Benji Marshall’s incredible stint with the Wests Tigers has come to a horror end, with the NRL icon taken off the field with a suspected MCL injury in the first half.
Earlier this month, the Tigers dropped a bombshell by confirming this would be Marshall’s final season with the club.
With the Tigers unable to qualify for the finals series, Saturday evening’s clash against the Parramatta Eels at Bankwest Stadium would be the New Zealander’s last match in orange and black.
Rugby league fans were eager for Marshall to pull off one last golden moment in his farewell match, but it wasn’t to be.
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In the 18th minute, Marshall was tackled by Parramatta’s Andrew Davey before Will Smith’s shoulder made contact with the 35-year-old’s head.
Benji Marshall is attended to by a trainer.Source:Getty Images
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A trainer immediately rushed onto the ground when Marshall was spotted limping and clutching at his ribs.
Fox League commentator Andrew Voss said: “That’s not good. He looks gone.
“Benji is really struggling back on the 20m line. He’s out of the play. He’s signalling to the referee even with the Tigers with the ball.
“This doesn’t look like something he can just run out.”
Replays showed Marshall’s left knee had awkwardly bent behind his body as he hit the turf, causing immense pain for the Tigers captain.
After reviewing the footage, referee Ben Cummins put Smith on report for high contact, and Marshall was taken off the field for an HIA.
Voss muttered: “He has three injuries to deal with form the one tackle.”
Before halftime, Fox Sports reporter Megan Barnard confirmed Marshall had been ruled out of the match with a suspected MCL injury, prematurely ending his season.
Benji Marshall won't return tonight after suffering knee and rib injuries.
That sucks. ?#NRLTigersEels pic.twitter.com/SbVmzSujsc
Benji Marshall unfortunately won’t return with suspected MCL injury. Likely moderate/high grade (partial/complete tear) considering mechanism & inability to return. Silver lining ACL likely spared.
Worst case: complete MCL tear & 10weeks.
Horrible way for his Tigers career to end pic.twitter.com/Nx1gzYiQcf
Benji Marshall gone for the night. Has broken ribs to go with medial ligament damage in his left knee.
We won't see him again in Tigers colours, hopefully that's not the end of him in the NRL.#NRLTigersEels
“That is so terribly disappointing,” Voss said.
“Benji Marshall’s farewell to the Wests Tigers is short-lived. No fairytale here for a 2005 grand final hero. He has played his last minutes for the Tigers.”
Former Sydney Roosters star Braith Anasta replied: “Shattering; he deserves a lot better than that. Extremely unlucky.”
Queensland great Mal Meninga said at halftime: “You can see he’s bitterly disappointed; angry to a certain degree.
“It’s a shame. Lets’s hope we haven’t seen the last of Benji. I’ve got a feeling he might go somewhere else and keep his playing day alive.”
Benji Marshall and Chris Lawrence embrace.Source:News Corp Australia
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Marshall has played 256 games for the Tigers since making his NRL debut in 2003, winning a premiership with the club in 2005.
The Eels held a 16-8 lead at halftime in Sydney, with Blake Ferguson, Maika Sivo and Brad Takairangi scoring tries for Parramatta.
If they can muster a victory, the Eels will finish the regular season in the top four.
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