Benji Marshall lashes Wests Tigers player over 'terrible' act after NRL loss to Dolphins

Ill-discipline let the NRL strugglers down in a big way during Magic Round.

Wests Tigers coach Benji Marshall has taken a telling swipe at Brent Naden over the centre's needless sin-binning in Sunday's 24-12 to the Dolphins in Magic Round. Marshall's men crashed to their seventh straight NRL defeat as they once again found ways to defeat themselves, with ill-discipline a particular concern for the club great in his first full season as head coach.

In the final game of the weekend-long NRL extravaganza at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium, the Tigers did well to bounce back after going down 12-0 early after tries to Jack Bostock and Mark Nicholls gave Wayne Bennett's side a handy first half lead. Justin Olam hit back to cut the deficit to six points before halftime, before Naden undid the good work from his side with a brain snap before the break.

Pictured left to right, Wests Tigers coach Benji Marshall and Brent Naden.
Wests Tigers coach Benji Marshall was filthy about the brain snap from Brent Naden that saw him sin-binned against the Dolphins. Pic: AAP/Getty/NRL

The Tigers were set to get the ball back in the Dolphins half with just under 60 seconds left on the clock when Bostock pounced on a loose ball near the sideline on tackle five. All Naden had to do was lay a finger on the Dolphins winger and it would have been a handover to the Tigers and one more set to try and score points before halftime.

However, the centre decided to come through with his forearm to Bostock's head as he dived in to complete the tackle, and was subsequently sent to the bin for 10 minutes. The Tigers woes were compounded when fellow centre Olam followed Naden to the bin for a dangerous hip-drop style of tackle on winger Jamayne Isaako after halftime, that also saw him placed on report. On Monday, both players were hit with one-game bans if they decide to take early guilty pleas.

Dolphins fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow made the Tigers pay almost immediately after crossing for the first of his two tries, with the second ultimately sealing the match after Api Koroisau's four-pointer gave the Tigers faint hope. Speaking after the match, Tigers coach Marshall was furious that his side has once again shot itself in the foot and slammed the costly lack of discipline.


Marshall suggested that Olam's sin-bin was an unfortunate accident but he pulled no punches about the incident that saw Naden earn himself 10 in the bin. A seething Marshall even suggested that Naden could find himself out of the side until he fixes up his discipline, with the Tigers coach saying he needs to find players that are better in that area.

"Disappointed, and disappointed for the team because then we get punished with 12 players," Marshall said of Naden's brain explosion. "Justin Olam's one I can understand. He was getting a piggyback ride but then we are playing with 11. It just doesn't help. It is frustrating and the message the last six weeks is that we keep beating ourselves.

Wests Tigers centre Brent Naden was sent to the sin bin after an ugly tackle on Jack Bostock. Pic: AAP
Wests Tigers centre Brent Naden was sent to the sin bin after an ugly tackle on Jack Bostock. Pic: AAP

"If we can't change that, then the people have to change. Our discipline is terrible and we need to find players that are more disciplined." Dolphins fullback Tabuai-Fidow scored while the Tigers were down to 11 men but they still had plenty of chances in attack throughout the remainder of the second half, with poor last tackle options once again hurting Marshall's men.

"We have to start learning from our mistakes and maybe I need to deliver that better as a coach to them," Marshall added. "To their credit they fight and hang in there." Tigers captain Koroisau marked his 200th NRL game with a second half try that kept the Tigers in the game and Marshall was full of praise for the veteran hooker and NSW Origin hopeful after the game.

Marshall said Koroisau "epitomises what we want our club to be like" with his desire and class, even if the Tigers skipper wasn't exactly satisfied with his own game. "I had a few errors out there and missed a few tackles," he said. "I've got my own job to perfect at the moment."

While the Tigers are languishing in 15th after a seventh straight defeat, Bennett's Dolphins are flying in fourth after their seventh win of the season. The Dolphins coach wasn't completely satisfied after describing the win as "the good, the bad and the ugly" but he was happy to bank the two competition points, regardless. "We wouldn't have won that game last year because we couldn't defend as well as we can now," Bennett said.

with AAP