Wests Tigers’ NYC side have fought back from a early deficit to down the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 24-22 in their Round 24 clash at ANZ Stadium.
The victory puts Andrew Webster’s side in a great position to finish the regular season with a top-four finish, with just two games to in the year.
Despite heavy pressure early from the visitors, it was the Bulldogs who posted first points of the match following a strong run from Michael Morgan in the 13th minute. Brad Keighran’s successful conversion gave the hosts a 6-0 lead, and that was soon extended when Tautalatasi Tasi scored in the 20th minute.
Keighran again slotted the extras to push the lead to 12-0.
Wests Tigers quickly hit back, though, with Jeremy Marshall-King’s great take off a Te Maire Martin bomb seeing John Ogden to score out wide in the 24th minute.
Eli Levido converted from the sideline to reduce the score to 12-6.
Martin then sent Marshall-King through a hole close to the line shortly after — allowing Lamar Liolevave to fall over for a simple try next to the posts.
Levido’s conversion saw the scores locked up at 12-12 after 30 minutes of play.
A late try in the half to John Tohi after a good cut-out ball from Eli Levido saw Wests Tigers take the lead for the first time in the match, with the halfback’s missed conversion seeing the visitors take a 16-12 lead into the sheds.
The Bulldogs quickly took back the lead after half time with a try next to the posts from Brock Cope in the 42nd minute giving them a 18-16 lead.
As errors continued to plague the attacking potency of both teams, Wests Tigers managed to hit back through centre Watson Heleta in the 57th minute, after a superb 40-20 kick from Levido gave the visitors great field position.
Levido was unable to add the extras, and the score remained 20-18.
Delouise Hoeter pushed the visitors further in front with a strong finish out wide in the 74th minute, with Levido’s missed conversion leaving the score at 24-18.
Tasi grabbed his second try of the night as the siren sounded — giving the Bulldogs a chance to snatch a late draw — but the conversion from Josh Bergamin after the siren sailed wide, which allowed to Wests Tigers hang on for the win.
Final — Wests Tigers 24 def. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 22