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The Wests Tigers had a thrilling 16-12 victory over the North Sydney Bears in Round 8 of the NSW Cup on Sunday, May 5.

All eyes were on the halves pairing for the Wests Tigers, with Under 20s star Luke Brooks taking the field in his first NSW Cup game alongside Jacob Miller.

Miller was a late inclusion after being replaced by Benji Marshall in the first grade squad that played the Bulldogs on Friday night.

North Sydney dominated field position and also enjoyed a wealth of possession in the opening stages of the game.

However it wasnt until the 25th minute that the Wests Tigers line cracked, with Bears second-rower Jesse Roberts hitting a gaping hole on the right side to take a 6-0 lead.

Some strong work up front from Matt Groat put the Wests Tigers back on the front foot, with the prop pushing his claims for a return to the NRL following a foot injury in pre-season.

In what looked to be the equaliser, Brooks put a perfectly weighted cross-field kick into the hands of Miller who claimed a try only to be called back for offside.

It wasnt long before Brooks was at it again though, this time giving a textbook short ball to a barnstorming Jarrod Farlow who ran 20 metres to score.

With Sean Meaney converting to make it 6-all, the scoreboard was a fair indication of how the first half panned out with both sides evenly matched.

The half time talk no doubt fired the Bears up, with prop Brad Lupi barging his way over from close range just two minutes into the second half.

In what looked like a mirror image of the Bears try, Wests Tigers prop Ava Seumanufagai crashed over in the 50th minute to lock the scores back up at 12-all.

Both sides showed quality defence in the subsequent plays before Miller linked up with Meaney in an around-the-back play that ended with Taqele Naiyaravoro finding his way over in the corner.

Meaney was unable to convert the try from the sideline, but his side had the lead for the first time in the match at 16-12 with just 10 minutes to play.

In a thrilling finish to the game, neither side could find the try-line with impressive defence on display in the low-scoring affair.

The Wests Tigers right edge of Rory Brien and Asipeli Fine did well to put Norths winger Mitchell Buckett over the sideline and deny the equaliser.

Paul Fletchers side happily walked away from North Sydney Oval with the two points in what was just the second loss of the season for the Bears.

It will be a testing week for the NSW Cup side; as this game was the first of three in the next eight days due to a rescheduled match taking place mid-week.

Leichhardt Oval will host the fixture this Wednesday night against the Illawarra Cutters before the side travels to Newcastle on Sunday for their Round 9 game.

Wests Tigers 16 (Farlow, Seumanufagai, Naiyaravoro tries; Meaney 2 goals) defeated North Sydney 12 (Roberts, Lupi tries; Walker 2 goals)

Wests Tigers NSW Cup side:

1. Sean Meaney (c)

2. Taqele Naiyaravoro

3. Josh Davis

4. Rory Brien

5. Asipeli Fine

21. Jacob Miller

7. Luke Brooks

14. Ava Seumanufagai

9. Masada Iosefa

10. Matt Groat

11. Sitaleki Akauolo

12. Jarrod Farlow

13. Joel Luani

15. Adrian Haangana

16. David Harris

17. Inno Inosesio

8. Michael Bullock
Acknowledgement of Country

Wests Tigers respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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