Matt Encarnacion, Western Sydney Correspondent
Wests Tigers stalwart Keith Galloway reckons it'd be "pretty poor" for their supporters to boo club icon Benji Marshall when he makes his homecoming wearing the Red V on Sunday afternoon.
Marshall, who became the face of the franchise during its golden era in the mid-2000s, made an inglorious exit from Concord last season after admitting he had fallen out of love with the game.
And almost a year to the day after he announced a cross-code switch to rugby and promised never to pull on another team's NRL jersey, Galloway hopes the club's supporters give him the reception he deserves.
"I'd like to think that they give him a round of applause or a cheer or something. Hopefully there won't be any boos. I guess you never know," Galloway said on Thursday.
"I think he's done a wonderful thing for our club for a number of years. It'd be pretty poor for any of our fans to boo him or give him a hard time.
"Obviously boo him because he's in another jersey but [don't] give it to him, because he's done a really good thing for our club for a number of years."
The player who now wears Marshall's famed No.6 jumper, Blake Austin, says he's been happy with his form since taking over from the injured Braith Anasta a fortnight ago and that he had felt no pressure taking over from one of the club's most popular faces.
"I think heaven and earth are still intact. [There's] no pressure. I'm just going out to play my game and stick to my strengths and hopefully that can add to the team and get us a victory," he said.
"I knew there was an opportunity here for me if I wanted to work hard and earn my spot. Mick's been pretty good with me all the way through. We've got a good relationship. He's kept me in the loop with what's going on with me. I'm just happy to be playing regular first grade."
With the team's finals hopes on a knife edge – they're equal sixth but occupy ninth spot with a poor for-and-against – Austin said the team had discussed the importance of backing up last week's impressive win over the Bulldogs.
"We spoke about that [win] being a benchmark for the rest of the season," he said.
"We were probably in a pretty similar situation four weeks ago when we had a good win against Canberra and come off saying the same things, [then had] two disappointing games after that.
"We're going to have to be switched on this week and try and cash in on what we did last week because if you can't come out and get a victory, it's all in vain."