Criticism valid: Benji Marshall

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Criticism valid: Benji Marshall

Benji Marshall will cop being panned by two greats but refutes suggestions his inability to get St George Illawarra firing is related to ongoing contract talks.

The Dragons have scored just 40 points in five games this season, with veteran playmaker Marshall copping the brunt of criticism for an attack which failed to get on the board in Saturday night’s 36-0 loss to premiers North Queensland.

Immortal Andrew Johns claimed the former Kiwi Test skipper was creating nothing for his outside men, while former Test skipper Brad Fittler said Marshall needed to toughen up.

Marshall says the criticisms were probably valid, but he doesn’t believe the contract situation – having previously knocked back a reported $300,000 one-year extension by the Dragons – had anything to do with the struggles.

“I’m happy to cop that, obviously trying too hard to create something off the back of nothing, I’ve addressed that as well,” Marshall said on Monday of his high-profile critics.

“They’re probably right.

“It’s got nothing to do with contracts.

“Everyone’s got to perform. Any team you’re in, every player’s got to perform.”

While the limp effort in going down to the Cowboys was not unexpected, things won’t get any easier against Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night.

Marshall says his future is unlikely to be sorted for at least another three weeks.

The former Wests Tigers premiership-winner laughed off the Dragons’ initial offer, believing he was worth more.

The only thing the 31-year-old does know is he still definitely wants to play next season – whether it’s at the Dragons or another NRL club.

“Am I that old?” Marshall said when asked about retirement.

“31, mate. You do the math.

“I’ll be playing next year. I’m not doubtful of that, just don’t know where yet.”

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