By Mary Maidiotis
St George Illawarra Dragons halfback Benji Marshall believes the confidence within the team will be the deciding factor against the Canberra Raiders at WIN Stadium, Wollongong on Sunday.
Marshall, 30, says that despite losing their most recent game after winning six in a row, the feeling within the team is still positive.
The Dragons will look to pick up the two points against an in-form Raiders side, as part of Women in League Round, before heading into the bye round next week.
“The quick turnaround’s been alright, coming off the back of what was a pretty tough game against the Rabbitohs,” said Marshall.
“Although we did lose, I thought there were some good signs in the way we competed and we had opportunities to draw the game up, so I think the feeling within the team is still pretty positive.
“I suppose that’s the good thing about our team, there’s a lot of confidence and belief within each other, so coming up against a Canberra side at home, we want to lift another gear from what we did against the Rabbitohs and try to get that win at home.
“The Raiders have been one of the form teams of the comp for the last five weeks, they’ve won four out of five, I think their attack has been pretty unpredictable and sharp, so we’re in for a tough one.
“Blake Austin is definitely someone we’re going to have to be on the watch for, he’s running the ball well and seems to be playing with a lot of confidence, so he’s someone we’re going to have to try and shut down.
“My game is building, I’m starting to find a bit of confidence, I think the most important thing for me is just controlling our composure within our side and leading the boys around the park.
“I do a lot of practice with my kicking so I hope that’s improving, it goes a long way towards us dominating field position and winning games.
“If we don’t win that field position in a game, I feel like that’s a big part of my responsibility so I do look at it and try to work on it.
“It’s a special round because we’re paying tribute to the females in our lives who do so much for us.
“There’s always a lot of women in your life that help you get to where you are and in my case, I’ve got my mum, my grandmother, and especially my wife who has to put up with so much week-in, week-out throughout a season, and ride those ups and downs of what it’s like to be a first-grade footballer, so it’s a good celebration for them.
“That’s the beauty of our game, we can do little things like wearing pink socks to raise funds for charities and there’s no week more fitting for us to wear pink, than this weekend.”
The Dragons will proudly be supporting the Joanne Mackay Breast Cancer Foundation as part of Women In League Round against the Canberra Raiders at WIN Stadium, Wollongong on Sunday.
The Foundation is in honour of the wife of former St George, Illawarra, St George Illawarra, NSW and Australian representative Brad Mackay who sadly lost his wife to breast cancer.
The Joanne Mackay Breast Cancer Foundation is a long-term Dragons charity that focuses on the fundamental and emotional needs of patients and their families during the treatment of breast cancer.
The Foundation will facilitate several activities in and around the venue on game day to raise donations including a bucket collection which take place around the venue as well as several stalls where official scarves and other paraphernalia will be available for purchase.
Additionally, representatives from the Foundation as well as Bria Mackay will help form an on-field guard of honour for the players when they take to the field prior to kick-off.
Furthermore, the team will proudly be wearing pink socks in recognition of the Foundation when they take to the field.
Additionally, the Dragons have launched a new “Flexi Pass” three game Red V Membership that will allow supporters to choose which of remaining home games they want to attend during the 2015 season, across all venues.