Wests Tigers’ NYC team has made it five wins in a row with a comprehensive 28-18 victory over the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium in their Round 14 clash.
The junior Wests Tigers were boosted with the news before kickoff that representative five-eighth Mitchell Moses would be slotting into the team tonight — taking his spot at the back in his preferred fullback position. That move to play Moses in the No. 1 jersey instantly brought success for the visitors, with Te Maire Martin’s well-timed pass to Lamar Liolevave allowing the fullback to scoot up on the inside and collect the flicked offload.
He scored under the posts, with Matthew Woods’ conversion giving Wests Tigers an early 6-0 lead in the match after 14 minutes.
Moses quickly had his hand in another try just three minutes later — this time throwing a cut-out pass to John Tohi, who did well to beat two defenders down the sideline and get the ball down narrowly inside the right touchline.
Woods missed the tough sideline conversion, leaving the score at 10-0.
A deft inside ball from Eli Levido after 23 minutes saw Moses burst through the Rabbitohs’ defensive line 50m out, and his quick acceleration saw him quickly round the fullback and score under the posts for a spectacular try.
Woods duly added the extras to push the lead out to 16-0.
A controversial moment occured in the 35th minute when Wests Tigers interchange forward Matthew Lodge was penalised for reacting to an incident in the tackle from Souths player, Liam Coleman. However, it was Coleman that was placed on report for the incident, and that moment clearly inspired Lodge, who produced a big tackle a few plays later to dislodge the ball and snuff out the hosts’ chance to post points before the main break.
Souths would get one late chance to get on the board before half-time, and they quickly found a way through winger Tom Hughes.
Irae Simone converted the try to reduce the margin to 16-6 at half-time.
Souths continued to hit back at the visitors after half-time and soon crossed the line through second-rower Tulsa Saumamao in the 47th minute.
The try was converted by Simone, and the scoreline reduced to 16-12.
However, Wests Tigers would soon restore their double-digit lead when Tohi crossed for his second try of the afternoon in the right corner. Moses took over the kicking duties and added the extras from right on the touchline — pushing the score back out to 22-12 with just 13 minutes remaining in the match.
Watson Heleta flew highest to claim a cross-field kick by Eli Levido in the 70th minute to push the visitors even further in front, with Woods taking back over the kicking duties to restore Wests Tigers’ 16-point lead.
PJ Los’e crossed for a consolation try in the final minutes to reduce the margin on the scoreboard somewhat, but it would all be in vain.
Wests Tigers’ NYC team would hold on for a 28-18 victory and extend their winning streak to their past five games as they head into a Round 15 bye next weekend.
Final: Wests Tigers 28 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 22