NERVOUS START: Norths centre Brendon Marshall, pictured last year playing for the Ipswich Jets, has overcome his nerves at returning to the Ipswich Rugby League for Norths following injury.
NERVOUS START: Norths centre Brendon Marshall, pictured last year playing for the Ipswich Jets, has overcome his nerves at returning to the Ipswich Rugby League for Norths following injury. Kate Czerny

Marshall inspired by Tigers' next generation

BRENDON Marshall could be forgiven for feelings of trepidation heading into tomorrow's clash with Goodna at Keith Sternberg Oval.

It was against the Eagles, in just his second game for the Norths Tigers that he broke his arm.

But Marshall reckons he could not be more nervous than he was last weekend, when he made his second return from injury this season, following complications to his injured arm.

"I had nerves flying out of me," Marshall said of his state before last weekend's win over Swifts.

"I'd never been that nervous ever."

After more than 150 first grade games for the Ipswich Jets the 35-year-old feared for his injured arm.

He need not have.

As soon as he made a couple of tackles all nerves disappeared.

"I had a good couple of solid shots and that was it then," he said.

While there were touches of class, Marshall appeared a long way from his silky best.

It was to be expected after only one full game since he retired from the Jets last season.

But fans can expect the Marshall of old to be back into full swing before long.

"I'm still enjoying my footy, which is good," he said.

"I want to finish with the boys this year, then I'll assess what I'm doing next year."

Firstly however, is the not-so-small matter of dealing with the Eagles.

A win for the Tigers could see them open up a four point gap at the top of the ladder on their nearest rivals, should equal second placed Brothers lose their match to Swifts as well.

"They've got a really big pack," Marshall said.

"So we've got to be a bit smarter to tire out their big guys."

Helping Marshall are two of his former Jets teammates in halfback Steven West and Brendon Lindsay.

Between them and returned skipper Josh Roberts at fullback they have the skills and the smarts to make things difficult for the visitors.

And while he is enjoying renewing old combinations, it is the work Marshall has been doing with the Northern Suburbs youngsters that is proving most rewarding.

While recovering from his broken arm he spent his time doing fitness work with the club's under 19s and he has made a point of helping mentor the youngsters coming into the A grad side this season.

Players like Cade McGarrigal, Beau Baker and Matthew Bettiens can only benefit from Marshall's experience, but he seems to get as much inspiration from them.

"I'm trying to help out as much as I can for the younger boys," Marshall said.

"They're all impressive.

"It's unbelievable playing with kids like that.

"I'm always over with the 19s, passing messages on."

In the weekend's other A grade match West End hosts Fassifern at Basin Pocket.



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