Wests Tigers’ NSW Cup squad has been defeated 30-26 in the final minute by Mounties RLFC — ending their run of five consecutive victories.
The hosts led 26-6 with just over 20 minutes remaining in the match, but were unable to hold on for the win as a composed Mounties outfit emerged with the two points in very windy conditions at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.
It was Mounties who posted first points of the afternoon through their late inclusion in O’Donnell, who barged over next to the posts after 10 minutes.
The simple conversion for Mitch Cornish saw the score read 6-0 to the visitors, but the lead didn’t last long, with a short ball from Moses finding Kyle Lovett, who in turn connected with Dene Halatau close to the line in the 12th minute.
Moses’ conversion leveled the match at 6-6 after just 13 minutes of play.
While the Club’s left-edge attack might have been the biggest talking point coming into the match, it was Stevens and Farlow on the right edge that started to cause the most damage, though, with the halfback linking up with the captain for consecutive tries in the 19th and 24th minutes.
Moses split the kicks in windy conditions to leave the scoreline at 16-6, which is how it would read heading into the half-time break.
As the wind persisted at Campbelltown Sports Stadium in the second half, it was Halatau who bagged his second try of the day after a short ball from Joel Luani.
Moses missed the conversion to leave the score at 20-6 after 50 minutes.
The match took a sour turn as both teams wasted attacking chances, with O’Donnell and Sitaleki Akauola exchanging blows in the 59th minute — resulting in both players being sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes.
The Stevens-Farlow combination continued to cause havoc for the visitors, with the halfback’s darting run in the 63rd minute seeing him link up with the captain, who came around to score his third try of the afternoon under the posts.
Moses duly added the extras to push the score to 26-6 after 57 minutes.
Matt McIlwrick pulled one back for Mounties in the 70th minute after his darting run saw him accelerate towards the sideline, and that was soon followed up with another try to the visitors through front-rower Mark Nicholls.
Cornish’s successful conversions saw the margin reduced to 26-18 with a dangerous eight minutes remaining to play in the match.
A third try to Mounties in the final 10 minutes to Reece Goldsmith saw the margin brought back to just two points with three minutes to play.
And from there, it was fullback Jack Ahearn who stole the win for Mounties — running on to a short ball close to the line to plant it down and seal victory, with Cornish adding the extras after the siren for a four-point win.
Final: Mounties RLFC 30 def. Wests Tigers 26