Wests Tigers’ NYC team have suffered a second consecutive tough loss, going down 36-14 against the Gold Coast Titans on Sunday at Leichhardt Oval.
Winger Brian Kelly was the star of the show for the visitors — scoring three tries in the opening 50 minutes — to give the hosts a strong 22-point win.
Coming off a heavy defeat against Parramatta Eels last weekend, the second consecutive loss will no doubt give Wests Tigers NYC Head Coach Andrew Webster with plenty to think about as the boys head into the representative break next weekend.
The wet conditions made it tough going early, with both teams coming up with errors early in the match. In fact, it took two handling errors from Wests Tigers to give the Titans their first attacking chance of the match.
The visitors would make no mistake — shifting the ball quickly to the left to expose an overlap and score through Brian Kelly in the 10th minute.
Deacon Fletcher couldn’t add the extras from out wide.
Wests Tigers soon hit back, though, through Manaia Cherrington, who snuck his way over from dummy half close to the posts.
Mitchell Moses was unable to convert though in the wet conditions, and left the score locked at 4-4 after 15 minutes of play.
Despite having key chances to take the lead through Sione Alofi and Watson Heleta, Wests Tigers were unable to cross the line as errors continued to plague them in the attacking half. And they were soon made to pay for those mistakes, with Kelly storming through on the left wing to grab his second try of the day inside the opening 25 minutes.
Fletcher made no mistake with the extras from in front.
A tough-cross field kick soon brought about another try for the visitors, who were the quickest to plant the ball down after an error under the posts.
Again, Fletcher converted from right in front, and the score was soon pushed to 16-4 with just over eight minutes remaining in the first half.
Wests Tigers tried valiantly to reduce that margin heading into the main break, but again, they were unable to find the crucial pass to unlock the Titans defence, and went into half time trailing by 12 points.
Despite starting the stronger of the two teams again after the break, Wests Tigers were the first to concede in the second half when Kelly out-paced defenders to dive on a grubber in the in-goal for his third try of the game.
The Titans soon extended that lead even further in the 53rd minute, when quick hands saw Zac Spring score a simple try in the right corner.
Missed conversions from Fletcher saw the score remain at just 24-4, but still a huge mountain for the young Wests Tigers to overcome.
The visitors went even further in front in the 67th minute when a length-of-the-field effort from Fletcher resulted in another converted try.
That left the score at 30-4 with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Wests Tigers would hit back late with tries to Watson Heleta and Tyler Cassel, but it was simply too little too late as the Titans crossed again late after the siren.
The Gold Coast Titans had made amends for their big defeat when the two sides met in Round 2, and emerged from Leichhardt Oval with a 22-point victory in the end.
Final: Gold Coast Titans 36 def. Wests Tigers 14