His­tory sug­gests Tigers may rise

The Northern Star - - SPORT - — AAP

AS THEY seek a 2005-style NRL premier­ship boilover, the Wests Tigers are em­brac­ing the chal­lenge laid down to them by coach Ivan Cleary to write their own his­tory.

You can’t help but see sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween Tim Sheen’s ’05 Tigers, who pulled off one of the big­gest up­sets in the league’s his­tory, and Cleary’s class of 2018.

In 2005, the Tigers were $81 with the TAB at the start of the sea­son, had missed the fi­nals in each of the joint ven­ture’s first five years and Benji Mar­shall had the No.6 on his back.

This year, they were $67 be­fore round one, had been ab­sent from the past six fi­nals se­ries and Mar­shall was once again back in his old jer­sey.

While a lot of wa­ter has flowed un­der the bridge since 2005, the two sides are united by a lack of ex­pec­ta­tion.

“It’s hard to com­pare, the game’s changed,” Mar­shall said.

“Ivan’s said it from the start of pre-sea­son, there’s no ex­pec­ta­tion on us to do any­thing.

“We get to cre­ate our own cul­ture, de­cide where we wanted to be on the ta­ble and play how­ever we wanted to play.

“With a lot of new faces be­ing signed, you don’t know how that’s go­ing to go. The guys he did sign, he brought in ex­pe­ri­ence and guys who wanted to com­pete and win and that’s rub­bing off.”

At 5-1 and in the top four, the Tigers are one of the good news sto­ries of the sea­son.

PHOTO: AAP

BACK IN TOWN: The Tigers’ Benji Mar­shall.

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