Benji needs a win or two to get the monkey off his back

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This week’s bye could not have come at a better time for the Wests Tigers, coach Benji Marshall and his players.

Following the 42-28 defeat at the hands of the Cowboys in Townsville last Friday night – the eighth loss on the trot – a break was just what the doctor ordered.

And while mental and physical rest is what’s needed, the bye also means the club gets away from the bullies in the media who have been merciless in their attacks.

They have focused their recent attacks on club chief executive Shane Richardson for being in the UK, and Benji Marshall for flying to Fiji after the Cowboys game

These bullies have no idea what the Wests Tigers CEO and coach are doing and why they have gone overseas. But it hasn’t stopped them from bullying them and the club.

We all know who these people are, so we won’t give them any promotion by naming them or the desperate organisation they work for.

The facts are that Benji Marshall inherited a squad that does not contain enough class players who can make the difference between winning and losing close games.

But just about every reasonable pundit agrees that the current team is an improvement on last season.

We have been saying it here every week since the season started, which included, by the way, wins over the Sharks and Parramatta.

Until last weekend, this had been the only loss for the Sharks, and it was a thumping at Leichhardt Oval.

It was followed by a gutsy, albeit somewhat lucky, win over the Eels a week later.

Since then, the team, already a weak one in terms of finals capability, has been derailed by suspensions and injury.

This has made Benji Marshall’s job even more challenging than when he took on the reins.

All this is being overlooked by the media bullies, who have also specifically targeted Marshall for not working hard enough.

He said after the Townsville game that he was going to reflect on things, including his own performance, during the break offered by the bye.

To me, that’s the sign of a very good coach in the making.

I just hope the wins come soon to get the monkey – and the media bullies – off his back.

Following Origin, Wests Tigers return to action in Wollongong on Friday, June 7 against St George Illawarra.

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