Lockyer salivating at Marshall challenge - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lockyer salivating at Marshall challenge

LONDON 24/10/2009 11:43:52 AM Comments (0)

It's the one on one battle that could decide the war, and it has Kangaroos captain Darren Lockyer salivating ahead of Australia's opening Four Nations clash against New Zealand on Saturday night.

Lockyer v Benji Marshall. Five-eighth on five-eighth. Skipper on skipper.

While each will need a little help from teammates, particularly the forwards, whoever comes out on top in this man-on-man match-up at The Stoop in London will put their side within sight of a Four Nations final berth.

"It's not regular that your opposite number is also the opposition captain, but that's a little challenge out there on the field," Lockyer said.

"As I start to think more about the game between now and kick-off, they're one of the little battles that will get the blood flowing." Marshall, too, was eagerly awaiting the showdown.

"I love challenging myself ... to get the opportunity to play against the world's best five-eighth in a Test match is something special," Marshall said.

While both will be doing their best to unlock the other side's defence, there is little doubt they will also be called upon to do plenty of tackling.

And this isn't just any tackling - it's stopping Goliaths like Kiwi backrower Frank Pritchard and rampaging Kangaroos lock Anthony Watmough.

Australian backrower Trent Waterhouse has been handed the job of protecting Lockyer, with his main aim keeping Penrith teammate Pritchard quiet.

"The challenge is there for Trent to come out on top of his teammate, and I'm sure Pritchard's thinking the same thing," Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens said.

"If anyone knows (Pritchard), Trent knows him.

"It's going to be a good challenge on that side. I said to Trent that if Pritchard gets to Lockyer, then Trent's had a bad game."

The match kicks off at 8pm local time (0600 Sunday AEDT).

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