Marshall takes on role of world's best in Kiwi triumph
Monday 15 November 2010
New Zealand's 16-12 victory over Australia in the final of the Four Nations in Brisbane marked the passing of the mantle as the world's most influential player from one great stand-off to another.
Darren Lockyer's 54th and perhaps last international for Australia was one of his quietest. The changing of the guard was completed by the New Zealand captain, Benji Marshall, who did what Lockyer has done so often, making all the key plays that swung the game.
The best and last was two minutes from time when he ran the ball on the final tackle of what could have been the Kiwis' last set, supported the right-wing break and threw the final pass with pure instinct to a player he could not see. Nathan Fien scored and, for the third time in major finals in the last five years, New Zealand had won when it mattered.
"I was getting messages from my coach that weren't very nice," Marshall said. "He was telling me to get my hands on the ball but there were a few other words thrown in there."
Stephen Kearney need not have worried. It was far from being a one-man show, but it is Marshall who has become the face of Kiwi rugby league. "We need to keep our standard that high," he said. "We've a long way to go to match the rugby union, but a win like that helps."
Latest in Sport
My one and only game for Neil Baldwin FC
Laura Trott and Jason Kenny announce engagement
Jose Mourinho says Chelsea deserve to be setting pace going into Christmas fixtures
Manchester United vs Newcastle United preview: Alan Pardew targets rare Old Trafford win to halt Newcastle slump
Arsenal vs QPR: Leroy Fer seeks perfect present for Boxing Day
- 1 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Vagina canoe artist facing two years in jail defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
- 5 The Queen’s speech 2014: Recap and Twitter reaction to Game of Thrones reference
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader