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Bennett not about to fan flames of Dragon’s wane

WAYNE Bennett has had enough to do with Benji Marshall to know the Dragons playmaker is not past his use-by date and remains a danger man for Brisbane in tonight's Suncorp Stadium showdown.

Marshall, who is chasing possibly his last rugby league contract, has copped much of the blame for St George Illawarra's failure to score a point in the 36-0 loss to the Cowboys.

The Kiwi Test star says he can handle the criticism and feels he may have "tried too hard" against the Cowboys.

Bennett knows what Marshall is capable of having coached him at All Star level and there is no way Brisbane will not be on full "Benji watch" tonight as it looks to make it five wins from six starts to the season after holding off the Titans.

"There's still a place for Benji in this game the way he plays," Bennett said. "He's a wonderful player when he is on. We all go through a bit of a rough patch and he might be in that place now. I'm not sure."

Brisbane centre James Roberts, who copped a nasty knock to his hip last weekend, appeared a little scratchy at the team's final training run but Bennett said he would play with the aid of a pre-game injection.

"He'll (Roberts) run a lot more freely with a jab from the doctor, but he may not need it by game," he said.

The Dragons, desperate to turn their fortunes around, have been in Brisbane preparing for the game and adjusting to the warmer conditions since Monday.

After scoring just 40 points in five games this season, coach Paul McGregor has told his players the axe will fall if there is not a big improvement against the Broncos who are one of the best defensive sides in the NRL.



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