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Andrew Webster fumes over “tiresome” Wests Tigers bashing


The Sydney Morning Herald’s Andrew Webster has defended Wests Tigers CEO Shane Richardson and coach Benji Marshall after the pair were criticised for being overseas during Round 13.

Despite showing immense signs of improvement, the Tigers enter their Round 13 bye with a 2-9 record and sit 16th on the ladder.

Furthermore, an impending salary cap crunch has forced Isaiah Papali’i to sign a deal with the Penrith Panthers with Richardson forecasting more stars walking out the door.

Webster said he couldn’t understand the criticism directed at Richardson who is currently in the UK on a Super League scouting mission whilst Marshall has taken a brief holiday with his family in Fiji.

“I get it because it’s all about the optics,” Webster said on SEN 1170.

“I don’t understand the criticism around Richardson because he is literally overseas doing his job.

“He is trying to sign players and make the club's roster better.

“Benji going to Fiji, the optics aren’t fantastic but I can’t believe the amount of crying going on at the moment.

“It’s an attack on his professionalism but is it the end of the world?

“I know things aren’t going great at the Tigers but the lack of patience for a club to rebuild (is staggering).

“This is essentially year one. Are we prepared to put a line through Benji Marshall as a coach in May? In his first season in charge?

“I find the criticism of the Tigers and Benji pretty tiresome. There are so many agendas behind it and it’s kicking the Tigers because we can.

“Do people want to let the Tigers get back on their feet and start to make an impact on the eight or will we kick them on the outside until they die?

“That's what it looks like to me.”

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Webster further said that he feels the Tigers are in a lose-lose situation in that they can’t be seen doing too much or too little in order to turn their fortunes around.

“They are cleaning out the roster because they have had nothing but 10 years of dribble,” Webster added.

“They are trying to change the culture, the CEO is literally trying to do that and it’s still not enough for some.

“As for Benji, coaches go away for three days on a bye round all the time.

“We as the media are so brutal on the littlest of things.”

The Tigers travel to Wollongong in Round 14 to take on the St George Illawarra Dragons.

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