NRL 2020: Kiwis star Benji Marshall injured, as Wests Tigers farewell ends in disappointment

Benji Marshall's final game for the Wests Tigers ended in devastation after knee and rib injuries forced him to watch the majority of the match against the Parramatta Eels from the sidelines. 

Marshall was forced from the field in the 18th minute when he suffered an MCL sprain and broken ribs after being twisted awkwardly in a tackle.

He had to watch in agony as the Eels claimed a 28-24 win at Bankwest Stadium, bringing an end to his second stint at the joint-venture club, where he has played 257 games across his career. 

The 35-year-old is currently a free agent and is reportedly weighing up offers from other NRL clubs, including the Cronulla Sharks, who are expected to be without Kiwi Shaun Johnson at the start of the 2021 season due to an Achilles injury. 

"[I'll take] anything," Marshall told Fox Sports after the match. "Beggars can't be choosers, I think that's the saying.

"I'm confident that I've got a lot to offer still and I really thought this year, attack wise, was one of my best years.

"I was really happy with some of the things I was bringing to our team and could bring to other teams."

Tigers and Kiwis coach Michael Maguire also paid tribute to Marshall. 

Benji Marshall.
Benji Marshall. Photo credit: Getty

"It was disappointing but I think everyone is aware of what Benji has done in the game," Maguire says. 

"For every young kid watching and playing, they're all imitating Benji Marshall.

"Over in New Zealand, I've been fortunate to spend some time with him and to watch the young kids emulate what Benji Marshall has done in the game is a real credit to him.

"He'll be a legend of the club and holds a big legacy in the game."

The game was also the last for Tigers great Chris Lawrence, who announced his retirement last month. 

Former NZ Warriors forward Elijah Taylor is also departing the club and is off-contract. 

NRL 2020: Kiwis star Benji Marshall injured, as Wests Tigers farewell ends in disappointment

Elsewhere, a second-string Canberra Raiders side beat the Sharks 38-28, while the Penrith Panthers claimed their 15th straight in with a 42-0 demolition over the Canterbury Bulldogs. 

Saturday's games confirmed the schedule for the first weekend of the NRL playoffs with the Panthers against the two-time defending champion Sydney Roosters and the Melbourne Storm facing the Eels in the qualifying finals.

In the elimination finals, the Raiders face the Sharks and the South Sydney Rabbitohs tackle the Newcastle Knights. 

Join us for live updates of the Warriors v Manly from 5pm Sunday.