Warriors wary of Benji Marshall magic

Author
Michael Burgess - NZ Herald ,
Section
League,
Publish Date
Friday, 22 March 2019, 3:28PM
Benji Marshall of the Tigers. Photo / Getty
Benji Marshall of the Tigers. Photo / Getty

Michael Burgess runs through a set of six NRL topics.

Benji on the prowl

The Warriors are wary of a revitalised Benji Marshall ahead of Sunday's match, after his impressive start to the season. The 34-year-old former Kiwis captain, along with Robbie Farah, were key to the Wests Tigers' 20-6 first round win over Manly.

"He's been a good player for such a long time," said Warriors halfback Blake Green. "He's a great competitor, with plenty of skill about him and he is one we have to look out for over the weekend."

Marshall, who first faced the Warriors in 2005 (a 24-6 win), will play his 291st NRL match on Sunday. It's also his 16th clash with the Warriors.

Warriors reveal their joker in the pack

Prop Bunty Afoa is a hard man on the field, and has become a fan favourite, with his charges into the heart of the opposition forwards. He's also quick with a quip, always taking the chance for some gentle ribbing.

"Off the field, he is a bit of a jokester, always mocking the boys," said Blake Ayshford. "I'm usually on the receiving end. I don't know why...probably because I am from Australia and I'm older than him.

The former Tiger and Shark also gets some grief about his haircuts

"I get them from home, because I don't care too much, so every time I came in he is saying 'Oh, who did the haircut? Let's get the barber.'"

Warriors Old Boys celebrate in style

A star-studded collection of former Warriors players made the most of last weekend's special events.

They enjoyed a BBQ with the team on Friday afternoon and were paraded in front of the large crowd before Saturday's game against the Bulldogs.

Many of the old boys were still swapping stories about their glory days in the Warriors' dressing room late on Saturday night, and were some of the last to leave the stadium.

Lunch for Kiwis legend

A special fundraising lunch is being held to support former Kiwis' prop Quentin Pongia, who is battling cancer.

The event will be on June 7 at Ellerslie Events Centre. Guest speakers include former Kiwis Stephen Kearney, Stacey Jones and Ruben Wiki, while there will also be a special auction.

More details at www.eventcentre.co.nz/quentinlunch or contact Natalie.stol@ellerslie.co.nz

Kearney goes back to the beginning

Sunday's match represents a homecoming for Warriors coach Stephen Kearney, who returns to the scene of his NRL debut.

A fresh faced Kearney was only 20 years old when he ran out for Western Suburbs Magpies at Campbelltown on August 2nd 1992, playing alongside Terry Hill, Paul Langmack, Andrew Farrar and Bob Lindner.

The Magpies went down to the Eels – who had Brett Kenny and former Northcote Tigers half Stu Galbraith in their ranks – but Kearney enjoyed the first win of his 264-game NRL career two weeks later against the Bulldogs.

Stat of the week

The Cowboys will hope to overcome a miserable recent record in Brisbane on Friday night, as they have been defeated on seven of their last eight visits to Suncorp Stadium.

According to NRL.com, they're one of several teams hoping to bust venue hoodoos. Manly have only won one of their last eight matches at Brookvale, while the Warriors haven't enjoyed their recent trips to Campbelltown, with four losses from their last five games at the western Sydney ground.

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