Benji fan John plays down match up - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Benji fan John plays down match up

Robert Lowe 17/03/2011 02:47:20 PM Comments (0)

Injury-hit Warriors youngster Isaac John will make his return to the NRL on Saturday night against an opponent he has long admired.

But he doesn't see it as a head-to-head contest with Benji Marshal.

The Warriors have called up John at five-eighth for the clash with the Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval, with James Maloney serving a ban for his early hit on Parramatta fullback Jarryd Hayne last weekend.

"The only way we match up is our numbers," John said.

"It's not like me versus Benji, it's the Warriors versus the Tigers. I won't be trying to stop him by myself. I'll have 12 others players around me."

While Marshall's kicking game was a touch wayward in the Tigers' 24-14 defeat to the Bulldogs last Monday night, the Kiwi skipper again showed his lethal ability with ball in hand.

His passes set up tries for Lote Tuqiri and Chris Lawrence, before he grabbed a superb solo touchdown for himself, skipping past three defenders.

"It's hard not to admire what he does," John said.

"Growing up as a teenager, I used to watch him a lot. Some of the stuff he does is unbelievable and we'll try to stop that this week."

John wasn't fazed by the prospect that might be required for just one game, as Maloney will be available for selection again next week.

"I'm just going to go out there to do my part for the team," he said.

"I'm not trying to be a miracle worker, like turn our season around. It's only round two. It's a long season."

John, 22, has eight NRL matches to his name.

He made his debut in July 2009, but injuries played havoc with his season last year.

He was unavailable early on because of a broken foot, but got his chance in mid-campaign when halfback Brett Seymour suffered a leg fracture.

He formed a halves combination with Maloney and the Warriors won four of the five matches with him on the field.

However, John was then struck down by anterior cruciate ligament damage, which required a season-ending knee reconstruction.

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