Benji Marshall is set to chalk up his 300th NRL appearance next week, with his Wests Tigers’ coach Michael Maguire believing the veteran playmaker can go around for another season – if he wants to.
The 34-year-old New Zealander triggered his side’s early second half surge in Friday’s night’s 24-16 home loss to the Sydney Roosters.
Marshall set up two tries in three minutes with a perfect cut-out pass and a pinpoint grubber kick.
‘He’s going alright, he’s the one that’s got to put his body through it, so those discussions I’ll have over the next of month and really it’s just how he feels,” Maguire said.
“He’s playing really good footy, so there’s no reason why he can’t, but it’s a matter of obviously the mental side, being able to go through it again, is something that he needs to judge himself”
“He’s playing well enough to be able to do it.”
Marshall who has played 13 of his 17 campaigns with the Tigers, will reach the triple century milestone on Sunday week against Parramatta.
‘I had a couple of weeks with Benj when I was overseas with him and I saw the passion for the Kiwi jersey,” said Maguire, who also coaches New Zealand.
“But there’s a hell of a lot of passion in the Wests Tigers’ jersey in Benji, so I’m really looking forward to be part of that (milestone game), they are special games.
“But one thing I know Benji will do is focus very much about growing this team and the game itself.
“I think there will be a celebration around that but I know what Benji is after and that’s for this team to get on the winning side.”
Maguire was proud of his side’s efforts against the Roosters, despite the result snapping their two-game win streak and kept them outside the eight.
“If the boys keep putting that sort of effort in, those games will start swinging our way, like they did over the last couple of weeks,” Maguire said.
He said he had a hungry group of players and the team was getting stronger every week.
The Tigers were a vastly improved side from the one smashed 42-12 by the Roosters just two months ago and their performance on Friday earned plaudits from opposing coach Trent Robinson.
He said he normally didn’t give the opposition credit, but felt the Tigers played very well, praising their ball movement and low error rate.