Best still to come from Warriors, Marshall believes

Rugby league great-turned Wests Tigers head coach Benji Marshall believes we are yet to see the Warriors reach their potential.

In Queenstown with his side before the pre-season game against the New Zealand side in Christchurch on Sunday, Marshall told the Otago Daily Times yesterday the Warriors are still "untapped".

Last year, the side stole the hearts of fans, and made new ones, on both sides of the Tasman as they went from cellar-dwellers to premiership contenders.

Among those cheering them on was Marshall.

"I loved it," he said of their 2023 season. I loved seeing them so good.

"I’ve got to give Webby [coach Andrew Webster] a lot of credit for what he did in the team, but seeing guys in the team like Shaun Johnson play the way he did last year — as a former team-mate of his, and a friend, there’s no better sight than seeing SJ in full flight."

Marshall is putting a quiet punt on them being even better this year.

The Sydney-based Wests Tigers by the Shotover River yesterday before a spin on the Shotover Jet....
The Sydney-based Wests Tigers by the Shotover River yesterday before a spin on the Shotover Jet. Photo: Tracey Roxburgh
"They’ve got RTS [centre Roger Tuivasa-Sheck] back in the side, who I think will be a big [win] for them, and with the experience of another year under Webby, I think they’ll go a lot better.

"They’re untapped at the moment — there’s a lot of great things they can do. They’ve got a lot of great players and they’ll want to make their mark this year."

Marshall, too, is keen to make his mark on Wests, a side he brought to "one of my favourite places to come in the world" to work on "trust and connecting".

Announced as the team’s head coach last August, Marshall said while challenging at times, he was enjoying his new role and being able to put his own "spin" on things.

"I only know one way of doing things which is to tell the truth, be honest, be up front.

"There’s a way to tell the truth, care for your players, get them to buy in and trust. If you get all those things, it builds towards good performances."