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Match Report: Intrust Super Premiership Round 25

Dan Talintyre (Twitter: @dantalintyre)

Competition - NSW Cup.

Round - 11.

Teams - Wests Tigers V Newcastle Knights.

Date - 21st of May 2016.

Venue - Campbelltown Stadium.

Photographer - Robb Cox.

Wests Tigers Intrust Super Premiership side have fought back to secure a crucial 30-28 win over the Newcastle Knights at Hunter Stadium today.

The result sees Wests Tigers finish the Intrust Super Premiership season in third position, with a Qualifying Final against the second-placed Illawarra Cutters next weekend.

Paul Stringer's side began the match in perfect fashion, with Chance Peni crossing the line out wide in the opening set of the game to give his side a 4-0 lead.

Justin Hunt added the extras to take the visitors' lead to 6-0.

Liam Faughlin would quickly hit back for the Knights — acrobatically diving over in the corner to cut the score to 6-4. However, Bryce Donovan was unable to land the difficult sideline conversion at Hunter Stadium, leaving the score at 6-4 after 10 minutes.

Tyler Cassel would burrow his way over the line after 16 minutes to extend Wests Tigers' lead, with Hunt adding the extras from close to the uprights to take the score to 12-4.

However, as they had done earlier in the match, Newcastle would quickly hit back with a try of their own as Pauli Pauli proved too strong close to the line to make it 12-8.

Donovan had no problems converting this time to make it 12-10 after 25 minutes.

With just minutes before half-time, Donovan would give the Knights a surprise 16-12 lead after he broke through the line before rounding fullback Luke Sharpe to score under the posts — converting his own try with ease to give Newcastle a four-point lead at half-time.

Desperate to finish the season on a high point, Newcastle would pull further in front in the 55th minute when prop Ben Stone crashed over next to the posts, with Donovan's conversion giving the home side a 22-12 lead.

However, the lead wouldn't last long, as Justin Hunt and Jayden Wheelhouse crossed for tries in the space of five minutes to level the match once again at 22-22.

With just 10 minutes remaining, fullback Luke Sharpe — playing in just his second Intrust Super Premiership game — would break the game open with a great individual try, with Hunt's conversion giving Wests Tigers a six-point lead again. Hunt would then add a penalty goal inside the final five minutes to give his side an unassailable eight-point lead, which would see the visitors home despite a late try to Jaleen Feeney.

 

Wests Tigers 30 (Peni, Cassel, Hunt, Wheelhouse, Sharpe tries; Hunt 5/6 goals) def. Newcastle Knights 28 (Faughlan, Pauli, Donovan, Stone, Feeney tries; Donovan 4/5 goals)