Kiwis Treatment Of Marshall Is Appalling

By Play The Ball · Oct 2, 2015 · Updated Oct 2, 2015 · ·
  1. Play The Ball
    The treatment of former Kiwis captain Benji Marshall by coach Stephen Kearney and the Kiwis is appalling.

    They have belittled one of the best Kiwi players to have played for the side in the past decade by refusing to select him when every other international player has fallen over injured. It has gone beyond a coach not picking a guy due to a lack of form – this is a personal decision surely.

    Kiwis starters Shaun Johnson, Kieran Foran and Thomas Leuluai are unavailable for the three-test tour of England due to injury. Instead of selecting Marshall, who featured prominently on the Dally M NRL Player of the Year leader board earlier in the week, Kearney has opted to pick rookies, players that haven’t even played first grade let alone international football and will play players out of position rather than pick the former Golden Boot winner.

    What message does that send to Marshall? Kearney will talk about blooding players for the future and I support him in doing that but to a degree. To select players like Te Maire Martin, Manaia Cherrington, Matt McIllwrick, Kodi Nikorima and Tuimoala Lolohea – players that have either not played first grade, not played in the halves in first grade or have only a handful of experience there ahead of a guy who was a candidate to be named the NRL’s best player in 2015 is Kearney completely thumbing his nose at Marshall. If you want to blood young players – would there be a better role model for them in the squad than Marshall?

    Marshall captained his country – led them to a Four Nations title and played a significant role in the 2008 World Cup victory. This is the thanks he gets for his troubles.

    The Kiwis have worked hard to build a reputation that sees them rightly be called the best team in the world. But this sort of petty carry on is not a good look.

    Kearney’s Kiwis better win the three-test series in England otherwise he will have some serious explaining to do.

    About Author

    Play The Ball
    This article has been written by Dale Budge. Dale is a well known rugby league commentator and journalist, having covered the sport for over 10 years.

    Website :
    Twitter : @playtheball


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  1. Play The Ball
    I have an opinion - that doesn't mean I have no class. It appears to be the view of the majority from what I can gather. The results ARE in - Marshall wasn't selected in the train-on squad. Now, Kearney has no halves with ANY test experience to choose from because he has a personal issue with Marshall. You think Marshall isn't worthy as one of NZ's top 6 halves despite finishing in a tie for second in the Dally M NRL player of the year voting??
    No witch hunt here pal - just questioning the most unexplained non-selection in Kiwis league history.
    1. Timothy
      From what I have read on the Forums here, the problems are with Benji and the playing group(including injured players). If the information is correct(look at int forum.), then I completely back Kearney not selecting Marshall EVER again.
  2. brightman
    Dignity and Class, I heard Jason describe Kearney's behaviour over your Marshall fiasco with these two words on radiosports today. Quite well put I thought, unlike your behaviour on this matter which resembles a dog with a bone. Typical of a media driven witch-hunt. May I remind you the results aren't in yet let alone the whistle for kick-off blown.
      Timothy likes this.
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    2. brightman
      Cool, you have my apologies if you want them. I however want a robust and constructive debate with you not bloody argument. I will respect you but always challenge you if I see fit, hopefully I do that without stepping over the line. I respect your effort for what its worth.
    3. Play The Ball
      Mate - I'm more than happy for robust debate - I like it and enjoy it. Have a crack at my opinions any time you like. To clarify i post in the forum here like anyone else. The articles section stuff that appears has been set up by the admins to appear from my site whenever I write a new piece. I'm all for that but that is their choice not me pushing my profile.
    4. tajhay
      I can confirm that I asked Play The Ball to have his articles on here (as i did with numerous other journalists/media personalities who frequent the site). The only stipulation was that in return he engage with the fans on here. There is no self promotion from him at all, and im sure the general consensus on here is that its a breath of fresh air having him on here providing a very unique perspective.

      As always, the rule of this site is to play the ball, not the ball. Quite apt in this regard.