Benji nominates Marsters to be centre of excellence


And the pre-season wrestling sessions that often felt like ”the WWE” will give Marsters every chance to do just that, including Sunday evening’s clash against some of his New Zealand teammates  who Marshall labelled ”some of the biggest outside backs on the planet”.

“Defence, defence, defence,” Marsters said, when asked what Maguire had wanted him to work on.

“He knows I can attack, but attacking with your defence is a good trait. He’s challenged me to become the best defensive centre in the competition, and I want to be that player.

“The Roosters boys, Joey Manu and Latrell Mitchell, are probably the best two defensive centres in the game. If you look at the teams in the top four, Melbourne with Curtis Scott and Will Chambers, they’re all good defensively.

“I remember coming into training in the pre-season and it was like the WWE. We were good in defence last year, but our wrestle wasn’t good. The whole off-season we did that. Last weekend we were scrappy with some tackles, but our middles dominated the wrestle.”

Marsters had three tackle busts and five offloads against Manly and always posed a danger on the right edge.

He will be a handful for the Warriors when they travel to Campbelltown Sports Stadium and is ready to go head to head with his   roommate on tour, Ken Maumalo.

“With those guys you just want to get your body in front and hope for the best,” Marsters said.

“I’ll be playing against Ken, who was my roomie. He’s a funny guy. He’d go out at night and get a feed and I used to hear him munching away while I slept. He and [Peta Hiku] are an experienced edge.

“We were confident after our win last week, but we know it’s a new week.”

While Marsters, 22, will retain his centre spot for the Kiwis, Marshall was unsure if he remained in Maguire’s New Zealand plans, especially with the World Cup next year.

“I haven’t thought about it, and ‘Madge’ [Maguire] hasn’t said anything, so I guess that’s a ‘no’,” a laughing Marshall said when asked if his international days were over.

“One thing I’ve always said is I’ll never say no to playing for my country. It’s up to Madge if I’m good enough.”

The Tigers will be boosted by the return of their skipper Moses Mbye, who could have played with a niggling knee injury against the Sea Eagles but was given the extra week to recover.

Marshall said Mbye brought ”a calm head and another ball-playing option”.

“He’s our captain, and he’s captain because he brings everyone else around him up,” Marshall said.

Centre Paul Momirovski or Marsters’ wing partner Mahe Fonua are expected to drop out.

The Tigers trailed 2-0 against Manly in atrocious conditions last week, before the weather improved and they piled on the points.

Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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