Saturday's battle between the ladder-leading Dolphins and 2024's bounce-back story, the Wests Tigers, was also a battle off the field with rookie coach Benji Marshall taking on his former mentor and super-coach with over 900 games of coaching experience, Wayne Bennett.

Despite defeat, Marshall was resolute with consideration of the Tigers' wins over the Sharks and Eels earlier in the season.

The game wasn't easy for the away side, with Api Koroisau struggling with a leg injury and both Samuela Fainu and John Bateman forced off the field due to concussions.

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The Tigers stayed in the fight however, and their resilience was on full display - something Marshall was keen to highlight.

"We faced plenty of adversity but kept fighting till the end, which makes me proud," Marshall boasted.

"...There is some stuff you can't coach, and that's what's inside." he continued.

He praised Koroisau's bravery for returning in the second half to set up a try for Alex Seyfarth, despite almost being sidelined before the game.

Koroisau was initially an eye-raising recruit to the Tigers, with many feeling he may never unaffiliate himself from the Penrith Panthers. Since arriving, he has characterised leadership and tenacity.

Koroisau played down his injury, suggesting he might have been overreacting but expects to be ready for the next round.