The Kiwis playmaker Benji Marshall has revealed in the wake of New Zealand success win that his mother had been distressed by newspaper headlines declaring Australia planned to "bash" him in the rugby league world cup final.
The Kiwis five-eighth buried his demons and his mother's fears in front of 50,000 fans helping New Zealand to its finest 80 minutes of rugby league with a magnificent 34-20 upset of the Kangaroos at Suncorp Stadium.
Marshall, who's come in for a fair share of criticism since steering the Wests Tigers to a shock NRL premiership in 2005, said attempts to target him in the media had upset his mother but made him determined to get more involved in the final.
Marshall says he hadn't been aware of the comments until Friday when his mother called saying she didn't like the bash Benji talk.
He says the only thing which concerned him was comments that has looked as if he was playing "scared" which in turn only made him want to run the ball more and spurred him on.