19 Sep 2017

Will Benji start against the Storm

11:28 am on 19 September 2017

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Not so long ago, Benji Marshall thought he knew it all.

But the veteran Kiwi playmaker says lessons learned under Brisbane master mentor Wayne Bennett have primed him to make an impact off the bench in the NRL finals.

Benji Marshal 2017.

Benji Marshal 2017. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Bennett is set to make a tough call if captain Darius Boyd returns at fullback from a two-week hamstring injury for Friday night's NRL preliminary final against Melbourne.

Bennett must choose between retaining former New Zealand skipper Marshall at No.7 or relegating the veteran to the bench and picking Boyd's fullback replacement Kodi Nikorima.

Marshall, 32, volunteered Nikorima as starting halfback, saying he believed his new bag of tricks gleaned from Bennett would be best displayed from the bench.

"I think Kodi has deserved his opportunity at halfback. I have been playing my bench role for most of the season, that's how I see it," said Marshall, in his 15th NRL season.

"There was a stage a couple of years ago where I thought I knew it all to be honest.

"But you learn every day (under Bennett).

"And if you come in thinking you know it all it can go pretty pear shaped.

"But I think the big fella (Bennett) is still learning every day too - it keeps him young."

Marshall's last game was another learning experience.

He admitted Brisbane's 13-6 semi-final win over Penrith gave him a crash course on how to handle nerves on the big stage again.

The 2005 Wests Tigers premiership winner put in an erratic kicking display in Brisbane's tough win over the Panthers.

"What I have learnt is that you have to bring your energy from the start," Marshall said.

"I struggled a bit with that (against Penrith) and I was a bit nervous.

"Not being in that situation in a long time, it was a real learning curve for me."