Wests Tigers star Benji Marshall says Scott Prince the real finals danger man
By Christian Nicolussi From: The Daily Telegraph September 08, 2010 12:00AM
FORGET Benji Marshall - the Wests Tigers superstar No. 6 yesterday labelled former premiership teammate Scott Prince the real NRL finals dangerman.
A day after Marshall was dubbed the most feared player by rival captains, the pin-up said the Gold Coast co-captain loomed as the biggest September headache.
“With their home semi on Friday, and his effect on the Titans, I think Princey will be the most influential and dangerous player,” he said.
"Just from playing with him [in 2005] and against him this year, he’s come along in leaps and bounds. To get where he is now, he’s brought that team a long way.
“The halves will have a big influence on a lot of teams, like Todd Carney and Mitchell Pearce will for the Roosters, but my pick out of everyone would be Scott Prince.”
Marshall said he could not be happier with his own form, but would further improve and only fired at “80 per cent”.
“I feel it’s taken me two or three years to get back to where I am now,” Marshall said.
“I knew when I was injured it would take me a bit of time to generate some momentum, but to have played every game this season for the first time in my career - a lot of people probably don’t understand what that means to me - it has been a big factor towards me getting back to where I am. I’ll only get better the more games I can string together.”
Marshall is sure to light up the Sydney Football Stadium when he locks horns with No. 6 Carney and the Roosters on Saturday night.
The 25-year-old Marshall had a lot of respect for Carney and admired the former wild child’s brilliant return to the game.
Marshall said that, with maturity, he was now focused on winning rather than just taking part in the finals.
“To tell you the truth, I can’t remember much of the 2005 finals,” said Marshall, whose flick pass in their grand final win over North Queensland remains one of the most watched passages of play.
"I do remember a feeling like this where we’ve run out for training and there are fans here and a lot of media.
“I think if anything I won’t take it for granted as much this time around. I was so young back then. Now I want to be there until the end and this one will mean a lot more to me if we do get there to the end.”
Can the Tigers go all the way?
“We’ve got a great blend of experience and youth, a great combination of talent and hardness in the forwards. And when you’ve got players playing for each other, you become a hard team to beat,” Marshall said.
Meanwhile, winger Lote Tuqiri is convinced the joint venture have the players and the coaching staff to repeat their 2005 success.
“I came here to play and be successful and I think we have done that and I guess this season proves the boys can go a long way,” Tuqiri said.
"I could see the potential in this team when I joined and the guys have shown that.
“I have scored a few tries, stayed injury-free - and played some enjoyable footy.”