Wests Tigers NSW Cup team has continued their impressive performances of late with a 34-12 victory over Newcastle Knights at Cessnock Sports Ground.
Boosted by the inclusion of Jack Buchanan and Ava Seumanufagai to an already strong team, the visitors attacked brilliantly and defended gallantly to extend their recent winning streak even further heading into next week’s bye.
It was Newcastle who posted first points of the match after an error from Kurtis Rowe gifted Tyler Randall the chance to plant the ball down under the posts.
Michael Dobson added the extras for a 6-0 lead after 11 minutes.
Wests Tigers soon hit back, though, through Joel Luani. The hooker sold the dummy close to the posts and crashed over after 16 minutes.
Mitchell Moses converted to level the match at 6-6.
A sharp left-edge move involving Moses and Rowe saw Keith Lulia release Marika Koroibete perfectly down the left touchline, with the winger linking back up with Rowe, who ran around to score next to the posts.
Moses added the extras to give the visitors a 12-6 lead after 28 minutes.
A cross-field kick from Moses found Koroibete in the air to give him his 11th try in his past five NSW Cup games, and he soon had a double, after another perfectly placed kick from Moses to the left wing.
The five-eighth converted both tries to push the lead to 24-6, which is how the scoreline remained at the half-time break at Cessnock Sportsground.
A back-and-forth start to the second half saw both teams have chances to post points, but it was the visitors who extended their lead through Lulia — a sharp left-edge move giving him the chance to score against his former club.
Moses couldn’t add the extras, leaving the score at 28-6 after 59 minutes.
Wests Tigers’ left edge continued to dominate their opponents, and Lulia soon had his second of the evening after some strong link-up play from Rowe and Koroibete allowed him to crash over next to the posts.
Moses converted the try, to push the lead to 34-6 with 15 minutes remaining.
Newcastle hit back in the 69th minute through fullback Nathan Ross, after the fullback was quickest to react to a deflected grubber kick from Dobson.
The halfback added the extras to reduce the margin to 34-12.
That would be the final score of the match, as Wests Tigers finished with a convincing 24-point win to head into the bye with plenty of confidence.
Final: Wests Tigers 34 def. Newcastle Knights 12