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Broncos may be victim of Marshall success

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/06/2017 Laine Clark

Now that he has rejuvenated Benji Marshall's NRL career, Wayne Bennett fears the off-contract veteran may be out of his price range.

Bennett raised eyebrows when he signed the 32-year-old Marshall on a modest one-year deal for 2017.

But he appears to have had the last laugh after Marshall's inspired form for Brisbane during their tough State of Origin period.

Marshall's form has been so impressive that he has been named bench utility over star halfback Ben Hunt for Friday night's Suncorp Stadium clash with South Sydney.

However, Bennett may become a victim of his success.

The Brisbane master coach wanted to re-sign the veteran but feared Marshall may now be too expensive.

"We are keen to keep him here, whether we can I am not sure," Bennett said.

"He's a lot more valued player now he is here and playing the way he is.

"We have a salary cap like everyone else.

"We got him at a really good price at the time, let's see where it goes."

Bennett paid tribute to Marshall after he overcame a broken wrist this year to recapture some "old Benji form".

"He came here for the right reasons. He wanted an opportunity and we gave him that," Bennett said.

"He's had six weeks with a broken hand and come back and played really well.

"He's coming back to the old Benji form."

Bennett said the secret to Marshall's success in his 15th NRL season was simple - he was happy again.

He said the former Wests Tigers premiership winner had "lost some direction" after a rollercoaster three-year Dragons stint ended in 2016.

"I didn't think he had lost his ability," Bennett said.

"He might have lost some direction in his life.

"It was just a matter of getting him back to that place where he is enjoying his footy again, around guys who help him play better.

"He has been outstanding at the club."

Queensland great Billy Moore wanted to see more from Marshall before the Broncos offered a new deal but believed the Kiwi could make a difference at Brisbane next year.

"If he plays like that for the next five or six games I would re-sign him for 100 ($100,000 a year deal)," he told Fox Sports' Queenslanders Only program.

"You obviously need him on the field playing but he also brings a lot of knowledge to the halves and with (Cronulla's) Jack Bird coming next year that is important."

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