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Gareth Ellis urges NRL Tigers to lift
By Ed Jackson
16:24 AEST Thu Jul 26 2012

Gareth Ellis believes injury-hit Wests Tigers still have the ability to win this year's NRL premiership and says he doesn't want to leave the club on a low note.

The Englishman will return home at the end of the season but he's determined to end his four-season stint in Australia with no regrets.

After putting themselves in a strong position at the midway point of the year, the Tigers' season is in danger of unravelling as injuries rip through the squad.

Monday's loss to North Queensland in Townsville left them on the verge of dropping out of the top eight while Chris Lawrence (ankle), Curtis Sironen (shoulder), Tim Moltzen (hamstring) and Ben Murdoch-Masila (ankle) all returned from Townsville with injuries.

That quartet joined Lote Tuqiri (arm) and Keith Galloway (shoulder) in an all-star casualty ward, leaving coach Tim Sheens scratching around for a competitive team for Saturday's clash with South Sydney.

Adding to Sheens' headache is Benji Marshall's battle with toe and thumb injuries sustained against the Cowboys, though the New Zealand international did complete training on Thursday.

"It would be very disappointing if it was to end that way, particularly with the team that we've got," said Ellis about missing out on finals footy.

"We're a team that could go on to win the competition so to not even give ourselves a chance of competing for that would be very disappointing, especially in my last year."

The Rabbitohs had a setback of their own on Wednesday night with star fullback Greg Inglis banned for three matches for his shoulder charge on St George Illawarra's Dean Young last weekend.

Inglis's absence is a rare slice of fortune for the Tigers but Ellis is still more than wary of the third-placed Bunnies.

"He's obviously a huge player for them, been playing some of the best footy of his career," Ellis said of Inglis.

"But the player that will come in at fullback, Nathan Merritt, he can score a try from anywhere.

"It's a tough challenge regardless. Their whole team is playing well so it's going to be a tough game for us."


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