Benji will kick like Joey: El Masri - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Benji will kick like Joey: El Masri

By David Beniuk 07/04/2011 07:45:13 PM Comments (0)

Pointscoring great Hazem El Masri believes Wests Tigers star Benji Marshall can emulate Andrew Johns and successfully juggle the playmaking and goalkicking roles.

Marshall's kicking has come under fire again this season with the star five-eighth managing just nine goals from 17 attempts at a meagre 53 per cent success rate.

It hit a low point with a forgettable shank against Canberra in round three when his foot hit the turf first.

Tigers fans have feared goalkicking could cost their club dearly, with Marshall managing a 64.8 per cent success rate last year, the worst of the NRL's regular kickers.

"Obviously he's got a lot on his plate trying to organise and do everything but he's very capable, he's got a big kick," said El Masri, who hold the all-time record for pointscoring in top flight Australian rugby league.

"It is a big responsibility ... but that's what makes great players, to be able to handle the pressure and handle a lot more than others.

"He's got a lot on his plate obviously but, knowing Benji, he wouldn't pass the baton onto anyone because he wants to do it."

El Masri said Newcastle legend Johns, arguably the greatest playmaker of all and league's second highest scorer, gradually improved his goalkicking as he got used to the dual responsibilities.

"He had so much to do on the field from defence to attack to organising play," El Masri told AAP.

"He was one person who started off kicking and he improved gradually.

"When he got towards the end of his career, just his manner was unbelievable, the way he was striking that ball, just relaxing and getting in behind he knew exactly where he wanted that ball to go."

El Masri, who booted 891 goals for Canterbury between 1996-2009, said Marshall had a tougher job than most kickers because of the Tigers' style of play.

"The Tigers play entertaining footy and they throw the ball around so a lot of their tries have been out wide," he said.

"It's not fair when he gets compared to other kickers kicking 80 or 85 per cent but look where their kicks have been from, look where his kicks have been from.

"He just doesn't get that five or six or seven or 10 kicks in a row where it's close (to the posts) where he can build the momentum.

"I do feel for him because he can strike the ball.

"I'm sure he'll come through, just probably a little bit of tweaking of things and he'll be right."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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