ESPN SCRUM

/ Super Rugby 2014

/ News

Super Rugby
Marshall solid in first start for the Blues
ESPN Staff
February 1, 2014
Benji Marshall impressed at fly-half in his first rugby outing in more then a decade © Getty Images
Enlarge

Benji Marshall has made an encouraging start to his Super Rugby career, getting through 40 minutes for the Blues in his first game of rugby union in more than a decade. The former West Tigers and Kiwis rugby league star played the opening two quarters at five-eighth in the Blues' 38-35 pre-season loss to the Hurricanes on Saturday in Masterton.

There was no sign of nerves from Marshall, who distributed the ball well, made the odd run at the line and took on the responsibility of re-starts and kicking for touch. Marshall tried his trademark sidestep once - and met the considerable force of Hurricanes flanker Ardie Savea - but mostly, he was content sticking to basics and getting a feel for his new position.

"I didn't set the game on fire but, in terms of trying to get control and feel for playing 10, everything I wanted to get I got out of it," Marshall said. "It wasn't about being the best player on the field. It was just trying to get through what we practised and get a feel for the game."

Marshall didn't shy away in defence, although he failed to hold on to Tim Bateman in the build-up to the Hurricanes' third try. He even opted to get stuck into a couple of rucks, with mixed results. Blues coach John Kirwan was pleased with Marshall's first hit out and ruled out a switch to fullback.

"I think (fly-half) is his position," Kirwan said. "He certainly put his hand up today so we'll put him out there again next week and we'll just keep working on him. It was a good start."

The match, in front of a sold-out crowd of 6000, was an entertaining one, which produced 11 tries - six for the Hurricanes and five for the Blues.

The Blues recovered from a 19-0 deficit to lead 21-19 at half-time, and 35-24 at three-quarter time, but more direct running from the Hurricanes in the final spell produced the rewards and lock James Broadhurst scored the winning try with eight minutes remaining.

© AAP

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

  • Cricket

  • Rugby

    • Days
    • Hrs
    • Mins
    • Secs

    F1 - Chinese GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Snooker - China Open
    Tennis - Miami Open
  • Latest
  • Most Viewed
  • News
  • Features
  • Tennis

    Andy Murray wins 500th career match to reach Miami quarter-finals

    Andy Murray was made to work hard for his 500th career win, but he finally came past Kevin Anderson to reach the quarter-finals at the Miami Open

  • Rugby

    Francois Steyn suspended for five weeks on appeal

    Sharks centre Francois Steyn has been handed a five-week ban for a lifting tackle on Aaron Cruden after the incident was revisited by the SANZAR judiciary

  • Rugby

    Carter heads home for fatherly duties

    Dan Carter will miss the Crusaders' Super Rugby game against the Sharks in Durban after returning to New Zealand to attend the birth of his second child

  • Football

    Liverpool won't sell Sterling despite contract wrangle

    Liverpool will not consider a deal to sell Raheem Sterling this summer even if he refuses to sign a new contract, sources have told ESPN FC

  • Football

    Arsenal have 'made offer' for Palermo striker Dybala

    Arsenal and Juventus have both made offers for Paulo Dybala, according to Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini

  • News
  • Features

Sponsored Links

Make Huge Income from your Home
Download your Free Guide And Learn How To Increase Your Monthly Income