It went right down to the wire, but an 80th minute field goal from Pat Richards has given Wests Tigers an thrilling Round 1 victory over the Gold Coast Titans.
Played in hot conditions at Cbus Super Stadium, Jason Taylor's side trailed on two occasions, and led on two occasions, but needed the cool head of Richards to secure the two competition points with a composed 40m drop goal under pressure.
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· The win marks the first time that Wests Tigers have won a season opener since Round 1, 2012 (def. Cronulla Sharks 17-16).
· It was also the first time that Wests Tigers have won a seaon opener away from home since Round 1, 2002 (def. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 28-22).
· The 14th appearance between these two clubs, Wests Tigers have won seven of those matches, with three of those wins containing field goals (Round 18, 2010, won 15-14; Round 9, 2012, won 15-14; Round 1, 2015, won 19-18).
· In 2014, Wests Tigers kicked four field goals and went on to win all four of those matches. They have now kicked 27 field goals in their last 71 wins.
· Pat Richards scored his 50th NRL try in the first half, with the winger now requiring just one more try to pass Liam Fulton and move into the top 10 for most tries scored for Wests Tigers. He has now scored 37 tries for the Club from 60 games.
· Richards has now scored 37 points from his two trips to Cbus Super Stadium to play the Gold Coast Titans (four tries, 10 goals, one field goal).
· James Tedesco scored his first try since Round 14, 2014. He has now scored at least one try in 10 of his last 13 games.and now has 15 tries in 29 games for the Club.
· This was Jason Taylor’s first win on the Gold Coast, as well as his first win against Neil Henry throughout their respective coaching careers.
· Kevin Naiqama and Kyle Lovett both added their names to Wests Tigers Honor Roll, becoming the 180th and 181st players respectively to play first-grade for the Club.
· Lovett also becomes the 11th player from the Club’s 2012 Holden Cup premiership-winning side to play first-grade for the Club.
· Aaron Woods led all players on the field with 190 metres. He was one of eight Wests Tigers players to register more than 100m on the night, with Naiqama (102m), Tim Simona (116m), Lovett (104m), Richards (104m), Keith Galloway (111m), Martin Taupau (114m) and Matthew Lodge (110m) all cracking the 100m-mark. Woods also led all players on the field with 16 hit-ups. Seven Gold Coast Titans players managed 100 metres or more on the night.