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Marshall wants to lift for Aussie re-match November 8, 2010 - 7:09PM
So disappointed was Benji Marshall by his display in Saturday night’s Four Nations loss to Australia that he apologised to his teammates and vowed to make amends in this weekend’s re-match in the final in Brisbane.
Not that Australia needed any warning - Test fullback Billy Slater said they were bracing themselves for a Marshall-inspired Kiwi backlash when they come face to face at Suncorp Stadium.
Marshall felt compelled to address his squad in the aftermath of the 34-20 loss at Eden Park, his apology coming despite the fact he was the best on ground for the home side.
Advertisement: Story continues below The mercurial five-eighth had a hand in all three of New Zealand’s tries, with two try assists coming via trademark out-the-back flick passes.
But rather than enjoy the plaudits, Marshall was critical of the errors he committed.
“I’m very disappointed, not in the team, more in myself,” he told NZPA.
"I expect a lot more from myself as captain.
"The errors I made cost us points and ultimately the start of the game.
“I apologised to the boys in the sheds and I’ll make sure I do everything I can for next week.”
Marshall cited a defensive lapse that allowed halfback Cooper Cronk to score the opening try, and then his kick-off into touch on the full when Australia were up 12-2.
From the ensuing possession, the Kangaroos scored again through centre Brent Tate to open out a comfortable margin midway through the first half.
He was shattered to have disappointed the huge crowd which had packed into the rugby union mecca, the 44,324 fans being the second biggest gate for a rugby league match in New Zealand.
However, Marshall was confident in his squad’s ability to re-group in time for the final.
“It hurts emotionally to put that sort of performance on in front of a home crowd,” he said.
“But we’re a tight group and we’ll regather and put ourselves together.”
Slater made it clear he did not think Australia had landed a psychological blow on the Kiwis ahead of the Four Nations final, claiming his side needed to “do our homework” despite the weekend’s comfortable win.
And one name will be studied closely by the Kangaroos - Marshall.
“It is important that we don’t think we can just turn up and win the game - we have to do our homework,” Slater said.
"We have to improve on what we did last week, where Benji found a bit of space - we have to make sure he can’t find that space again.
"We have to get numbers around him (Marshall) and cut down on his time, defend him as a unit.
“You can’t go one-out and expect to shut him down because he will probably beat you most times.”
He might want to start playing football before the 65th minute and get rid of the “take the two” policy?!
Either way, the problem wasn’t Benji. The forwards didn’t hold the Aussies and failed to gain back to back momentum at the right end of the field. They were too busy applying stupid niggle tactics, instead of actually bashing us.
The Kiwi’s best chance of beating the Kangaroos is to bash us straight up, and only then unleash the wizardry of Benji and Fien…
Spartan117 last edited by
The Kiwis weren’t there, I feel that they thought this would be an easy win for them…
Im hoping some of the newbies stay in the side somewhere ie Lawrence, Boyd and Scott.
Should be a cracker this weekend.
Benji was there best player! He shouldnt be apologising. He never gave up and kept trying all game.
Spartan117 last edited by
He certainly lifted when it was required.
Lock this one please Mods