Benji Marshall done everything he could on Sunday afternoon to get his side over the line against the South Sydney Rabbitohs. But for all that he done for a Wests Tigers side missing Robbie Farah, Marshall cost his team the points too.
There is no doubting Marshall’s standing in the game as one of the most exciting players in the National Rugby League. Few can match the ability that he possesses or the sheer brilliance of his mind.
For one fleeting moment on Sunday, Marshall showed that he was still human and there was still much improvement left in his game.
Marshall is as physically strong as he has ever been. Time and a long string of injuries have made him tougher.
But it is the split second decisions that separate the very best playmakers and the very good playmakers.
If it wasn’t for Benji, the Tigers wouldn’t have came close against Souths. But one moment late in the game yesterday cost his team the points.
With less than ten minutes to play and leading by twelve points, the Tigers were deep in the Rabbitohs danger zone with a full set of six to play with. Logic would tell you to work to the posts and set for a field goal. A thirteen point lead would have sunk the Bunnies.
Instead Marshall crabbed across the field throwing dummies before cramping winger Beau Ryan who was eventually bundled into touch.
The rest is history. Within six hectic minutes, the scores were locked and the Rabbitohs seemed destined to snatch the most remarkable win.
How cruel it is that the magic that Marshall creates would be the same magic that would kill his side in the end.
The Tigers still should have held Souths out. Wests still should have won the match. But the smallest things come back to bite you and for Marshall, it was his own genius.
“You’ve got to say we blew it” Tigers coach Tim Sheens said post match.
“We just gave too many penalties away. We walked them down there, we walked them down, we walked them down. We’re the most penalised side in the comp so we’ve got to do something about that.”
The Tigers seem to lose patience, shape and discipline on a regular basis throughout a game. It was no more evident than in their first set of six in golden point extra time.
They were a wreck.
It is hard to criticise Marshall too much. But when you are the superstar of a side and your side loses the way they did, the smallest mistakes become so much more evident.
There is still plenty for Marshall to learn. Whether he or Tigers fans like it or not.
THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON FOOTYSOCIAL.COM.AU