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Benji Marshall - St George Dragons
Benji Marshall returns to where it all started on Sunday. Image courtesy of: dailytelegraph.com.au

Wests Tigers Logo

Tigers v Dragons

ANZ Stadium

Sunday July 27 – 3:05 PM (AEST)




St George Illawarra Dragons Logo

It is something no one thought they would ever see in the NRL. Former Wests Tigers playmaker, Benji Marshall, marks up against the club he made famous. When he signed with the St George-Illawarra Dragons in May, this day was marked on everyone's calendar. And when Marshall left last year, it freed up money for the Tigers to sign their young talent, and that has certainly paid dividends. Mitchell Moses really came into his own Sunday against the Dogs, setting up four tries in a man-of-the-match performance.

The Dragons took a massive gamble when they signed Marshall. He was playing second grade rugby, and not reaching his full potential. Prior to moving to rugby, the live-wire half was down on form when he was still at the Tigers. But Big Red V administrators took a punt and it seems to have paid off. Marshall is playing his best footy in years, and it seems he may be turning their season around. They may have lost to Manly last week, but they didn’t go down without a fight. I have always said Marshall plays his best footy when he runs the ball, and over the past month that’s exactly what he's been doing. Benji has been taking the line on, keeping the defence guessing. His partnership with Josh Dugan on the right hand side gets better with every game, and it could be something the Dragons base a lot of their attack on. Coach Paul ‘Mary’ McGregor has named the same 17 which went down to the Sea Eagles, with Charlie Runciman and Shane Pumipi added to a six-man bench.

The Tigers have always had a great affiliation with Holy Cross College and it consistently produces talent. Past Tigers greats have gone there like Paul Sironen and Benny Elias. Now it has produced the future of the Tigers. Everyone now knows what Luke Brooks can do, but how good is Mitchell Moses? Not only is he a Holy Cross boy, but he also happens to be the nephew of Elias. With other big names coming from the school (Aaron Woods, Chris Heighington, Curtis Sironen and Mark Riddell just to name a few), it is definitely a great breeding ground for future NRL superstars. Coach Mick Potter has stuck with the same 17 which took down the Bulldogs last Sunday, with Dene Halatau named on an extended bench.

This week, it will old team mates on opposite sides. Robbie Farah up and Marshall have been best mates for over a decade. Now they're opponents. Both will put emotions aside and get on with the job at hand. For me, the best match-up is going to be Chris Lawrence up against Dugan. Both are seasoned veterans, and yet neither of them is over 25 yet. If the Tigers switch on like they did in the second half last week, the fans will be roaring at the final siren.

Channel 9

Toby's Tip: Dragons/Tigers in a Half/Full Double

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