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Bronco Benji: the perfect solution

Fra-Dog Roar Rookie

By Fra-Dog, Fra-Dog is a Roar Rookie

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    Benji Marshall in action. AAP Image/Action Photographics, Renee McKay

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    The Wests Tigers have been in negotiations with their playmaker, Benji Marshall and his management team regarding a new improved deal since the beginning of the season.

    With no end in sight any time soon, it has made me wonder whether the ex-New Zealand captain may look elsewhere to further his career.

    Marshall has two years remaining on his current contract, worth around $350,000 a season.

    The reason why the club and the player’s management team are discussing are new deal at this moment in time is due to a clause in Marshall’s contract.

    The clause was down to the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) finally finalising a new television rights deal in August last year, and whether they would extend the salary cap for all 16 clubs in the NRL.

    So when news came about just before the start of the 2013 NRL competition, that the salary cap would be increased from $4.4 million from the previous season to just under $6 million, this opened up the clause.

    This was put in place, to allow Marshall to re-negotiate his current deal, and allow him the opportunity to get paid his fair share of the new salary cap.

    Six months have gone, and still the Tigers and their New Zealand International have failed to come to an agreement.

    And you cannot blame the Wests Tigers in being hesitant in agreeing to the supposedly $800,000 a season that Marshall is asking for, with his form this season not warranting anywhere near that amount of cash.

    The Sydney based club is second last on the ladder, and due to a terrible injury toll, the Tigers have a genuine excuse for being that far down the ladder.

    In saying that, the individual performances of Benji Marshall throughout this season have been woeful to say the least.

    He only has four line break assists so far this year, and when you compare it to last season, the creative playmaker already had 21 to his name.

    Clearly something is not right.

    The Kiwi superstar was sensationally dropped to the bench back in Round 10 this season against the Rabbitohs.

    This led to rumours circulating that Marshall was not happy with new Tigers coach, Mick Potter. In particular, Potter’s tactics of a more structured game plan than the free flowing football which the New Zealander loves to play.

    So maybe it is time for a change for Marshall, where in recent times he has been linked to rugby union, in particularly to the NSW Waratahs.

    Nonetheless, I believe it would be a huge shame if rugby league lost a player with the talents of the Kiwi International to another code.

    So the best destination in my mind for Benji Marshall to revitalise his league career, would be to join up with the Brisbane Broncos.

    Currently, the Queensland club are also performing below par compared to the lofty heights they set for themselves each year, placed just outside the top eight in 11th position.

    What the Broncos are missing this season and have been since the retirement of league legend, Darren Lockyer in 2011, is a creative playmaker.

    Benji Marshall fits the bill perfectly in a player who could ignite the creative spark missing for the Brisbane club, and possibly help push for a premiership in the next year or so.

    It would allow the playmaker the opportunity to be in same team with representative players, of the likes of Thaiday, Hannant and Parker in the forwards laying the platform for Benji to do his magic.

    They would give him the time and space he is not getting at the Tigers to perform at his very best once again.

    As well as, giving him the prospect of playing alongside Scott Prince again in the halves, who were devastating together back in 2005, when they helped the Tigers win the Premiership.

    Furthermore, he would be adored by the Broncos faithful who love to support a quality playmaker, and they have had some crackers over the years.

    Wally Lewis, Allan Langer, Kevin Walters and the previously mentioned, Lockyer all comes to mind, and Marshall at his best again could join this illustrious group.

    Benji Marshall joining the Brisbane Broncos in 2014 and donning on the famous number six jersey, could be exactly what the New Zealander needs to get back to his devastating best.

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    The Crowd Says (40)

    • Roar Guru

      June 29th 2013 @ 5:30am
      peeeko said | June 29th 2013 @ 5:30am | ! Report

      i would have thought Benji was on a lot more that 350k a year. i would have thought 500-600k?

      • June 29th 2013 @ 8:01am
        eagleJack said | June 29th 2013 @ 8:01am | ! Report

        Benji hasn’t rolled out of bed for less than $500k in years.

        • June 29th 2013 @ 6:34pm
          jack said | June 29th 2013 @ 6:34pm | ! Report

          I just hope he is not selected for the NZ team

    • June 29th 2013 @ 6:46am
      Robert said | June 29th 2013 @ 6:46am | ! Report

      If that scenario came true,people who get sick of seeing the Broncos playing the majority of the Friday night games will be getting sicker because Channel 9 love Benji.He’s the only reason the Tigers get so many FTA games

      Comment from The Roar’s iPhone app.

    • June 29th 2013 @ 6:46am
      Robert said | June 29th 2013 @ 6:46am | ! Report

      Comment from The Roar’s iPhone app.

    • June 29th 2013 @ 7:24am
      oikee said | June 29th 2013 @ 7:24am | ! Report

      I would love to see Benji at the Broncos, and 800 thousand a year is a bargain these days under the new salary structure, i think Lockyer was on 700 thousand before the new deal.
      The Broncos need a high profile player or two, if they could get Benji who still is reasonably young, it would be unreel.
      Fingers crossed.

      • June 29th 2013 @ 8:00am
        eagleJack said | June 29th 2013 @ 8:00am | ! Report

        With the club genuinely chasing Cam Smith and Ben Barba, the addition of Benji would make them almost impossible to beat. Not sure if it could happen but they would certainly be a great side to watch.

        • June 29th 2013 @ 8:23am
          Symbolsoup said | June 29th 2013 @ 8:23am | ! Report

          I haven’t beards a murmur of Cam Smith and the Broncos, pretty sure he made it clear that he is to be a one club player for Melbourne with the likely possibility of becoming coach when he retires.. Barba would be nice but Benji would need to be happy being paidnunders to come to the Broncos, I’m not sure we would want him.

          • June 29th 2013 @ 8:24am
            Symbolsoup said | June 29th 2013 @ 8:24am | ! Report

            Beards = heard. (Stupid iPad autocorrect – what happened to the edit post option?)

          • June 29th 2013 @ 8:54am
            eagleJack said | June 29th 2013 @ 8:54am | ! Report

            It’s no secret that Smith’s wife wants to return to family in Brisbane. Cam has said so himself as she is alone a lot with the 3 kids while he is away. It’s all just rumours at this stage but one doing the rounds is the Broncos want him from 2015 with a playing/coaching position from 2018. Basically it is a 2 horse race between the Storm and Broncos.

            Barba’s move is dependent on Folau. If he re-signs with the ARU then Benny stays at the Dogs. If not then the Dogs will offload him to the Broncos to secure Folau.

            • June 29th 2013 @ 9:45am
              Meesta Cool said | June 29th 2013 @ 9:45am | ! Report

              I hope transfer fees come in very soon, to stop this ‘buy up of stars’!

            • June 29th 2013 @ 10:36am
              Symbolsoup said | June 29th 2013 @ 10:36am | ! Report

              Great news EJ, thanks for the info.

      • June 29th 2013 @ 12:46pm
        Bearfax said | June 29th 2013 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

        Oikee. Did you write this column? Sounds like it.

    • June 29th 2013 @ 8:09am
      The eye said | June 29th 2013 @ 8:09am | ! Report

      I’d swap Benji for a package,Hannant,Parker and Thaiday…and throw in Blair and Murdoch-Marsilla as a sweetener.

      • June 29th 2013 @ 8:25am
        Symbolsoup said | June 29th 2013 @ 8:25am | ! Report

        You are obviously a tigpies fan? No chance we would release those boys.

        • June 29th 2013 @ 8:34am
          oikee said | June 29th 2013 @ 8:34am | ! Report

          I think Benji is a million dollar player and worth that much as well. His profile alone is worth a million to the Broncos.
          Dont underestimate a pick-up like Benji would have and do to the profile of the Broncos.
          Put it this way, who would you rather, wallace and Ben Hunt,,,,,,,, or BENJI, the Super Dooper Star.
          Looks like he might be staying at the Tigers. Doh.

          • June 29th 2013 @ 8:53am
            Symbolsoup said | June 29th 2013 @ 8:53am | ! Report

            I would rather keep Hannant, Parker, Thaiday any day. Three internationals. If they want hunt and Wallace, no worries but they would be idiots.

            • June 29th 2013 @ 12:53pm
              Bigjohn said | June 29th 2013 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

              How about you take Hannant, Wallace, Hunt and the highest paid water boy in the world, Kearney. And if we get Wayne back, we will throw in Griffin.

      • June 29th 2013 @ 1:17pm
        Bigjohn said | June 29th 2013 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

        Blair as a sweetener .. Melbourne must still be laughing about how much they got for him.

    • June 29th 2013 @ 8:58am
      The eye said | June 29th 2013 @ 8:58am | ! Report

      Looks like you’re going to need a coach up there next year,too.Tigers have a spare one on the books..option package B.

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