By Cameron Warner
St George Illawarra Dragons halfback Benji Marshall has reflected upon needing to change his playing style ahead of the fixture against the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane on Friday.
The New Zealand international acknowledged that a truthful discussion with Head Coach Paul McGregor helped him come to the realisation and is appreciative of the raw discussion.
The pivot also revealed one of the major factors behind him signing for the Club midseason was having the opportunity to play alongside five-eighth Gareth Widdop as well as a potent backline.
“There’s a lot of talent that I wanted to work with here at the Dragons and it has been great so far,” said Marshall.
“All the players have accepted me as one of their own and I fit in like its home.
“Having a good half there in Gareth was definitely a factor in my decision to join but not only that, the whole backline is pretty classy.
“The first part of changing the way I play was admitting that I couldn’t be the player that I was when I was 18 or 19.
“Mary recently sat me down and instructed me to play with the experiences gained over the years for the team.
“He told me that I’ve played twelve seasons like that and for me to the team the way with my actions.”
The Keebra Park junior left the field with an ankle injury and replaced by utility Kyle Stanley towards the end of the 34-6 win over the Gold Coast Titans last round.
The New Zealand international has since been cleared of any major ankle damage following the results of scans earlier in the week but remains under observation ahead of the trip north.
Stanley admits he enjoyed the extra responsibility of playing outside Widdop in the halves and is up for the task if he needs to deputise once more come kick-off.
“Playing halfback is not going to happen every week but when Benji came off with his ankle I didn’t mind the extra responsibility,” said Stanley.
“Gareth is a leader and it was great to play off him during the time I slotted in.
“Considering what’s on the line the Brisbane game is going to be tough for both teams.
“We know we’ve just got to come out firing like we did against the Titans if we are to get the points.”