Mick Potter says shake-up could be just the wake-up call needed.
It was the decision that raised eyebrows across the NRL this week, but Wests Tigers coach Mick Potter believes starting star Benji Marshall from the bench will be the best thing for the team in the long-term.
Marshall has been in the middle of spotlight on the joint-venture club this week as its season lurches from one disaster to the next.
The Tigers have begun season 2013 in abysmal fashion having won just two of their opening seven games and are rated $351 by bookies to win the premiership.
Wests’ poor record is in large part to their shocking run with injury, but Potter turned the side further on its head by announcing Marshall would be starting from the bench in their clash with the top-of-the-table South Sydney.
Potter said he made the move to give the team a “spark” but backed the Kiwi playmaker to use the disappointment as motivation to recapture his game-changing form.
“Ultimately it is about the team, it is not about Benji,” Potter said. “I am looking for a spark in the team and sometimes a change-up like this does help.”
“I spoke to him at training before we did video, he wasn’t happy.
“I can understand that given his status at the club and in the game.
“I suppose it was like when anyone receives bad news.
“It is not taken well but actions speak louder than words and when we went out and trained he could not have performed any better.”
The Tigers yesterday ruled winger Matt Utai out after failing to pass a fitness test with a knock to the lower part of his leg last week while Tigers junior David Nofoaluma will make his NRL debut.