There was no fairytale story for Benji Marshall in his 300thgame yesterday.
The Parramatta Eels spoiled the party for the Wests Tigers star by sealing a 30-18 win at Bankwest Stadium.
Marshall told reporters after the game that it was a "special day" but a disappointing loss.
"To be honest, I would have rather got the win," he said.
"It's hard to be too excited or celebrate because we want to win and make the finals."
Marshall said the Tigers worked hard, but there was " a lot of things for us to improve on".
"Simple errors cost us a lot and we were chasing the game," he said.
"I think we're a better team when we're in the fight."
Marshall thanked his family, the Tigers club and NRL community for their support in the lead-up to his 300th game.
"I'm really lucky to have this support," he said.
"To play rugby league for a living, that's where I pinch myself and think how lucky I am.
"I have a lot of gratitude right now. Gratitude doesn't win you games, but it helps you appreciate and enjoy these moments."
Sunday's match was a tough encounter where goal kicking proved the difference.
Both teams scored four tries each, but the Eels won by 12 points.
Eels centre Brad Takairangi scored a hat-trick of tries while Ruse product David Nofoaluma crossed for two tries fro the Tigers.
Eels' halfback Mitchell Moses nailed four conversions and three penalty goals, while Moses Mbye got one conversion for the Tigers.
Tigers coach Michael Maguire said he was pleased with his players' efforts but they needed to improve.
"We've got a bit to work on, but one thing about this group is they always try," he said.
"We had a lot of errors and we didn't apply [enough] pressure.
"Unfortunately, that puts pressure on yourselves. If you're going to keep doing that, you end up on the wrong end of the scoreboard."
Parramatta coach Brad Arthur said he was pleased with his side's resilience on Sunday.
"I thought it was a pretty good game of football. They [Tigers] threw a lot at us," he said.
"[But] we've talked about being more resilient as a group.
"We have 17 players we can rely on each week to do their job."