Billy Slater smacks down ‘inappropriate’ critics of Benji Marshall after Tigers coach took a mid-season holiday

  •  Billy Slater backs Benji Marshall as Tigers coach
  •  Says criticism of Marshall has been ‘inappropriate’
  •  Marshall recently took a holiday to Fiji with family

Billy Slater has defended Benji Marshall after the Wests Tiger’s coach was criticised for going on a mid-season holiday to Fiji with his wife and their two children during the club’s slump in form.

Tigers players and coaching staff were given three days off during their bye round, with Marshall taking a short break to Fiji with his wife and kids.

The holiday was questioned by some considering that the Tigers were on an eight game losing streak, with critics suggesting he should be trying to fix the team.

Friday night’s humiliating defeat to the Dragons was the ninth straight loss for the Tigers, who now sit at the bottom of the ladder and are on track for another wooden spoon.

Billy Slater (pictured) says that Benji Marshall is the right person to be coaching the Tigers

Marshall (pictured) was criticised after taking a mid-season holiday to Fiji with his family

Marshall (pictured) was criticised after taking a mid-season holiday to Fiji with his family

Slater has thrown his support behind Marshall, saying the criticism of him has been inappropriate. 

‘I feel for Benji because he probably has to feel like he has to defend himself and validate some decisions that he makes off the field which is just totally inappropriate,’ Slater said on Nine’s The Billy Slater Podcast.

‘[Teams] get byes throughout the year. Players need to get away from the game. Coaches need to get away from the game.

‘Benji hadn’t even coached a game and he was being criticised. You gotta give people a chance. This is not an easy job to do.

‘If you’re out there criticising him and you think you can do a better job, put your hand up.

‘At the end of the day, he’s in there having a go and trying to turn things around for his club.’

Slater went on to say that Marshall has had progress with the team, especially with the younger players. 

‘I believe he is the right person for the job. He’s passionate about this club. He knows the game as well as anyone,’ Slater said.

The Wests Tigers have lost nine straight games are are at the bottom of the NRL ladder

The Wests Tigers have lost nine straight games are are at the bottom of the NRL ladder

Slater says Marshall was being criticised before he even started coaching this year

Slater says Marshall was being criticised before he even started coaching this year

‘There have been times throughout the year when this team has looked like they were moving forward.

‘Consistency isn’t easy in this competition. When you’ve got younger players, especially younger players in key positions, it is going to take time.

‘We’ve heard Ricky Stuart talk about patience with these young players. You have got to be patient. At times, in the media, I feel we are a little bit impatient.’

Rumours that Marshall wasn’t pulling his weight at the club first circulated in March, but he hit back and insisted he is the ‘first in the building’ before training every day.

Marshall told how he ‘prioritises his family between 5-8pm every night to find a ‘work life balance’, with Wests Tigers boss Shane Richardson saying his commitment to his job and his family should be admired.

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