Wests Tigers NYC side have fought bravely but suffered a 24-14 defeat to the North Queensland Cowboys in their Round 11 clash at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.
Trailing 18-4 at the break courtesy of a first-half double from Viliame Kikau, Wests Tigers threatened to hit back in the second half with a much stronger start, but couldn’t come over the top of their opponents, who consolidated a top-four spot with the win.
Dominating possession and field position early, it was the visitors who opened the scoring after eight minutes when Kikau crashed through close to the posts.
Cooper Bambling had no problems with the extras to give his side a 6-0 lead and they were unfortunate not to double it soon after when Gideon Mosby found space down the left wing — only for his pass back on the inside to be spilled by Akeripa Tia Kilifi.
After some strong defence on their own line, Wests Tigers struck back in the 19th minute when half Veiru Mapesone dummied on last tackle before diving over out wide.
Matthew Woods was unable to convert, however, leaving the score at 6-4.
A spectacular length-of-the-field effort from Yamba Bowie and Gideon Mosby saw the Cowboys stretch their lead to 12-4 after 30 minutes, before a second try to Kikau seconds before the break saw the visitors take a 18-4 lead into the half-time sheds.
Starting the better of the two sides after the break, Wests Tigers reduced the margin in the 43rd minute when Te Maire Martin found Bayley Sironen on a good flat ball for his first try since making his Holden Cup debut last weekend. However, Woods again was unable to add the extras, leaving the score at 18-8 in the Cowboys’ favour.
Mosby appeared destined to grab his second of the day when he crossed the line in the 46th minute, before sensationally spilling the ball trying to plant it down. He would make up for it shortly after, though, with some sharp hands down the left wing allowing him to touch down in the 53rd minute and restore the Cowboys’ 16-point advantage.
John Tohi would peg one back for the home side in the 60th minute after a good offload from Mapesone but it would be all in vain for Kimmorley’s side, who squandered several good attacking opportunities late in the piece to suffer a 10-point defeat.
With the bye next weekend, Wests Tigers will look to bounce back in the winners circle on June 5 when they take on the Gold Coast Titans at Leichhardt Oval.
NYC FULL TIME — North Queensland Cowboys 24 (Kikau 2, Mosby 2 tries; Brambling 4/4 goals) def. Wests Tigers 14 (Mapesone, Sironen, Tohi tries; Woods 1/3 goals)