28 Aug 2012

Tigers' slim NRL finals hopes get boost

5:29 am on 28 August 2012

The Wests Tigers' flickering National Rugby League finals hopes have been given a boost with Kiwis captain Benji Marshall set to escape suspension with an early guilty plea for a grade one dangerous contact charge.

Marshall was placed on report for catching Sydney Roosters prop and fellow New Zealand international Jared Waerea-Hargreaves with a high tackle in his side's 44-20 loss on Monday.

Marshall will be free to play Melbourne on Saturday if he opts not to fight the charge.

The ninth-placed Tigers must win that game and hope Brisbane lose to Penrith on Friday or that Canberra lose heavily to the Warriors in Auckland this weekend to have any chance of making the top eight.

Meanwhile Panthers and Kiwis prop Sam McKendry has been charged with a grade two careless high tackle charge in the wake of his win over Gold Coast at the weekend but will be able to play the Broncos if he also opts for an early guilty plea.