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Tigers to begin contract talks with evergreen Marshall

Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire will begin discussions with Benji Marshall over the next month about the prospect of playing on in 2020 ahead of his 300th NRL game against Parramatta next week.

Marshall delivered two try assists in the second half of the side's loss to the Sydney Roosters on Friday night to enable the joint venture to turn a four-point half-time deficit into a four-point lead after the break.

Opposite number Luke Keary helped guide the Roosters to victory in the end but Marshall's expertise didn't go unnoticed by his coach coach.

Marshall is off contract at season's end and at 34 is expected to weigh up whether to extend his contract for another season or hang up the boots.

"The way he's going he's going alright," Maguire said.

"He's the one who's got to put his body through it. Those discussions we'll have over the next month. And really it's just how he feels.

"He's playing really good footy so there's no reason why he can't, but it's a matter of the mental side he needs to judge whether he wants to do it."

Match Highlights: Wests Tigers v Roosters

Marshall with join the illustrious 300-club next week, joining Cowboys back-rower Gavin Cooper on the same weekend while Cameron Smith is set to become the first player to reach 400 games in rugby league history.

The Tigers' return to Bankwest Stadium against the Eels next Sunday will act as the club's home game with a near sell-out crowd expected.

"I'm really looking forward to be a part of that, they're special games but one thing I know Benji will do is his focus is very much about growing this team," said McGuire, who also coaches Marshall for New Zealand.

"I've had a couple of weeks with Benji where I've been overseas with him and seen the passion for the Kiwi jersey but there's a hell of a lot of passion in a Wests Tigers jersey with Benji."

Meanwhile Maguire said he was pleased with the players' efforts despite suffering defeat to the Roosters for the second time this season on Friday night.

The side was left to rue two opportunities to score points before and after half-time as the Roosters found enough towards the end of the contest to rally late.

After suffering a 30-point loss to the defending premiers in May, Maguire felt the club had progressed on the paddock since the last encounter between the two clubs.

Wests Tigers: Round 16

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"The boys are really growing," Maguire said.

"They've been working extremely hard to get longer periods of high intensity. They definitely showed that, just little key moments in the game.

"They'll learn a lot from that one in understanding the pressure game. It was one I feel we probably shot ourselves in the foot a few times.

"I think we'll take some key little moments out of the game tonight and they hurt because it was there for us.

"If I see the boys keep putting that sort of effort in those games will start swinging our way."

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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