Benji Marshall’s chances of earning a new NRL contract took another blow after suffering a rough outing with the ball in St George Illawarra’s loss to Brisbane on Thursday.
While the veteran playmaker tried hard to spark his team’s spluttering attack, he committed five of his team’s nine errors, including two fumbles in attacking opportunities and one kick out on the full.
Summing up his night was a crucial turnover late in the game, when he was caught on the sixth tackle with the Dragons searching for a game-winning play.
Marshall opted not to talk following the match, while Dragons coach Paul McGregor declined to comment on Marshall’s performance post-game.
“I’m not here to talk about individuals. It’s a team sport and it’s no good sitting in front of anyone talking about individual players,” he said.
However McGregor did concede that the Broncos’ kicking game was a major factor in the Dragons falling to their fifth straight defeat, all but ending their finals ambitions.
Marshall took 14 of the Dragons’ kicks, while halves partner Gareth Widdop hit nine.
“You have a look at the game, where we started play one and where they started play one… Our kick placement wasn’t where it needed to be,” he said.
McGregor also admitted he has grown tired of the constant speculation surrounding his off-contract players, particularly Marshall and hooker Mitch Rein.
“Since November there’s been a lot of talk about contracts at the club and it’s been a real unstable environment because of that,” he said.
“I’ve just been answering every media session all year and every time about certain players.
“They know my feelings, the players. So now it’s time for the recruitment guys to do their job and step up and answer the questions that you write about who’s here and who’s not here next year.”