15 Moments for 15 Seasons - No.4

15 Moments for 15 Seasons

Wests Tigers are counting down the top 15 moments in the Club's history to commemorate with their 15th Anniversary season in the NRL.

As voted by the fans, here's Moment No. 4.
 

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Wests Tigers 46-6 victory over the Cronulla Sharks in Round 21, 2005 might not have seemed like a pivotal match in their premiership-winning season.

But winger Pat Richards says otherwise.

The Club had won four games in a row heading into their tough trip to Toyota Park and was starting to believe that they could be on to something special, as Richards recalled the confidence that was flowing through the ranks.

“We were just so confident going into that match,” said Richards.

“To deliver a performance like the one we did against Cronulla… teams probably started to take us a little more seriously after that.”

The 40-point win wasn’t always guaranteed, though, with Wests Tigers only leading 12-6 at half-time. And as Richards recalled, the Sharks were grinding their way back into the match before a moment of magic from a young five-eighth called Benji Marshall ended any doubts about a comeback.

“I reckon I always got the best view of Benji’s magic,” laughed Richards. “And that try he set up against Cronulla was probably the same.

“Even if they actually game me the try-assist!”

Marshall picked the ball up on halfway, stepped through five defenders before launching a no-look pass 20m to hit Richards on the chest. The winger then found Daniel Fitzhenry back on the inside for the try, but like the now experienced Richards recalled, the try was all about Marshall’s magic.

“We were just on fire that day,” he said.

“It was one of those days where everything was coming off. A nice sunny day… confidence was starting to build that year [and] this try was probably a catalyst of all that.

"It showed what form we were in down to a tee.

“What a try,” remembered Richards. “It had all the skill. You can’t top it.

The winger himself probably had a real chance to score himself down the wing, but opted to basketball-pass the ball back on the inside for Fitzhenry.

“I thought about going for it myself, but then I saw Fitzy on the inside. He hadn’t scored too many so I thought I’d give him one,” he laughed.

“Probably helped Hodgo [Brett Hodgson] for the conversion too!”

 

Check out the other Top 15 Moments:

15. Chris Lawrence's debut against Brisbane Broncos — 2006

14. Wests Tigers comeback against Newcastle Knights — 2001

13. Robbie Farah breaks Club Record for most games — 2013

12. Marika Koroibete scores four tries in one game — 2012

11. Luke Brooks' debut against St. George Illawarra Dragons — 2013

10. Blake Ayshford's try in the rain against Melbourne Storm — 2013

9. David Nofoaluma's spectacular try against Manly Sea Eagles — 2013

8. Wests Tigers comeback against New Zealand Warriors — 2011

7. Scott Prince's field goal against the Canterbury Bulldogs — 2005

6. John Skandalis' first try against the Brisbane Broncos — 2000

5. Simon Dwyer's hit on Jared Waerea-Hargreaves — 2010