Wests Tigers have opened their Intrust Super Premiership season with a 34-16 win over the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in hot conditions at Campbelltown.
After a tight first half that saw Paul Stringer's side lead 6-4 at the break, Wests Tigers broke the game open with 22 unanswered points to start the second half and emerge with an eventual 18-point victory to start the Intrust Super Premiership season with a win.
Both sides were guilty of errors throughout the first half, with plenty of missed opportunities and forced passes the topic of the opening stanza. Jesse Parahi made his presence felt in his first match for Wests Tigers when he put a shot on prop Josh Starling early in the match.
It took until the 29th minute for points to be scored when fullback Watson Heleta took advantage of a quick play the ball to burrow in next to the posts.
Josh Drinkwater converted to give his side a 6-0 lead.
Manly struck back five minutes later when halfback Pita Godinet floated a pass to his winger Halauafu Lavaka who scored in the corner.
The conversion was unsuccessful and Wests Tigers took a 6-4 lead into the break.
Paul Stringer’s side came out blazing in the second half with three tries in quick succession.
Heleta found some space shorly after half-time to find Josh Addo-Carr who showed some speed to run through the Manly defence and score under the posts.
Drinkwater made no mistakes with the conversion and extended the Wests Tigers lead 12-4.
Drinkwater was then involved in near identical plays for the next two tries, putting both centres Nathan Milone and Chance Peni into holes on either side of the field to blow the game open.
With teams taking a drinks break every quarter due to the conditions, Wests Tigers enjoyed a 22-4 lead heading into the final 20 minutes of the game.
Peni was in for his second of the day in the 65th minute when Drinkwater delivered a nicely placed grubber for the centre to extend the lead 28-4.
Manly struck back with a try five minutes later through Feleti Mateo, who showed some footwork close to the line to get the ball down.
Dylan Kelly converted to narrow the Wests Tigers lead to 18.
Wests Tigers capped off an impressive second half when Addo-Carr displayed some individual brilliance, racing away fown the sideline before chipping over the top and regathering to score.
The visitors crossed for a consolation try on the buzzer when Tom Symonds broke through to find Mateo for his second try, leaving the final scoreline at 34-16.
FULL TIME — Wests Tigers 34 (Peni 2, Addo-Carr 2, Heleta, Milone tries; Drinkwater 5/6 goals) def. Manly Sea Eagles 16 (Mateo 2, Lavaka 1; Kelly 2/2, Pratt 0/1 goals)