League: Marshall's season likely to be over

By Peter Jessup

League's centennial season opened with encouraging crowds, entertaining football with the 10-interchange rule appearing to have sped the game up, some upsets and a swag of injuries.

The worst of these was to Kiwis sometime half Benji Marshall who appears to have done the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, a season-ending injury. He has scans today after leaving the field two minutes into the Tigers' 24-16 win over the Dragons yesterday but whatever the result he seems unlikely as a test starter against Australia in May.

Hooker Robbie Farah engineered the win, the Dragons contributing by conceding too many penalties.

The Broncos thumped Penrith 48-12 in Brisbane yesterday but also copped the injury curse, Joel Clinton out a month with a knee tear.

One of the weekend injuries will corner some controversy.

Souths halfback Craig Wing is out for six weeks with a dislocated shoulder after he turned his back to the opposition while struggling in a tackle with Anthony Tupou and Braith Anasta, and was then shoulder-charged by Roosters hooker Riley Brown.

It was a calculated and callous hit and the Roosters made no apology afterwards for lining up the Souths playmaker and taking him out. It will be a travesty if Brown is not charged by the judiciary.

The Roosters were the more polished of the two clubs, winning in front of a crowd of 29,386 on Friday night.

There were 26,974 to see the Titans get win one at their new home Skilled Stadium. Drama there too, with wing/fullback Chris Walker ripping his Achilles for the second season in a row.

Rookie wing Jordan Aitkins scored four impressive tries so with Walker on a one-year contract his career is in jeopardy.

There were 25,065 to see the Bulldogs score 20 unanswered points in the first half and the Eels overtake them with 28 unanswered points in the second on Saturday. There are injury concerns for both teams with the Dogs Sonny Bill Williams taking little part in proceedings after suffering a knee tear in a four-man tackle early on, while Eels speedster Krisnan Inu limped off with an ankle injury.

The Sharks won at Brookvale Oval on Saturday for the first time since 1982, a grinding 16-10 victory in front of 15,424 Manly fans and the Knights face losing their Origin secondrower Steve Simpson for some months after he suffered a medial ligament strain as his team beat Canberra in front of 17,233 at Newcastle.

- NZ Herald

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