Wests Tigers have won a thrilling NSW Cup match today 28-24 over the Wyong Roos at Morrie Breen Oval in Round 9 of the competition.
David Nofoaluma scored a last minute try to steal the game with his side down by two, despite Wests Tigers leading for most of the game and holding a comfortable lead at half time.
Wests Tigers enjoyed a wealth of possession early in the match thanks to back-to-back penalties and prop forward Jordan Grant opened the scoring with a strong run to carry two defenders over the line. Josh Drinkwater slotted the easy conversion for a 6-0 lead after just seven minutes.
Wyong marched their way down the field with a penalty of their own and forward Lagi Setu was quick to take advantage, spinning his way out of the grasp of two defenders to score. Tyler Cornish converted the try and the scores were locked up at 6-all after 11 minutes.
With the kick-off going bouncing dead, Wests Tigers were back on the attack with Joel Luani and David Nofoaluma combined well on the right edge to put John Sila over untouched in the corner. Drinkwater was again successful with the kick, this time from the sideline, to extend his side’s lead to 12-6 after 16 minutes.
Replacement forward Wesley Lolo had an immediate impact in the match, giving a nice short ball to secondrower Lamar Liolevave who carried two defenders over the line to score. Drinkwater kept his perfect kicking record alive, resulting in an 18-6 lead after 24 minutes.
Wyong looked very dangerous in attack and hooker Mitch Williams put on a nice short side move on the left edge with quick hands seeing winger Omar Slaimankhel scoring in the corner. Cornish was unable to convert from touch and Wests Tigers’ lead was cut to 18-10 after 31 minutes.
Wests Tigers were dealt another blow in the 38th minute with dangerous backrower Asipeli Fine leaving the field with a leg injury.
The visitors held on to the 18-10 lead at half time.
Wyong Roos needed a big start to the second half; however did themselves no favours with a mistake coming out from their own line in the first set.
Wests Tigers looked to have early points following the mistake with Josh Drinkwater giving what looked to be the perfect pass to Andy Fiagatusa to score, however it was all called back due to a forward pass.
It would be Wyong who would trouble the scorers first, with replacement Abraham Papalii finding his way over the line in the 47th minute. Cornish missed the goal with the lead cut to just four points at 18-14.
Quick hands on the left edge had Wests Tigers extend their lead with Nathan Milone doing well in the lead-up to find an unmarked Keith Lulia in the corner. Drinkwater missed his first kick of the day from the sideline and the score remained 22-14 after 60 minutes.
Wyong struck twice in quick succession to set-up a grandstand finish with tries to Brendan Elliot (63rd minute) and Samisoni Langi (67th minute) putting the home side ahead 24-22.
It wasn’t to be for Wyong though, with Wests Tigers attacking the line in the dying stages before Nofoaluma beat his man on the right edge to steal the two-points in the final seconds. Drinkwater sealed the game with conversion right on the siren, with scoreboard reading 28-24.
Wests Tigers 28 (Nofoaluma, Lulia, Liolevave, Sila, Grant tries; Drinkwater 4 goals) defeated Wyong Roos 24 (Langi, Setu, Elliot, Slaimankhel. Papalii tries; Cornish 2 goals)