Wests Tigers NYC side have led from start to finish to defeat the South Sydney Rabbitohs 28-22 in their Round 14 clash on Friday night at ANZ Stadium.
Boasting a near full-strength side, Brett Kimmorley's men were able to hold firm despite a late Souths fight back to emerge with a six-point win and record a second straight victory.
Wests Tigers started the match perfectly when Jacob Liddle sliced through the line and weaved around several defenders to score a sensational individual try after just two minutes of play — giving the home side a 6-0 lead after Veiru Mapesone’s conversion.
The visitors hit back in the 15th minute when Damon Goolagong finished off a back-line move in the left corner, with Jordie Hedges’ conversion leveling the score at 6-6.
After both teams traded sets, Wests Tigers would re-gain the lead in the 30th minute when some sharp hands to the left saw Watson Heleta send Ryland Jacobs over in the corner. Moments later, the winger would break through the line and link up with Te Maire Martin — who raced away to score — giving Wests Tigers an 18-6 lead.
Wests Tigers would hold firm and take a 12-point lead into the half-time break at ANZ Stadium, but a try shortly after the break to South Sydney through Perrin saw the margin to reduced to 18-12 with more than half an hour of play remaining.
Martin continued to leave his influence on the match, and after a strong break from Pio Sokobalava, the wiry playmaker drifted to the left and linked up with Junior Kiwi teammate Heleta, who acrobatically beat his man to score in the corner.
Mapesone couldn’t add the sideline conversion, leaving the score at 22-12 after 54 minutes, before slotting a penalty goal moments later to take the score to 24-12.
South Sydney would strike back in the 66th minute with a try to Hedges, who outjumped Jacobs to plant the ball down out wide. However, the centre crucially missed his tough conversion — leaving the home side with an eight-point 24-16 lead.
However, the home side sealed a win with five minutes to go when an early ball to Marion Seve allowed the centre to shrug away from his man and crash over out wide.
Mapesone’s missed conversion gave the visitors one final chance, which they would take by grabbing a try in the final minute through Perrin, but it wouldn’t be enough to run down Wests Tigers who emerged with a 28-22 win from their Round 14 clash.
Wests Tigers will look to make it three consecutive wins when they take on the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles next Friday night at Brookvale Oval.
Wests Tigers 28 (Liddle, Jacobs, Martin, Heleta, Seve tries; Mapesone 5/6 goals) def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 22 (Perrin 2, Goolagong, Hedges tries; Hedges 3/4 goals)