said | August 21st 2013 @ 9:57am | ! Report

      The blokes playing around him haven’t been giving Benji anything to work with all season. They’re just sitting back and making him look bad. When Benji found some room last night and through a pass out wide was it he or the outside backs standing flat on their heels and watching Pearce waltz trough the gap (the same gap that anyone of four Tigers players should have been running into) and score against the run of play? No it wasn’t. When Ellis and Heinno and Beau were there then he got support. Now these clowns that the management have recruited just don’t get it. They’re all jealous of the money he commands and his talent and everything else that comes with being Benji. So go Benj, good luck with whatever the future holds for you, I for one will miss you in the NRL and congratulations on 200 first grade games, a great milestone by anyone’s standards.

      • August 21st 2013 @ 12:12pm
        Jeff said | August 21st 2013 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

        Jealous about the money he gets,he gets it because of the fans that pay to go watch the games every week,pay for foxtel,give nine the ratings so they pay the billion to have the rights.if it wasn’t for the fans they would all be playing park footy.must be the teams fault to when he doesn’t find touch of a penalty that changes the momentum of the game.poor benji he lost his mates to the sharks,they are playing alright because it’s about being a professional no matter what team and what players you have around you.if he wanted the million a year he should play like someone that deserves it.the all blacks mustn’t because they won’t top up his payment like they did for sonny

    • August 21st 2013 @ 10:15am
      Jemma said | August 21st 2013 @ 10:15am | ! Report

      Btw id like to say nice article, glad you aren’t just trying to be like everyone else and write stuff about benji that he doesn’t deserve! People like you are one of the rare jounalists i have respect for. No one does seem to remember all the good he has done for the wests tigers and also the nrl in general. Im waiting for next season to see who they will put the blame on when his gone, i don’t blame him for leaving anymore he deserves way better then they way everyone has been talking about him.

    • August 21st 2013 @ 10:54am
      Will Sinclair said | August 21st 2013 @ 10:54am | ! Report

      Nice piece Dom.

      I was 27 when Benji threw that flick pass (and about 20 bourbon and cokes to the good) and it still puts a smile on my dial too.

      But it’s time for him to move onto a new challenge – as we all need to do at times – and I have no hard feelings about it. I wish him nothing but every success in the next stage of his life and career.

    • August 21st 2013 @ 11:17am
      Gali said | August 21st 2013 @ 11:17am | ! Report

      I DON’T BLAME BENJI. When he talks about Loyalty he is talking to those who were present when the Deal was made. Now if the club say’s they will no longer Honour that Deal. The Question than becomes who is Disloyal?. And I can tell you now it aint Benji.

      So for those of you’s who say the opposite know Nothing about Loyalty so just give it up.

      Go Benji and hope you succeed in Rugby Union. Brisbane Broncos Fan

    • Roar Pro

      August 21st 2013 @ 12:23pm
      Jack Daniels said | August 21st 2013 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

      I know he has played badly this season, but this article was just to show all the good stuff he has done in his career. My honest thoughts are: used to be amazing and now doesn’t seem as interested. He was always a bit soft but then again I wouldn’t be to comfortable allowing someone like JWH or Sam Burgess to hammer me as I put a kick up

      • August 21st 2013 @ 12:31pm
        Geronimo said | August 21st 2013 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

        That’s the way he plays – he often threw crappy passes that missed the target but other passes came off with tries and they were winning so no-one cared – now they are poor he is taking the brunt.

    • August 21st 2013 @ 3:34pm
      Doug Graves said | August 21st 2013 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

      The problem with Benji, at least as how I see it, is that he hasn’t been able to adapt his game over time and, subsequently, once the speed starts to wane and the passes don’t stick as often he starts to look pretty washed up. He’s always seems to be looking for the flashy play, always looking to be the hero even when the situation doesn’t warrant it, and most tellingly, he hasn’t matured as a footballer to the point where he can recognize and eliminate the howlers from his game like Joey, JT, Fittler, Lockyer, Langer etc were able to do.
      A case in point would be his stunning in-ability to find the sideline on a penalty kick. This year alone he’s failed about 6 times and the times he is successful he only gains about 10 meters! That is just pathetic for an 11 year veteran! All in all Marshall is just too one dimensional as a player and I don’t know if that’s caused by arrogance on his part or inadequate leadership and coaching on the Tigers part or some combination of those. It could help explain why the Tigers have only made 3 finals appearances in his 11 year career.
      All in all I think Marshall has been a bit of a disappointment, sure he’s got a heap of style but he’s lacking a bit of substance.

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