Wests Tigers veteran Benji Marshall has paid a tearful tribute to his late grandfather in an emotional interview after Friday night’s win over Newcastle.
The Tigers inched within a win of the NRL’s top eight after a sea-sawing 25-16 win over the Knights in Newcastle.
Marshall, who pulled up sore with a calf complaint, was playing just days after the death of his “biggest fan.”
The Tigers star choked back tears after the match when describing how tough it was the play through the pain of his loss.
“Yeah, it’s been pretty tough,” Marshall said in his post-match interview on Fox Sports.
“He would’ve wanted me to play.
“The funeral’s tomorrow and I’ll get back home to the family and… just glad I’m lucky to do what I do for a living, he was my biggest fan.
“To get through that game, it means a lot to me.”
Probing Tigers playmaker Luke Brooks was the architect against the error-prone Knights on Friday night, scoring one try and setting up another either side of halftime at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Knights halfback Mitchell Pearce was benched with a badly corked thigh as the hosts looked out of answers early in the second half.
Instead, down 22-4, they rallied to within six points entering the final 10 minutes before Brooks drilled a field goal to ice the victory.
The Tigers are now just two points behind the eighth-placed New Zealand Warriors, who meet St George Illawarra in a Saturday clash that now looms large.