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How times have changed since Benji last played in a grand final ...

It's been 16 long years since Benji Marshall last played in a grand final.

The Kiwi icon has broken the premiership record for longest wait between drinks in a premiership decider, outlasting modern-day counterparts Lote Tuiqiri (14 years from 2000-14), Luke Lewis (13 from '03-'16) and Steven Menzies (1996-'08). takes a look back at the rugby league world and the planet, in general, has changed since Benji Marshall was part of the Wests Tigers' memorable run to premiership glory in 2005.

How times have changed, especially for Marshall, who left the Tigers at the end of 2013, spent a few months trying his hand at rugby with the Auckland Blues, returned to the NRL at St George Illawarra for two seasons, spent 2017 at Brisbane, came back to Wests for three more years before signing with Souths this season.

When Benji last played in a GF ...

John Howard was Prime Minister. There have been five since: Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Rudd again, Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison.

Morris Iemma was NSW Premier. there have been five others since: Nathan Rees, Kristina Keneally, Barry O’Farrell, Mike Baird and Gladys Berejiklian.

Queensland has been much more stable. ARL Commissioner Peter Beattie was the state's Premier in 2005 and there has only been three since - Anna Bligh, Campbell Newman and Annastacia Palaszczuk.

In 2005 Snoop was dropping it like it's hot, in 2021 he's dropping by Martha Stewart's place for a Potluck Dinner Party.

The Crazy Frog song was irritatingly popular.

Future Rabbitohs teammates Jaxson Paulo and Blake Taaffe as well as grand final opponents Matt Burton and Stephen Crichton were in kindergarten. 

Only two current NRL players were in the competition: Karmichael Hunt and Sia Soliola.

The Gold Coast Titans were still two years away.

Facebook was only a year old, Twitter was still a year away from launching, Instagram was five years away.

State of Origin was supposedly dying because NSW were too dominant. Queensland won the next eight years and went on to claim 11 of 12 series.

Novak Djokovic was three years away from his first grand slam title. He now has 20.

Roosters young gun Joseph Suaalii had just turned two.

Anthony Callea spent 17 weeks at the top of the Australian music charts in 2005 with The Prayer. This year, "Stay" by The Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber spent 11 weeks at No.1.  

in 2005, Darius Boyd, who retired last year after playing 337 games, had not made his debut.

Craig Bellamy had yet to coach the Storm to a grand final. He's since taken them to nine with three premierships for good measure.

The Nokia 1110 mobile phone was on the scene and the Snake game was a thing. The first iPhone wasn’t released until 2007.

Rove McManus wins the 2005 TV WEEK Gold Logie and 7 March – ABC launches a brand new digital channel ABC2.

The fathers of current first-graders Jayden Campbell, Sam Walker and Will Hopoate were playing in the NRL.

In 2005, the Holden Commodore led all others for the 10th year in a row with 66,794 sales (down from 79,170 in 2004), followed by the Ford Falcon (53,080 versus 65,384). Toyota Hilux is today's top seller.

Wolf Creek was scaring the living bejeezus out of Australian moviegoers.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire grossed US$895,921,036 worldwide. This year it's all about Godzilla v Kong for those who can get to a movie theatre.

The Australian population was 20 million. It’s now more than 25 million.

The median house price in Sydney fell 5.1 per cent to $518,000 during the 12 months to December 31, 2005. Nowadays you will need to stump up a bit more cash to enter the market.

Wayne Bennett had only ever been head coach of the Broncos. He’s since been to St George Illawarra, Newcastle, back to Brisbane then to Souths.

A Big Mac was just $3.25 - it will set you back more than double these days.

Rugby league was the Greatest Game of All. Well, some things never change.

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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