Benji Marshall has revealed the Wayne Bennett sledge that changed the way he approached his game.
South Sydney utility Benji Marshall has revealed the Wayne Bennett sledge that changed the way he approached his game.
Marshall was heavily praised for his impact off the Bunnies interchange bench against Melbourne, playing a key hand in two tries and giving the side veteran leadership as they came back from a huge deficit to be in the game in the final ten minutes.
Marshall claims he never would have ended up with South Sydney if it wasn’t for his wife Zoe, who said ‘why don’t you give Wayne a call?’.
The rest is history as Marshall took the the last roster spot on the Rabbitohs’ player list after the club allowed Corey Allan to leave and join the Bulldogs.
Marshall said it wasn’t easy calling Bennett but realised that if anyone knew how he conducted business it was the master coach. Bennett and Beni had teamed up at international level, and the coach was a huge figure in leading the Kiwis to a shock Four Nations tournament win over Australia in the final.
The playmaker believes the first team meeting Bennett had with the Kiwis had a massive impact on the side and himself personally.
“First meeting, Wayne walks in and goes around the room, telling every single player what they need to be better at,” he told News Corp.
“Straight away, that resonated with me.
“I remember him getting to me and saying ‘stop trying to score every time you get the ball’.
“I’d never worked with Wayne before but thought ‘yeah, OK, awesome’.
“And right throughout that tournament, we just got really close.”
After being shown the door by the Wests Tigers last year, Marshall is keen to show he still has what it takes to mix it with the best and offer South Sydney true value with his experience and leadership.
Marshall, who’s undergone five shoulder reconstructions, was constantly doubted throughout his career due to his injury history, and says his endurance is the biggest aspect of his career he is most proud of.
“And my longevity, it’s the one thing about my career I never get embarrassed talking about,” he says.
“Before turning 23, I’d had five shoulder reconstructions. And with each one, people were continually saying ‘you’re only one more injury from never playing again’.But here I am now, after 19 seasons, still going.
“So that’s what I’m proudest about. I should never have played this long.”
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