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Benji happy to ride wave before retirement call

Benji Marshall wouldn't be drawn on whether Friday night's clash against Manly could be the last of his NRL career if the Rabbitohs are unable to break a three-year curse of preliminary finals exits.

Marshall's future in the game is uncertain with the 36-year-old yet to make a call on whether he'll hang up the boots or extend his career into a 20th season next year.

His time in the game could hinge on the next fortnight of results while South Sydney are also expected to discuss new recruit Anthony Milford's future after he was charged with assault by police on Monday.

Marshall, who was picked up by the Rabbitohs in January this year, has been reluctant to discuss his future out of respect to the club's title run but has spoken of his enjoyment at Redfern this season.

After guiding the Wests Tigers to a maiden premiership in 2005, Marshall knows time is running out to secure a second title with South Sydney's best chance at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

"It's not hard [to put my future aside during the finals]," Marshall said on Tuesday.

Dally M contender - Cody Walker

"I don't want to make it about me but when I do make a decision you'll be the first to know.

"It would mean a lot [to win it from here] but if we don't get through this week there is no point looking at that.

"To be fair I'm going to focus on winning this week. It's what you play for, to make a grand final and win the competition.

Finals classic: Dragons v Wests Tigers 2005 preliminary final

"Any game in the semis if it's an elimination game it's hard. You can't expect just because you're on the other side of the draw to Penrith and Melbourne that you're going to win the game.

"The further you go the harder it gets. If you don't step up to another level the other team can leave you behind."

Marshall has found himself at a crossroads throughout his Telstra Premiership career, from shoulder injuries early on that threatened his playing future to a stint in rugby union and being unwanted by the Wests Tigers.

"There's been a couple of times where I've probably looked like I was gone from playing but like I say to the kids you've just got to back yourself," he said.

"You never give in, it doesn't matter how old you are. If you want to play go out and get it.

"I owe that to a lot of people. This is my 19th season playing footy, you don't just get there by doing nothing. You've got to put in the hard work and you get the rewards.

"I'm just trying to ride the way while there's some momentum."

One man who is a confirmed departure in the next fortnight is Rabbitohs captain Adam Reynolds, who is also determined to leave his childhood club a winner.

Reynolds with one of the best 40/20 kicks you will see

He said Marshall had brought an energy to the Rabbithos that could prove the difference in their bid to reach their first grand final since their 2014 premiership.

"He's just been good for the energy amongst the group," Reynolds said.

"To see the way he gets around and how calm he is, the energy he brings to training feeds amongst the group."

Souths defeated the Sea Eagles in their only previous match this year, back in round two, although Manly were missing superstar fullback Tom Trbojevic through injury and are now a much-improved side.

"We watched a bit of vision the other day and both teams are miles apart from where we were back then," Reynolds said.

"You've got to take your moments, you don't get many in these sorts of games."

 

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