Daniel Nichols – Dragons Benji Decision Justified

Unfortunately yesterday’s, and today’s headlines have and will be dominated by the off field problems being experienced by the Wests Tigers.

In a result that flew under the radar, the Dragons defeated the struggling Tigers 28-12 to further press the Red V’s finals credentials.

I now think it it safe to say that the Dragons gamble in signing former World player of the year Benji Marshall has paid off handsomely.

After enduring a horror start to his Dragons career in a forgetible loss to the Eels, Benji has established himself as a lynch pin in his side’s finals push.

Superstar recruit Gareth Widdop has been in amazing form all season, however was fighting a lone fight at times earlier in the season.

Marshall has provided much needed support for the English number six, and has even been the star of the show in numerous games.

His destruction of an admittedly understength Sharks side would have been a pleasure to watch, had Blake Ayshford’s defensive efforts not driven me to bang my head repeatedly against the wall.

His brilliant playmaking skills were absolutely vital in Josh Dugan’s success in the centres, including his unlikely NSW Origin jumper.

Fans of the game were left stunned when Marshall became the target of a multi club bidding war, with the Dragons ultimately outbidding the Sharks for the returning grand final winner.

Although there is a long way to go yet, it’s fair to say the Marshall has repaid the faith shown in him by the Dragons through his performances.

Tiger Fan Fury
Tigers fans took to social media to blow up deluxe after Gordon Tallis revealed what was allegedly said by Tigers captain Robbie Farah re Mick Potter’s coaching ability.

They turned their attention to Phil Rothfield who has stated he believes Farah is behind a push to remove Potter from the position, and named Farah a bad influence on the club’s young players.

Their frustrations should be aimed at the players and board of the club, who need to get on the same page, and quickly, before it completely shatters their finals aspirations.

The club has without a doubt the most exciting crop of young players in the game, with Brooks, Moses, Tedesco, Woods and Sironen headlining a brilliant batch.

If they’re to feature come finals time, all energy needs to be put into winning games, not wasted on in fighting and he-said, she-said.

Manly Fly Above Off Field Turmoil
It is an absolute credit to the ability of the playing group at the Manly club, that they now hold a four point lead at the top of the NRL table despite off field unrest.

Surely by now everyone is aware of the reports of a growing rift between the senior playing group and club management, but unlike other clubs, Manly continue to find a way to win.

Although the futures of some of the club’s most important players seem clouded, what is for sure is Manly have now firmed into clear premiership favouritism.

I hate to admit it but Manly have been the envy of every other club over the past years, having produced unrivaled success.

There will be plenty of fans of rival clubs egging Watmough and co. on in their fight against the board, in hope the brilliant playing roster is broken up over the coming years.

Fright Knight Cracker
Refereeing errors aside, geese I am sick of typing those words, Friday Night’s win over the Roosters was one of the Knights best wins in recenent memory.

After being told that their coach would abandom them at season’s end, the Knights playing group produced a brilliant performance to topple the premiers.

The Knights have suffered a horror season on and off the field, and are at incredibly long odds to play finals footy, but Friday Night’s win will surely remain a highlight.

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