Wests Tigers NSW Cup side have been run down by the Wyong Roos to suffer a 26-14 defeat in their Round 11 clash at Campbelltown Sports Stadium tonight.
Leading 14-0 at the break, an inexperienced side compounded by injuries battled on gamely to hold out their opponents for most of the second half, before a wave of late tries sealed a win for the visitors that ended Wests Tigers’ three-game winning streak.
A sharp ball from Tim Moltzen to John Sila opened the scoring for the home side after eight minutes before a similarly sublime ball from Josh Drinkwater to Kurtis Rowe doubled the lead for Paul Fletcher’s side after 15 minutes of play at Campbelltown.
Wests Tigers would receive a cruel blow in the 19th minute when Moltzen suffered a shoulder injury in a crusher tackle that forced him from the field. From that subsequent penalty, though, the home side would work the ball up field and strike again, with Andy Fiagatusa falling on a grubber from Drinkwater in the 22nd minute for his first try.
Drinkwater had no problems converting and pushed Wests Tigers’ lead to 14-0.
Wests Tigers threatened to extend their lead before the break, but were unable to do so, and took a 14-0 lead into the half-time sheds at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.
Two quick tries after the break for Wyong through Abraham Papalii and Jack Siejka reduced the margin to 14-10 with half an hour to play, and it was clear that neither side was willing to back down from the back-and-forth contest taking place.
That was perhaps most evident in the 59th minute when Jordan Grant was placed on report for a head-butt — an incident which Wyong quickly took advantage of, with a try off-hands to Omar Slaimankhel in the 66th minute leveling the match at 14-all.
Cornish’s sideline conversion was waved away, but Wests Tigers’ combination of inexperience and injuries was eventually too much to overcome, with Samisoni Langi crossing off a flat pass to give the visitors their first lead of the match in the 72nd minute.
Papalii then crossed for his second in the final minutes of the match to ensure the two points for Wyong, with his converted try in the 79th minute taking the scoreline to 26-14.
That would be how the match would finish, with Wests Tigers’ young side holding their heads high from a determined effort compounded by injuries throughout the night.
Fletcher’s side will look to bounce back with a win next Saturday, May 30, when they take on the North Sydney Bears at Leichhardt Oval in a bye-affected Round 12.
NSW CUP FULL TIME — Wyong Roos 26 (Papalii 2, Slaimankhel, Langi, Siejka tries; Cornish 3/5 goals) def. Wests Tigers 14 (Sila, Rowe, Fiagatusa tries; Drinkwater 1/3 goals)