Benji Marshall calls for Wests Tigers fans to get behind the team on Friday night
By Dean Ritchie From: The Daily Telegraph August 19, 2009 12:00AM
NRL superstar Benji Marshall has issued a passionate plea to Wests Tigers supporters not to abandon his high-flying side for Friday night’s blockbuster against Parramatta at the SFS.
Ticket sales continue to surge for the match with SCG Trust officials expecting a crowd of 30,000 for the vital game between Sydney’s two in-form clubs.
However, indications are that Parramatta fans are snapping up tickets in a 2:1 ratio over Tigers supporters and Wests Tigers officials admit privately they would be embarrassed if significantly outnumbered at a home game.
Marshall yesterday called on Tigers fans to match and better the support from Parramatta.
“I know, as a player, we would hate to run out on Friday night at a home game and see a sea of blue and gold,” Marshall said.
"It’s going to be a massive game, our biggest of the year.
"We need all the support we can get. I know the players want to see black, white and gold everywhere.
“It’s our home game and we don’t want to be outnumbered in the stands.”
In the past seven weeks, the Tigers have won six from six to be the best-performing side, while Parramatta have won five from their past seven.
But the Tigers do not have a great head-to-head record against Parramatta, winning only five of 19 games. The Tigers and Parramatta have never met at the SFS.
“That is a call to arms for all Tigers fans,” Wests Tigers chief executive Stephen Humphreys said. “I applaud the Parramatta fans for getting their tickets early. If there are any Tigers fans in doubt about going, we urge you to turn up. Ticket sales have been fantastic and that is indicative of what will be a strong crowd.”
Parramatta chief executive Paul Osborne applauded his loyal fans.
“A big part of our recent success has been the support of our fans,” he said.