Benji still hungry despite Kiwi loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Benji still hungry despite Kiwi loss

By Laine Clark 09/05/2009 03:23:26 PM Comments (0)

His first taste of the Kiwi captaincy may have proved bitter, but Benji Marshall is hungry for more.

The young playmaker would have been forgiven for trying to forget his debut as New Zealand skipper.

Indeed Marshall admitted it was "back to the drawing board" for the Kiwis after Friday night's Suncorp Stadium showdown with Australia.

A 38-10 thumping can have that effect.

Throw in a frustrating Kiwi performance and an English referee who didn't understand a word Marshall had been saying and it all points to a bummer of a night.

But Marshall only had plans to tighten his grip on the captaincy reins as he looked toward a "bright future" for New Zealand rugby league.

"It was a privilege to have the opportunity," Marshall said after the seven tries to two loss.

"I didn't see it as a burden at all.

"If anything it made me more pumped up to play.

"I'm only 24. In fact the make-up of our side ranges from (ages) 20 to 24 - the good thing about that is the future of New Zealand rugby league is in great hands.

"(Friday night) wasn't about the result, it was about the effort - and I couldn't fault the effort."

Marshall usurped experienced prop Roy Asotasi as skipper after the representative retirement of Nathan Cayless but said there had been no fallout.

"Everyone was supportive and eager to help me out," he said.

"I was surprised and humbled by the opportunity that I got.

"(But) I knew in the World Cup I showed a lot of leadership and that is probably what got me the captaincy."

It was a learning experience for Marshall on Friday night, to say the least.

And that was just his dealings with English referee Richard Silverwood.

"I found him difficult to talk to," he said.

"I was trying to explain stuff about them jumping before we had played the ball and he didn't understand what I was saying, so I was getting a bit frustrated.

"(But) there's no point blaming people. I am not going to go out there and blame the referee.

"It's our poor decisions and poor completion rate that let us down."

While Marshall was keen to keep the nucleus of their young side for the end of year Four Nations tournament, he gave a not so subtle reminder that selection must still be earned.

"After any loss it is always back to the drawing board," Marshall said.

"We have to go back to our clubs and play consistent football and hope we all get picked again.

"There are some competitive players out there in the NRL, a lot of Kiwis.

"We are all going to have to be playing well for our club to be picked again."

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