Wests Tigers burst Bunnies' bubble - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wests Tigers burst Bunnies' bubble

By Steve Jancetic 20/07/2008 07:03:05 PM Comments (0)

Wests Tigers superstar Benji Marshall forgot how good he was, but a quick recap of his performances during the Tigers' 2005 premiership triumph was all it took to turn his - and his side's - season around.

Call it an epiphany, call it what you like, but something sparked Marshall as he took his morning shower.

And the result was exhilarating, the Tigers bouncing back from four straight losses to trounce in-form South Sydney 36-12 at ANZ Stadium, the Tigers now just one point outside the eight and suddenly looking like legitimate finals contenders.

While Robbie Farah was brilliant at halfback, Marshall was the key - the Kiwi magician reliving some of his 2005 magic in the morning before recreating it in the afternoon.

"I was standing in the shower this morning and thinking I was sick of losing the last few weeks," Marshall said.

"I was just thinking to myself 'I think it's about time I had a big one.

"I looked at some of my highlights from my previous years and my best games are where I run the ball so I thought I'd try and get back to that.

"I'd forgotten how good I used to be, forgotten what I can do and I just thought I'd try and remind myself of how good I can be if I tried.

"I watched a DVD of the highlights of the 2005 season and I've got a little collection at home of a few tapes of my tries and highlights from previous years."

The confidence oozed as the strong 21,818-crowd witnessed the Tigers of old.

Marshall grubbered early for a Taniela Tuiaki try, but it was some of his actions that didn't result in tries which showed he was back.

A quick tap ten metres out from his own line ended in 50-metre sprint downfield, and there were two or three mesmerising no-look passes which had spectators and players equally dumbfounded.

The Tigers didn't have it all their own way, the sin-binning of Tim Moltzen for a professional foul - which coach Tim Sheens described as a "very ordinary" decision - allowing Jamie Simpson to lock up the scores.

Beau Ryan's try just before the break proved crucial as the Tigers piled on two more in quick time straight after the restart, the first a brilliantly worked set play from a scrum where Farah sent Chris Lawrence away for his first of a try-scoring double that Ryan and Tuiaki matched.

Souths looked like mounting something as Roy Asotasi scored with 15 minutes remaining, but ultimately they paid the price for failing to get anything out of the six straight sets they had on the Tigers line late in the first period.

The defeat all but ended Souths' end of season charge as their run of five straight wins came to a crashing halt.

They would now need to win six of their last seven to be any hope, but coach Jason Taylor denied the finals were on his mind.

"We were never talking about the top eight anyway," Taylor said.

"I don't think I ever thought (before today's game) we were going to win every game between now and the end.

"We're not going to start worrying about whether we can make it or not ... we certainly won't be giving up."

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