Tigers creeping up on Dragons: Marshall - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers creeping up on Dragons: Marshall

By David Beniuk 18/09/2010 11:44:23 AM Comments (0)

They admit they weren't in St George Illawarra's class last time, but Wests Tigers linchpin Benji Marshall is "quietly confident" his side are creeping up on the Dragons ahead of next week's NRL finals blockbuster.

The Tigers' 34-10 loss to Wayne Bennett's side in round 16 came in the middle of a resurgence, but it also came as a reminder of which club was setting the pace in 2010.

"We were out of their class that time," Tigers coach Tim Sheens said after Friday night's 26-24 win over Canberra.

Marshall, who starred at Canberra Stadium after overcoming a knee injury, is aware the Tigers need to improve but has promised the premiership favourites will get a run for their money.

"They've been the form team of the comp and they're going to be tough to beat and we're going to have to turn up to play," Marshall said.

"But we're quietly confident in each other's ability that we can turn up and give them a great contest and I think next week will be one of the great games and hopefully even better than Friday night."

The Tigers are aware the parallels with 2005, when they upset the Dragons in the second-last week before going on to win the grand final, will be raised again.

"You guys will (bring it up), I'm sure," Sheens said.

"There's a similarity but it's a lot different from five years ago.

"It is one game to a grand final so it's a big game for both clubs."

But Marshall believes the hard-working Dragons of 2010 are a better side than their star-studded 2005 predecessors.

"I think we've got to go up to another level again," he said.

"They're a different side to what they were in '05 and I think they're strong all over the field defensively and even their attack, so we're going to have to look at their game strongly and really turn up to play next week."

Sheens said some of his forwards would continue to nurse niggles through this week, while benchman Simon Dwyer was placed on report for a high shot on Joe Picker.

"The kid was falling was half a metre off the ground and he only clipped him," Sheens said.

"That's not reportable."

Centre Blake Ayshford, who was forced onto a diet of ice cream and noodles during the week after suffering acute tonsillitis, declared he would be "100 per cent by Monday".

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