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When the Rabbitohs signed veteran Wests Tigers playmaker Benji Marshall, plenty wondered how the 2010 Golden Boot winner would even get on the field given their brilliant quartet of first-choice playmakers.

Just a fortnight into the season, Marshall is shaping as one of the most astute buys of the year.

There was no doubt the 2005 premiership-winner could play a big role mentoring the younger players and provide useful injury cover for Cody Walker or Adam Reynolds, particularly around Origin time.

But the team's round one comeback against Melbourne, though it fell short, provided a glimpse into how Marshall would be used and how much he still has to offer.

Marshall came on after half an hour with his side down 22-0 and from that point they scored three tries to none in an eventual 26-18 loss, playing a seeming hybrid of ball-playing lock or extra half.

"I came on at lock," was Marshall's simple explanation.

Every try from round 2

"We practice if I come on in that position, how are we going to play. We weren't just going into it not knowing.

"We came on with a game plan, if I go in the middle this is how we're going to play, if I go in the halves this is how we're going to play. We're ready for anything."

After a lifetime of being the on-field commander, Marshall said it was an easy change not to have to run the team.

"It's easy honestly, I've always been the guy who plays in the halves and has to do a lot of the calling and stuff," he said.

"Cody does the calls. Adam runs the side, and I just go in there somewhere.

"You know how easy it is for me to come on and be told what to do? It's so much easier. Then when I went back to halves (against Manly) I was like, 'this is so much harder'. It was easier playing in the middle.

"My job is easy, I pretty much come on and get the ball to Cody when he needs it. I've never seen anyone ice the end of plays like Cody can. He's so talented."

While it may look as if Marshall is playing as a third half, he said that was not the case in a structural sense.

"It looks that way but I'm actually doing what the middles do, but I can ball play probably a bit better than them," he added.

"[Against Manly] if no-one gets injured I maybe don't go on because the game probably required us to go forward a bit more and that's not my game.

Match Highlights: Sea Eagles v Rabbitohs

"If I do come on the guys fill that role for me, the middles take extra hit ups and I just play to my strengths really. It's not that hard."

Even defensively it's not an issue adjusting to the middle, he added.

"When you're in the middle you've got a lot of people around you, you're not so isolated," he said.

"I actually found it easier to defend in the middle than it was out wide because you've got people to help you, and the forwards run straight."

While Marshall loves the chance to help mentor up-and-coming players, performing on field is still what he will be judged on.

"The reason Wayne brought me here is he knows what I can do both off the field and on the field," he said.

"Your number one goal is performance and if I come here and the first two games I go bad then I look like a terrible signing. So I have to perform. That's my number one goal. But secondly I like helping other guys here."


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