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Benji's tackling technique fine: Sheens

By Adrian Proszenko 27/06/2006 05:29:35 PM Comments (0)

Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens is adamant Benji Marshall doesn't need to change his tackling technique despite his latest shoulder injury bringing a premature end to his NRL season.

Marshall will undergo shoulder surgery next week after making an awkward 74th-minute hit on Frank Puletua in his side's 24-20 loss to Penrith on Saturday.

Replays suggested the 21-year-old led with his shoulder in the attempted tackle, prompting some commentators to question whether he needed to alter his defensive style.

But Sheens had no problem with the style of tackle which ended Marshall's season, saying it was "nowhere near a shoulder charge".

"It wasn't a shoulder charge, hell, a shoulder charge is when you don't use your arm - he threw the arm in," Sheens said.

"The contact was at the top of the arm, which clocked his shoulder.

"If he had made contact with the top of the shoulder, it wouldn't have happened.

"It hit his upper arm, which clocked the shoulder out momentarily.

"All types of tackles have to be effected - high, low, wrapping tackle, inside shoulder tackle, smother tackle, taking the man on the outside and so on.

"He's got to be able to do it all and I have no problem with the tackle.

"The shoulder charge is what Sonny Bill Williams will do, it's drop the arm and throw the shoulder in.

"It was nowhere near a shoulder charge."

Marshall has already had both shoulders reconstructed - in 2003 and 2005 - with the latest setback expected to sideline him until round one of next season.

However Sheens, who has anointed Scott Prince as the fill-in pivot and Robbie Farah the new halfback, predicted a long and successful career for Marshall.

"I think he's resigned to it, a little bit disappointed but not shattered," Sheens said.

"It's a realistic thing in football that you've got to put your body on the line.

"I can recall Mal Meninga breaking his arm four times.

"He was pretty disappointed and so on but at the end of the day came back and played on until he was 34.

"Most players I've worked with have had an injury of some sort ... I'm sure Benji will have a long career."

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