A spirited Wests Tigers recorded a 22-4 victory over Premiers Melbourne Storm at Leichhardt Oval tonight in round 16 of the Telstra Premiership.


In front of a crowd of 5288 faithful supporters who braved dreadful weather conditions at the historic ground, Wests Tigers outplayed the Storm to record their fourth win in the past five matches to be just two points out of the top eight.


Hooker and Captain Robbie Farah and prop Aaron Woods backed up for Wests Tigers from NSW Origin duty on Wednesday night.


The opening 20 minutes saw both sides feel their way through the slippery conditions with handling a concern. There were a few small half breaks to both sides.


The Storm opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when centre Maurice Blair latched on to a sharp pass by five-eighth Brett Finch to score for a 4-0 lead. Half-back Cooper Cronks attempt hit the uprights.


Wests Tigers winger Tim Simona showed his speed when he picked up a spilt ball by Storm winger Sisa Waqa 15 metres out from the Wests Tigers tryline to race the length of the field to score untouched behind the posts. Five-eighth Benji Marshall converted the try to give Wests Tigers a 6-4 lead after 30 minutes.


A great kick by Captain Robbie Farah saw Storm full-back Billy Slater taken over the sideline in a great tackle by centre Blake Ayshford and second-rower Liam Fulton. A few plays later from the scrum win, Wests Tigers winger David Nofoaluma went over in the right corner but the try was denied on a forward pass call in the 32nd minute by referee Jarred Maxwell.


Ayshford finished off one of the finest Wests Tigers team tries seen this season when he dived over from five metres out to slide his way over the line in the 37th minute to give Wests Tigers a 10-4 lead.


The length of the field try was started when Simona picked up a grubber kick in-goal from the Storm. His natural pace saw him beat several defenders in cover in a 60 metre run before linking up with Marshall who jinked his way across field to link up with Farah before the hooker turned the ball back inside for Ayshford to hit a hole and score.


Wests Tigers scrambled well in defence in the final minute to keep the Storm out to take a well deserved 10-4 lead into half-time to a standing ovation and chant of Tigers, Tigers, Tigers.


2nd Half

A penalty goal in front of the posts to Marshall in the 48th minute saw Wests Tigers extend their lead to 12-4.


The video referee was called upon in the 41st minute to rule whether Cronk grounded the ball in trying to score off an O'Neill grubber kick. It was ruled Fulton grounded the ball first.


Wests Tigers winger David Nofoaluma gave his side a handy 16-4 lead in the 69th minute when he used his strength to finish off a backline play to score in the right corner - the same spot he scored the match winning try against the Cowboys in the last match at Leichhardt Oval. Marshall failed to convert the try.


Benji Marshall capped off a fantastic victory with a last ditch try, sliding under the posts to wrap up the win for Wests Tigers.


Footnote:

Wests Tigers postponed matches to now be played tomorrow at Campbelltown Sports Stadium

11am: Holden Cup: vs Melbourne Storm

1pm: NSW Cup: vs Newcastle Knights.