Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett is concerned that Jeremy Marshall-King may have played his final game of the 2023 season after aggravating a shoulder injury in their 24-16 loss to the Broncos. The Dolphins, the NRL‘s newest team, have suffered four consecutive losses and their chances of making the finals in their inaugural season are in jeopardy. Marshall-King’s injury adds to their woes.
Marshall-King had established himself as one of the breakout players of the season before his injury. He had been sidelined since leaving the field during the Dolphins‘ heavy defeat to Manly in Round 15. Prior to that, he had been one of the club’s best performers, averaging 57 run metres and 40 tackles per game, along with eight try assists and seven line break assists in 11 appearances. His performances earned him a contract extension until the end of 2025.
Despite his injury, Marshall-King managed to score a try against the Broncos, giving his team the lead. However, Bennett expressed concern about the severity of the injury, saying, “He’s still got a bit of a shoulder problem there so I don’t know how long he’ll be back for. It looks like it might be a bit ongoing, that one… It’s the same one, he’s hurt it again.” Bennett acknowledged Marshall-King’s importance to the team, stating, “We probably got him at about 75 per cent (on Saturday night) and we may have to go the rest of the season without him.”
The Dolphins‘ debut NRL campaign started promisingly with three consecutive wins, but they have struggled recently, conceding 136 points in their last three matches. Despite trailing 14-6 at halftime against the Broncos, tries from Valynce Te Whare and Marshall-King raised hopes of a comeback. However, Selwyn Cobbo‘s late brilliance sealed the victory for the Broncos.
In their upcoming match against the Titans, the Dolphins will be without Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, who is on State of Origin duty with the Maroons. However, Anthony Milford will return from a three-game suspension for dangerous contact. Bennett confirmed that Milford will be in the squad, but it is uncertain whether he will start the game. With Tabuai-Fidow absent, Kodi Nikorima is likely to fill in at fullback.