Benji Marshall’s brief foray into Super Rugby for the Blues is over with Marshall and the Blues set to part ways, has Marshall’s stint in rugby been good for the game or a waste of time?
Marshall played eight Super Rugby matches including just 212 minutes and just one start. It was thought that Marshall would put bums on seats and provide an answer in the Number 10 jersey for the Blues, but unfortunately despite scoring a stunning try against the Lions, Marshall has been found wanting in rugby and looks set to go back to the NRL and playing rugby league again.
Rumours suggested that Benji Marshall was on nearly half a million dollars per season and so it seems that unfortunately the gamble to bring Marshall to rugby has failed.
In my opinion, Benji Marshall should have played ITM Cup rugby last season to improve on the technical aspects of the sport as he was sitting on the sidelines after falling out with his NRL club the Wests Tigers. This would have been a smarter move which would have allowed him the opportunity to either improve or not pursue a Super Rugby contract with the Blues if he didn’t enjoy it.
Rugby and rugby league are totally different sports and it must be remembered that even the great Sonny Bill Williams did take time to adjust to rugby union.
It is hard to say if Marshall would have improved at a different team under a different coach, like the Chiefs or Crusaders.
Marshall could still improve in rugby union, although his hand has been forced in some regards because if he wants to go back to the NRL he needs to get a contract before the June 30th deadline.
Has Benji Marshall been good or bad for Super Rugby? Good.
I think despite limited opportunities in Super Rugby, Benji Marshall has shown some flashes of brilliance in rugby and in some ways I am disappointed as I think he would get better with time in the game. He has brought plenty of league fans to rugby or at least keep a slight interest in the Super Rugby, although I think the large contract was probably too much to spend on him.