Sport Prodigal son Benji Marshall's double confession after fairytale Tigers return

08:41  11 march  2018
08:41  11 march  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

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He was nervous as hell and wasn’t physically ready to play 80 minutes but Benji Marshall handled both obstacles – and the absence of Josh Reynolds – to lead Wests Tigers to a massive upset over the Sydney Roosters.

Marshall’s steady hand proved crucial when half-back Luke Brooks was sin-binned early in the second half as the Tigers stayed within striking distance before stealing an unlikely 10-8 victory with a late try and sideline conversion.

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Benji Marshall talks about his return to the Wests Tigers and what odds he is of crying when he plays at Leichhardt Oval again. Call it old school or a classic case of having unfinished business at a club which continues to call Marshall its prodigal son .

The 33-year-old was supposed to start on the bench but was forced to go the distance against Cooper Cronk’s Roosters after star recruit Reynolds withdrew with a hamstring injury on Friday.

“It was a bit rusty, I really tired to be honest,” Marshall, who left the Tigers on bad terms in 2013, said on the official Wests Tigers website.

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“Physically I probably wasn’t ready to play 80 minutes, just off the back of my calf injury the last couple of weeks, but when Josh (Reynolds) pulled out on Friday I didn’t have much choice.

The 2005 grand-final hero added of his mood before the game: “To be honest this morning was probably the most nervous I’ve been since my debut.

“It sounds crazy but my wife said to me, ‘You’re pretty quiet’. Usually I’m cracking joke and she said, ‘You’re really quiet, you must be a bit nervous’, and I was.

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“And I came in here and I was quiet and I just didn’t know how to get out of it, but I think that 10 minutes when Brooksey went off the field, it allowed me to settle into the game because I had to take over and just forget about everything else.

“It’s just good to be home man.”

Coach Ivan Cleary credited all 17 of his Tigers after the ‘tough’ performance but singled Marshall out for special praise.

“The plan was for Benji to finish the game today, and that was one of the reasons why, the way he handled that 10 minutes (when Brooks was in the sin bin) and he played the whole game,” Cleary said.

“That just shows experience and you need those kind of guys in the key positions to manage you through those periods, so he did a great job there.”

Bennett in a boob tube: How Benji stitched up his great mentor .
Wayne Bennett doesn't read the papers. So he will remain oblivious to the fact Benji Marshall was responsible for making him wear a leopardskin miniskirt.

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