Wests Tigers Intrust Super Premiership side have continued their strong recent form with a 32-14 win over the Canterbury Bulldogs at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday.
Coming into the match on the back of a 44-16 drubbing of the Wyong Roos, Wests Tigers were made to work for their 14-4 half-time advantage, but proved too strong in the second half thanks to a solid defensive display, running out 18-point winners in the end.
The match began in perfect fashion for the home side, with Jayden Wheelhouse getting on the end of a lovely right edge move involving Jack Littlejohn and Chance Peni, stepping back inside his man to score in the right corner after just seven minutes.
Josh Drinkwater was unable to convert from out wide, leaving the score at 4-0.
Canterbury hit back to level the match in the 12th minute when Tyrone Phillips got on the end of a cross-field kick from Dane Chisolm — chipping for himself and gathering a deflection off Josh Addo-Carr before offloading for Kerrod Holland to score out wide.
Holland’s conversion from out wide struck the post, leaving both teams locked at 4-4.
Neither team would be able to crack their opponent for the next period of the match, despite Addo-Carr and Littlejohn both going close to scoring for the home team.
Wests Tigers would eventually pull back in front when a strong run from Asipeli Fine allowed him to get the arms free on halfway, with Watson Heleta backing up and drawing the fullback for Drinkwater to score his first try of the 2016 season.
The halfback converted his own try to take the score to 10-4 after 35 minutes.
With half-time approaching, the home side crossed for another crucial try before the break, with more strong work down the right allowing Wheelhouse to score his second try of the afternoon. Drinkwater was unable to convert from the sideline, however, leaving the scoreline at 14-4 in favour of Wests Tigers as the half-time siren sounded.
Canterbury would come out firing in the second half, and crossed for their second try when Tyrone Phillips showed great awareness to dance down the right sideline after 45 minutes. Holland’s missed conversion left the scoreline at 14-8 to Wests Tigers.
The home side would quickly restore their 10-point lead, with Jeremy Marshall-King diving over from dummy half to score next to the posts after 50 minutes of play.
Drinkwater made no mistake with the simple conversion to take the score to 20-8.
Drinkwater would be instrumental in the next two tries for Wests Tigers, as Paul Stringer’s side quickly began to put the Canterbury Bulldogs to the sword.
First, the halfback acrobatically dived and batted his own kick over the dead-ball line back into the field of play for Tyler Cassel to score after 56 minutes, before nailing a 40-20 in the ensuing set — laying the platform for Jordan Grant to muscle his way over.
Successful conversion from both attempts quickly saw Wests Tigers blow the game wide open at Leichhardt Oval — taking their lead to 32-8 after 62 minutes of play.
Brad Abbey would cross in the final few 10 minutes of play to reduce the margin, but it would be all in vain for the visitors, as Wests Tigers held firm to emerge with a comfortable victory — giving Coach Paul Stringer back-to-back victories for the first time in 2016.
Wests Tigers 32 (Wheelhouse 2, Drinkwater, Marshall-King, Cassel, Grant tries; Drinkwater 4/6 goals) def. Canterbury Bulldogs 14 (Holland, Phillips, Abbey tries; Holland 1/3 goals)