Brisbane Broncos half Benji Marshall has backed under-fire halfback Ben Hunt to find his form in the Intrust Super Cup, saying the local competition was what helped him rediscover his confidence and return to the NRL.
Hunt was sensationally axed by coach Wayne Bennett this week, with the master coach preferring Kodi Nikorima and Anthony Milford as his halves combination in Brisbane's 24-18 win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
It means Hunt will run out for the Ipswich Jets on Saturday in the Queensland Cup, but a return to the Broncos' 17 could come around sooner rather than later with Milford suffering a shoulder injury during Friday's win.
The dislocated shoulder could rule Milford out for at least six weeks, gifting Hunt a swift return to first grade.
But he will need to impress in reserve grade first, and Marshall, who has run out for the Redcliffe Dolphins on numerous occasions this year, believes it is the perfect arena for Hunt to prove his doubters wrong.
"He'll be fine [in Queensland Cup]," Marshall said.
"The thing with Ben is that you know he will give 100 per cent no matter what. You can see that in his efforts during the past few weeks.
"He's been rushing out of the line and making his tackles and doing all the little things.
"Obviously Wayne thought his form was a little bit indifferent but that won't be hard to find.
"I think I got my opportunity in Intrust Super Cup to find some form and some confidence, and I'm sure Ben will do the same."
Marshall's resurgence continued on Friday night, coming on in the 56th minute for a 24-minute cameo that helped Brisbane see out the match.
Happy with his performance, Marshall told media after the match that he was just trying to bring energy to the side whenever he gets the opportunity to get on the field.
"I was just happy to get out there," he said.
"Wayne said to me before the game that he didn't know when I would go on so for the period I did get on for I just tried to bring some energy onto the field.
"I like to bring some calmness to the attack through clear talk and direction, and I think I did that when I went on."
Marshall's influence had immediate effect, with the Broncos scoring twice within seven minutes after he was introduced to match.
His direction and leadership was instantly felt and it is something Brisbane will be looking for over the coming weeks without Milford in the side.
"I've played for 15 years so I'm experienced in that department," Marshall said.
"The last few games I've played at five-eighth I've just let Ben take control of the team and played off the back of that.
"With Anthony playing the way he was it's a bit different. I just wanted to take some of the pressure off him and let him focus on his attack.
"We scored those two tries off the back of his brilliance so I thought I did my job when I was on."