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Benji magic will be missing against Cowboys

Their defence was fine, but Wests Tigers could not score points against the Canberra Raiders last Saturday night.

Wests Tigers conceded just two tries in the 14-6 loss to Canberra.

But their attack was mostly impotent and never really threatened the Raiders line.

The obvious solution would have been to bring back the creative genius Benji Marshall, who was dropped for that game.

Marshall may be a flawed genius but nobody else at the club brings his flair and unpredictability in attack.

However, coach Michael Maguire has decided to stick to his guns in naming the side for this Saturday’s round six clash against the North Queensland Cowboys at Campbelltown Sports Stadium from 5.30pm.

Not only that, he has now also dropped club stalwart and Campbelltown hero Chris Lawrence, who joins Marshall on the reserves bench.

Injuries and suspension have forced Maguire to include several new faces, including  Luke Garner and Robert Jennings, who are in the run on side.

Garner replaces Lawrence while Jennings returns for Tommy Talau, who picked up a minor hamstring injury last week against the Raiders.

Samoan international Luciano Leilua has been named despite being forced off last week with an ankle injury, while Matt Eisenhuth joins the bench in place of Russell Packer, who is suspended until round 8.

Rookie forward Sam McIntyre has been included on the bench in jersey 16, while fellow rookie Reece Hoffman is also included in the squad in jersey 21.

One of the positives from the loss to Canberra, the side’s second on the trot, was the outstanding contribution from new fullback Adam Doueihi.

He looks the goods and destined for bigger and better things, but will it be at the Wests Tigers? History says otherwise, but in the meantime his superlative form was one of the reasons fan favourite Corey Thompson has departed.

Thompson, who is believed to be headed to the Gold Coast Titans on a long term deal, joined Wests Tigers from Widnes Vikings in Super League ahead of the 2018 season and went on to score nine tries in 20 games for the club that year.
 
Playing primarily on the wing, the Queensland-born Thompson would go on to play 22 games the following year and featured in the opening two games this season prior to the competition being temporarily suspended in March.
 
The 30-year-old will depart Wests Tigers having scored 19 tries in 44 games, and paid credit to the club, its staff and fans during his time in Wests Tigers colours.
 
“I wanted to say thank you to all the Wests Tigers Members and fans for all the support and faith you’ve shown in me,” Thompson said.

From my perspective, “Thommo’’ is one of the nicest rugby league players I have interviewed and join the rest of the Wests Tigers fans in wishing him the best of luck for the rest of his career.

WESTS TIGERS: Adam Doueihi, David Nofoaluma, Joseph Leilua, Moses Mbye, Robert Jennings, Josh Reybnolds, Luke Brooks, Josh Aloiai, Harry Grant, Zane Musgrove, Luke Garner, Luciano Leilua and Alex Twal. INTERCHANGE: Matthew Eisenhuth, Thomas Mikaele, Sam McIntyre and Michael Chee-Kam.

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