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Dapper Benji barely raises a sweat, but stats don't lie

Date

Michael Chammas

Tigers 26 Cowboys 18

Centrepiece ... Benji Marshall huddles with teammates.

Centrepiece ... Benji Marshall huddles with teammates. Photo: Steve Christo

Benji Marshall could've played in a dinner suit yesterday afternoon and would've remained in good enough condition to head straight into Wests Leagues Club for post-match celebrations last night.

MATCH STATS

He was only tackled once with the ball in 80 minutes. The only other time he hit the deck was when he was hit in mid-air by James Tamou, and Marshall, the New Zealand skipper, lashed out at the Kiwi defector with a short-armed jab to the jaw of the floored Cowboy.

Tim Moltzen and Beau Ryan celebrate the winning try.

Tim Moltzen and Beau Ryan celebrate the winning try. Photo: Steve Christo

To suggest Tigers officials need not worry about sending Marshall's jersey to the laundromat this morning might sound like a shot at the Tigers No.7, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Only once, late in the second half, did he take on the line, forced to play the ball.

Yet, he still walked away from Campbelltown Sports Stadium having amassed the type of statistics that would take most playmakers in the NRL a month to achieve.

So here they are: one try, two try assists, two line breaks, seven tackle breaks, three offloads and five from five with the boot to steer his team over the line against the Cowboys.

Unfortunately, it isn't a game Marshall is likely to look back on with great fondness.

Regardless of his match-winning feats, it will be remembered as the afternoon Tamou - a 194-centimetre prop weighing 113 kilograms - ran down the Tigers pivot in a stunning show of pace from the Cowboys' enforcer.

But back to Marshall. Coach Tim Sheens moved him to halfback against the Titans in round nine, with the intention of getting his star playmaker even more involved than he already was.

To achieve the things he did last night having only been tackled once was remarkable, but imagine how devastating he will be later in the season when he regains the confidence to start taking the line on more.

Marshall, like many of the Tigers players over the past three weeks, has been struggling with the flu, and it showed yesterday in the number of times he was on his haunches.

But his move to halfback is having the desired effect, with Sheens crediting Marshall for helping the team grind out the close matches they were losing earlier in the season.

''We have been grinding them out a little bit more and a lot of that has to do with Benji playing at seven,'' Sheens said.

''When he's two-out, he demands the ball, so I suppose we move the ball more to him … at the end of the day, the major ball-players are Robbie [Farah] and Benji and if we're playing Benji tight around at halfback then we stay a bit tighter. That probably hasn't been a bad thing for us, actually.''

After five consecutive losses earlier in the season that left the Tigers languishing at the bottom of the ladder, they've now won five on the trot to climb into seventh position, just two points behind the Broncos, Sharks and Rabbitohs, who are all equal second on 16 points.

They haven't set the world alight in their stretch of victories, but suddenly they are edging closer to the brand of football that saw them tagged as premiership favourites before a ball had even been kicked this year.

They play the struggling Raiders next week, travel to Melbourne to take on the Storm without their Origin stars a week later, then head into their final bye in round 17 with games against the lowly ranked Roosters and Knights.

The Cowboys didn't come away with the two points last night, but there's no doubt they will be there at the business end of the season.

Coach Neil Henry felt his team were unlucky to be on the wrong end of some crucial refereeing decisions, but refused to blame the officials for what is now his team's 13th loss from their past 14 games in Sydney.

''We didn't get the rub of the green a bit,'' Henry said. ''But I'll say, the game was in our own hands. We were the team that didn't make the most of our field position, particularly in the first half. I thought we should've got some more points on the board.''

 WESTS TIGERS 26 (T Moltzen 2, B Marshall, L Tuqiri tries; B Marshall 5 goals) bt NORTH QUEENSLAND 18 (A Graham, G Hall, A Winterstein tries; J Thurston 3 goals) at Campbelltown Sports Stadium. Referees: Ben Cummins, Brett Suttor. Crowd: 13,059.

 

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NRL Season 2015

Round 1
Thu, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI 6vs SOU 36 Report Stats
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR 42vs MAN 12 Report Report Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW 24vs NZW 14 Report Stats
GCT 18vs WST 19 Report Stats
NQL 4vs SYD 28 Report Stats
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN 24vs CBY 18 Report Stats
CRO 20vs CBR 24 Report Stats
Mon, 09 MarTimes shown AEDT
STG 4vs MEL 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBY 32vs PAR 12 Report Stats
CRO 2vs BRI 10 Report Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN 40vs GCT 0 Report Stats
MAN 24vs MEL 22 Stats
NQL 14vs NEW 16 Report Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU 34vs SYD 26 Stats
CBR 6vs NZW 18 Report Stats
Mon, 16 MarTimes shown AEDT
WST 22vs STG 4 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN 12vs CBY 16 Report Stats
BRI 44vs NQL 22 Report Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW 29vs PAR 16 Report Stats
CBR 20vs STG 22 Report Stats
MEL 36vs CRO 18 Report Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU 20vs WST 6 Report Stats
GCT 18vs NEW 20 Report Stats
Mon, 23 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD 20vs PEN 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR 29vs SOU 16 Report Stats
WST 24vs CBY 25 Report Stats
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW 26vs PEN 14 Report Stats
CRO 22vs GCT 24 Report Stats
STG 12vs MAN 4 Report Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW 16vs BRI 24 Report Stats
SYD 34vs CBR 6 Report Stats
Mon, 30 MarTimes shown AEDT
NQL 18vs MEL 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
CBY 17vs SOU 18 Report Stats
GCT 16vs BRI 26 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MAN 16vs CBR 29 Report Stats
NEW 0vs STG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD 12vs CRO 20 Report Stats
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR 6vs WST 22 Report Stats
MEL 30vs NZW 14 Report Stats
PEN 10vs NQL 30 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 22vs SYD 18 Report Stats
CRO 22vs NEW 6 Report Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR 16vs GCT 38 Report Stats
NZW 32vs WST 22 Report Stats
PEN 22vs MAN 12 Report Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
CBR 10vs MEL 14 Report Stats
STG 31vs CBY 6 Report Stats
Mon, 13 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU 12vs NQL 30 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY 28vs MAN 16 Report Stats
STG 12vs BRI 10 Report Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
GCT 32vs PEN 6 Report Stats
NQL 28vs NZW 24 Report Stats
MEL 17vs SYD 16 Report Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
WST 22vs CBR 30 Report Stats
NEW 22vs PAR 28 Report Stats
Mon, 20 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO 18vs SOU 10 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY 14vs WST 38 Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
NZW 28vs GCT 32 Report Stats
NEW 24vs NQL 26 Report Stats
SYD 12vs STG 14 Report Stats
MEL 10vs MAN 12 Stats
BRI 28vs PAR 16 Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
PEN 26vs CRO 18 Stats
SOU 22vs CBR 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI 8vs PEN 5 Report Stats
SYD 36vs WST 4 Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR 56vs GCT 16 Stats
CRO 16vs NZW 20 Stats
NQL 23vs CBY 16 Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
MAN 30vs NEW 10 Stats
PAR 10vs MEL 28 Stats
Mon, 11 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU 16vs STG 10 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
CBY 10vs SYD 24 Stats
NQL 31vs BRI 20 Stats
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR 13vs NZW 17 Report Stats
GCT 22vs CRO 23 Report Stats
MEL 16vs SOU 12 Stats
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
STG 32vs CBR 18 Report Stats
NEW 22vs WST 12 Stats
Mon, 18 MayTimes shown AEST
MAN 10vs PEN 11 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU 14vs PAR 12 Report Stats
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
WST 0vs NQL 8 Stats
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR 34vs CBY 41 Stats
Mon, 25 MayTimes shown AEST
NEW 18vs BRI 31 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN 20vs PAR 26 Stats
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
GCT 16vs SOU 22 Report Stats
CBR 12vs BRI 24 Stats
NQL 18vs MAN 14 Report Stats
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
NZW 24vs NEW 20 Stats
STG 42vs CRO 6 Stats
Mon, 01 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD 24vs MEL 2 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI 44vs MAN 10 Report Stats
WST 20vs GCT 27 Report Stats
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW 22vs CBR 44 Stats
SOU 36vs NZW 4 Stats
PEN 0vs MEL 20 Report Stats
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
CRO 10vs SYD 4 Stats
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY 29vs STG 16 Stats
PAR 30vs NQL 36 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
WST 34vs SOU 6 Report Stats
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW 21vs SYD 25 Report Stats
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
GCT 28vs CBY 14 Stats
Mon, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL 22vs PAR 26 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
MAN 30vs WST 20 Report Stats
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CBR 20vs NQL 21 Report Stats
GCT 14vs NZW 36 Report Stats
CBY 24vs PEN 12 Report Stats
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW 28vs CRO 30 Report Stats
MEL 12vs BRI 14 Report Stats
Mon, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
STG 14vs SYD 19 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI 44vs NEW 22 Stats
SOU 20vs MAN 8 Report Stats
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW 30vs CBR 8 Stats
NQL 18vs CRO 24 Report Stats
PAR 16vs STG 12 Report Stats
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD 20vs GCT 10 Stats
WST 12vs PEN 35 Stats
Mon, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY 20vs MEL 4 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN 20vs SOU 6 Report Stats
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
STG 12vs NQL 18 Report Stats
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN 28vs CRO 16 Report Stats
Mon, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
WST 16vs PAR 28 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR 36vs NEW 22 Stats
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN 4vs SYD 24 Stats
CBY 8vs BRI 16 Stats
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW 28vs MEL 14 Report Stats
CRO 28vs STG 8 Report Stats
Mon, 13 JulTimes shown AEST
GCT 6vs MAN 38 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
PAR 4vs CBY 28 Report Stats
MEL 52vs PEN 10 Report Stats
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR 20vs CRO 21 Report Stats
NEW 30vs GCT 2 Report Stats
STG 8vs SOU 24 Report Stats
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD 24vs NZW 0 Report Stats
BRI 42vs WST 16 Stats
Mon, 20 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN 12vs NQL 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI 34vs GCT 0 Report Stats
WST 8vs SYD 33 Stats
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW 12vs MAN 32 Stats
MEL 22vs STG 4 Stats
SOU 52vs NEW 6 Stats
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN 24vs CBR 34 Report Stats
CBY 16vs CRO 18 Report Stats
Mon, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL 46vs PAR 4 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD 38vs CBY 28 Report Stats
WST 34vs MEL 16 Report Stats
Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW 14vs CRO 18 Stats
NQL 32vs CBR 24 Stats
MAN 44vs BRI 14 Stats
Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
STG 46vs NEW 24 Stats
SOU 20vs PEN 16 Report Stats
Mon, 03 AugTimes shown AEST
GCT vs PAR 19:00Cbus Super Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBY 19:45SUN
MAN vs SOU 19:45BO
Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs STG 15:00Westpac Stadium
CRO vs NQL 17:30Remondis Stadium
PAR vs PEN 19:30TIO
Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL vs GCT 14:00AAMI
NEW vs SYD 16:00HS
Mon, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
CBR vs WST 19:00GIO Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
NQL vs SOU 19:451300 Smiles Stadium
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs STG 19:45SUN
Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
WST vs NEW 15:00CSS
PEN vs NZW 17:30Pepper Stadium
SYD vs PAR 19:30AS
Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
CBR vs MAN 14:00GIO Stadium
CBY vs GCT 16:00Central Coast Stadium
Mon, 17 AugTimes shown AEST
CRO vs MEL 19:00Remondis Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
STG vs PEN 19:45WIN
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
SOU vs CBY 19:45ANZ
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
CRO vs WST 15:00Remondis Stadium
NZW vs NQL 17:30MSS
SYD vs BRI 19:30AS
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
GCT vs CBR 14:00Cbus Super Stadium
MAN vs PAR 16:00BO
Mon, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL vs NEW 19:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
SOU vs BRI 19:45AS
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
MAN vs SYD 19:45BO
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CRO 15:00Pirtek Stadium
NEW vs CBY 17:30HS
MEL vs NQL 19:30AAMI
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
WST vs NZW 14:00CSS
GCT vs STG 16:00Cbus Super Stadium
Mon, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
CBR vs PEN 19:30GIO Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MEL 19:45SUN
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
SYD vs SOU 19:45AS
Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
PEN vs NEW 15:00Pepper Stadium
STG vs WST 17:30ANZ
NQL vs GCT 19:301300 Smiles Stadium
Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CBR 14:00Pirtek Stadium
CRO vs MAN 16:00Remondis Stadium
CBY vs NZW 18:30ANZ
View All Fixtures
NRL Ladder 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D Pts
Brisbane Broncos 19 15 4 0 34
North Queensland Cowboys 19 15 4 0 34
Sydney Roosters 19 13 6 0 30
South Sydney Rabbitohs 19 12 7 0 28
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 19 11 8 0 26
Melbourne Storm 19 10 9 0 24
St George-Illawarra Dragons 19 9 10 0 22
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 19 9 10 0 22
View all
 

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