Canberra ready for Marshall - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Canberra ready for Marshall

By Steve Jancetic, Bonny Symons-Brown & Ben Horne 13/09/2010 07:35:01 PM Comments (0)

Canberra expect Wests Tigers to run out Benji Marshall even if "half-fit" after he said he'd play in pain to help rescue the Tigers' faltering NRL finals campaign.

Scans cleared Marshall of major damage to the medial ligament he bruised in Saturday night's qualifying loss to the Sydney Roosters, but the Kiwi skipper admitted he would need every minute of his side's short preparation to get on the field against the Raiders in Friday night's semi-final.

Marshall's possible availability and the clearing of backrowers Gareth Ellis and Simon Dwyer of high tackle charges by the match review committee came as a welcome boost to Tigers fans still hurting from the heart-breaking golden-point loss.

"If your player's half fit you are going to roll them out there, he's a crucial cog in their attack," said Raiders coach David Furner, who is fast becoming used to playing guessing games when it comes to opposition teams.

"We've faced that against the Broncos, we faced that against Penrith, Luke Lewis, (Luke) Walsh ... what I said to the players is we'll worry about that team sheet when we get into the sheds.

"We just prepare that he is playing."

Marshall admitted he was still in pain as he sat out training on Monday, but with the Tigers playing in the finals for the first time since 2005, he was desperate to play.

"There is a premiership at stake and I will do everything I can," Marshall said in a statement released by the club on Monday.

"If it hurts I am going to have to go through a bit of pain.

"I am sure the coach will give me every opportunity up to game day. Even if I can't train this week, he has got enough faith in me to know that I will still be able to do the job.

"If I think I will be right game day, I will play."

But while the signs were positive at the Tigers' Concord training base, the news could not have been worse at the foot of the mountains as Penrith confirmed they would be forced to play out their rest of the season without international second rowers Frank Pritchard and Trent Waterhouse.

Waterhouse was confirmed to have suffered a ruptured pectoral muscle in Saturday night's loss to Canberra while Pritchard was diagnosed with a torn hamstring - the injury ending his eight-year stint with the club ahead of his move to Canterbury in 2011.

Asked whether the pack was falling apart ahead of Saturday night's sudden death clash with the Roosters - given prop Tim Grant is also in doubt with an ankle injury - returning skipper Petero Civoniceva said: "Not whatsoever, we spoke about at the start of the year that everyone's going to get their opportunities at different stages of the year.

"It's a crucial time of year but we've got the guys there they'll be ready to go on Saturday night.

"We've just got to move on, it's do or die for us ... we can't sit around and get down about who is not there."

Dally M lock of the year Luke Lewis was cleared of any further damage to his shoulder and calf and will line up for the Panthers, while fullback Lachlan Coote declared himself available for selection after six weeks out with a groin injury.

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