Wigan, the Super League leaders, yesterday signalled their intention to build on this season's success with the capture of Ryan Hoffman, Brett Finch and Jeff Lima, the Melbourne Storm trio, for next season. The triumvirate are being off-loaded as part of a major clear-out at the Storm to ensure the disgraced club are under the salary cap for next season. They will link up with Michael Maguire, the former Melbourne assistant coach, at the DW Stadium.
Hoffman, 26, the second-rower who has won four caps with Australia, has signed a one-year deal with an option for a second season. Finch, 28, the half-back, is joining the Warriors on a two-year deal and Lima, 28, the New Zealand Test prop, has a three-year contract. "Having worked with all three during my time at Melbourne, I am thrilled that they will be joining us from next season," Maguire said. "All three are champion players with experience at the very highest level.
"They have a great work ethic and are top-quality additions who will complement our existing playing squad." He may have left his kicking boots at home but there was nothing wrong with Benji Marshall's dancing shoes as the Wests Tigers maestro orchestrated a dramatic 26-16 come-from-behind NRL win over the North Queensland Cowboys yesterday. Down 16-0 midway through the opening half, the Tigers kept alive their hopes of a top-two finish as they ran in six unanswered tries.
Marshall set up three of them and finished the job with a 70-metre solo effort in the final minute. With just over three minutes left, Marshall fed Liam Fulton, who dived over for the clincher. * Agencies