NRL: Wests Tigers beat Penrith 28-18 to open season account
Sunday 17 March 2013 4:46 PM
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Wests Tigers opened their Telstra Premiership account with a 28-18 victory over Penrith Panthers at Campbelltown Sports Stadium today.
The round two match attracted a crowd of 9715 with Wests Tigers prop Keith Galloway suffering a pec injury. The win was Mick Potter’s first as an NRL Coach.
Penrith opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a try to second-rower Sika Manu. It came after the ball was spread right for centre Wes Naiqama to find open space to link up with winger David Simmons who kicked the ball inside. The ball bounced backwards in-goal for Manu to dive on it to score.
Half-back Luke Walsh converted the try for a 6-0 lead.
Wests Tigers got a repeat set of six in the 30th minute through a grubber kick by five-eighth Benji Marshall . From the re-start, full-back Tim Moltzen split the defence to step his way through a gap to be tackled 10 metres short of the line. The ball was spread right but Marshall’s pass hit second-rower Liam Fulton on the shoulder for Penrith to pick it up.
Penrith suffered a blow in the 12th minute when five-eighth Lachlan Coote left the field with a pec injury.
Five minutes later, a quick tap by Wests Tigers hooker and captain Robbie Farah took a quick tap on the line for Marshall to score. Marshall converted the try for a 6-all scoreline.
Wests Tigers looked set to score through Marshall when he linked up with Farah and headed for the tryline. With Simmons closing in on Marshall, the five-eighth produced one of his trademark flick passes to winger Marika Koroibete but he couldn’t control the ball five metres from the tryline.
The pressure finally told on Penrith in the 33rd minute when replacement forward Ben Murdoch-Masila offloaded in a lifting tackle just short of the line for half-back Jacob Miller to step inside and out to score out wide for a 10-6 lead. Marshall converted the try for a 12-6 lead after 34 minutes.
Wests Tigers suffered a major blow in the opening seconds of the second half with prop Keith Galloway leaving the field. He will undergo scans tomorrow for a pectoral injury.
A short ball by Farah from dummy half saw prop Aaron Woods spin out of a tackle to slam the ball down on the line under the posts in the 46th minute for a 16-6 lead. Marshall converted the try for an 18-6 lead.
Wests Tigers then lost half-back Jacob Miller with a sprained right ankle in the 53rd minute after being caught under a tackle, leaving the team to just two interchange players.
Simmons reduced the margin to 18-10 when he dived over in the right corner despite a desperate tackle by centre Chris Lawrence. Walsh converted the try to leave Penrith trailing 18-12 after 55 minutes.
Wests Tigers stretched their lead to 22-12 in the 64th minute when Woods spun in a tackle made by prop Tim Grant to slam the ball down next to the posts for his second try. Marshall converted for a 24-12 lead.
Three minutes later, a grubber kick on the last tackle by Marshall saw forward Ben Murdoch-Masila attempt to score but the ball bounced off his leg before Koroibete dived on it to score just before the dead ball line. Marshall failed to convert for a 28-12 lead.
Penrith reduced the margin when Manu crashed through forward Eddy Pettybourne to score his second try. Walsh converted for a 28-18 scoreline after 73 minutes.
Brydens Networking Function
Wests Tigers players joined the team from Brydens Compensation Lawyers at a special networking function in Liverpool on Thursday night.
Wests Tigers fans have picked up a win before the 2014 NRL season has even begun following today’s draw release.