Wests Tigers’ Holden Cup side have turned in a dominant performance at GIO Stadium today, thrashing the Canberra Raiders 50-16.
Coming off a 32-point drubbing of the Melbourne Storm last week at Leichhardt Oval, the Willie Peters’ coached outfit continued their strong form scoring ten tries to three in the Nation’s capital.
Wests Tigers opened the scoring early in the match, shifting the ball to the left with Esan Marsters putting young centre Moses Suli through a gap to score in the corner.
Halfback Thomas Bartley narrowly missed the conversion from the sideline, with the visiting side holding a 4-0 advantage after just four minutes.
Wests Tigers continued their strong start to the match, marching their way back up field from a penalty and taking full advantage with five-eighth Veiru Mapesone finding a barnstorming Bayley Sironen back on the inside who crashed over to score.
Bartley converted the try to make it a 10-0 lead after just eight minutes of play.
The one-way traffic continued in the opening stages of the match as Suli made a 60-metre break up field, linking up with his winger Sam DeFiddes who was pulled down just metres from the line.
Not long after, Bartley put in a smart grubber behind the line with hooker Jacob Liddle beating the Raiders fullback to the ball to score a great try under the posts.
The conversion was successful once again from Bartley, with Wests Tigers taking a 16-0 lead after 14 minutes.
Marsters continued to cause havoc down the right edge, sneaking away a great offload to fullback Roman Ioelu who raced away to score on his Holden Cup debut.
The conversion was waved away from Bartley, however Wests Tigers were scoring at a point a minute with a commanding 20-0 lead after 19 minutes.
In the 23rd minute, Wests Tigers decided to spread it on the last play with Bartley throwing a bullet cut-out pass to Suli who beat his man and got away a miracle offload to DeFiddes who scored just inside of the right corner-post.
It was another tough conversion for Bartley, who narrowly missed the kick and the score remained at 24-0 after 25 minutes.
The Canberra Raiders got on the board in the 29th minute through their captain Zac Woolford who sliced through down their left edge to score.
The hooker was unable to convert his own try, with Wests Tigers in front 24-4 with ten minutes remaining before the break.
The kick-off from Wests Tigers went dead in goal, giving the visitors another chance to score and they did just that through Marsters who hit a hole back on the inside from Bartley to barge his way over.
Bartley slotted the conversion to make it a 30-4 advantage after just 35 minutes of play.
Wests Tigers went into the sheds at half time with a 26-point advantage, scoring six tries to one in a dominant 40-minute display.
The Raiders came out firing in the second half, scoring just three minutes in to the second half through centre Kody Parsons, with Woolford converting to narrow the gap to 30-10.
It was short-lived though, with left winger Obed Karwhin finding his way over in the 54th minute off the back of a great offload from Sironen.
Bartley missed the conversion, with Wests Tigers streaking away to a 34-10 lead after 55 minutes.
An error gave the Raiders a great opportunity in the 68th minute, with their fullback Nick Cotric capitalising on the opportunity and going across to score.
With Woolford off the field, Parsons converted the try and lessened Wests Tigers’ lead to 34-16 with 12 minutes remaining in the match.
However, Wests Tigers were eager to put exclamation point on their victory, laying on three tries in the final ten minutes of play through Ryland Jacobs, Mark McCormack and Liddle.
Unfortunately the win came at a cost, with Sironen leaving the field late in the match with a leg injury.
The one-sided affair finished with a final score line of 50-16, with Wests Tigers set to face South Sydney on Thursday afternoon at ANZ Stadium.
Wests Tigers 50 (Liddle 2, Marsters, Ioelu, DeFiddes, Sironen, Suli, McCormack, Karwhin, Jacobs tries; Bartley 4/8, Ioelu 1/2 goals) defeated Canberra 16 (Woolford, Cotric, Parsons tries; Woolford 1/2, Parsons 1/1 goals)