It's a key weekend for the Warriors. The Eels did them a favour by beating the Broncos on Friday, so did the Sharks in beating the Roosters. Now the Warriors - who take on the Knights today - may have to hope the Tigers and the Rabbitohs also cop setbacks.

Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens has jumped to the defence of Kiwis creative source Benji Marshall, who is enduring a poor spell with his goalkicking.

Marshall is averaging less than 70 per cent with the boot, the lowest in the NRL, and handed the tee over to Chris Lawrence after missing four from five against Cronulla two weeks ago. However, Sheens said his return of five from six against Souths proved he is still the right man for the job.

"I don't give a damn about stats. It is the week to week stuff that bothers me and he is striking it well and that is enough for me," he said. "No-one gives him credit when he does well, he won us the game against Gold Coast a few weeks back with two sideline kicks."

Meanwhile Sheens believes a two-day break in Kiama, on the NSW south coast, was just the tonic his side needs as the Tigers, just two points ahead of the Warriors going into today's matches, chase their first NRL finals berth in five years. Manly, the Broncos and the Warriors are all locked on 26 points before today's play, contesting the 6th, 7th and 8th spots in the race for the top 8. The Tigers, Roosters, and Panthers were all only two points ahead on the ladder - with Manly drawn against the table-topping Dragons tomorrow night.

The fifth-placed Tigers slumped to a morale-sapping 34-30 golden-point defeat to a depleted South Sydney last Saturday in the final minute of the game, letting slip a 16-point lead in the process. Sheens' side take on Penrith today in an intriguing battle at Campbelltown, with the Panthers, in second spot on the ladder through points differential, having lost four of their past five games.

Penrith also let slip a comfortable lead on Monday, going down 30-26 to Canberra after opening up a 24-12 halftime advantage and Sheens is bemused as to why his side had been singled out for criticism following their loss to Souths.

"It was good to get away and refocus and I think it was worthwhile heading down there," Sheens said. "If people want to have a go at us after Saturday that's fine - we are used to it, there is a month of footy to go and we are running equal second. I don't see Penrith copping it for getting run down by Canberra."

Sheens is under huge pressure to get the Tigers to the finals for the first time since their grand final success in 2005 and the veteran coach was visibly irked by claims his side are on the wane.

"We're not running last, you can say we played poorly against Souths and we did, but their key players stood up, and without making excuses, the bounce of the ball didn't go our way and we were on the rough end of some ordinary calls," Sheens said.

"The competition is unpredictable and there is not much difference at this time of the year between the sides, it is about who is healthy."

Tigers fullback Wade McKinnon is doubtful for the Sydney derby and prop Keith Galloway and Lawrence are recovering from concussion so may also miss out.

In another match today that could benefit the Warriors, Souths are hoping Melbourne Storm star Greg Inglis doesn't turn on the heroics as he counts down his Storm career.

Inglis finally settled his future this week, linking with Brisbane for two years, and with the Storm unable to earn any competition points due to salary-cap cheating, he now only has four games remaining with his club.

With their NRL season on the line, the ninth-placed Rabbitohs are chasing the eighth-placed Warriors hard and have named Colin Best and Beau Champion in the centres after both missed last weekend's golden-point win over Wests Tigers.

English import Sam Burgess also returns from suspension at lock in place of Souths' latest injured forward Jason Clark (knee). Champion is in some doubt, after he had his knee drained on Thursday which was a complication from a cork.

- AAP