Wests Tigers Intrust Super Premiership side have fought back from an early deficit to defeat the North Sydney Bears 36-18 in their Round 9 clash on Saturday afternoon.
Heading to Moss Vale as part of NSWRL’s Country Round, Paul Stringer’s side had a number of late changes following Thursday night’s victory in first-grade, with captain Asipeli Fine returning to the side after playing against the South Sydney Rabbitohs
Josh Addo-Carr was also a late withdrawal after suffering a groin strain last week against Wentworthville, with Holden Cup winger Obed Karwhin promoted to the side.
Wests Tigers began the match in impressive fashion, forcing the Bears deep in their own territory with a number of repeat sets. North Sydney eventually cracked in the ninth minute, with hooker Manaia Cherrington dummying and crashing over from close range, with Josh Drinkwater’s successful conversion giving his side an early 6-0 advantage.
After a back-and-forth period of the first half, it would be North Sydney who eventually leveled the score in the 30th minute when Michael Oldfield found his way over the line.
Former Wests Tigers Holden Cup halfback Eli Levido added the extras to take the score to 6-6, and it wouldn’t take long before the Bears were in again, with Piki Rogers darting over in the 32nd minute to give North Sydney a somewhat surprising 12-6 lead.
It appeared the score would remain as such heading into half-time, but some good defence from Stringer’s side brought about an error from North Sydney, with Rod Griffin and Drinkwater combining to put Karwhin over in the corner as the siren sounded.
Drinkwater was unable to convert from the sideline to make it 12-10 at the break.
Wests Tigers came out firing to start the second half, with fullback Justin Hunt putting through a good kick for Karwhin to grab his second try of the match after 44 mintes.
Drinkwater’s sideline conversion was waved away, but the halfback would soon make amends with a lovely run and short ball to put Jackson Williams over the line in the following set — converting from close to the posts to give his side a 20-12 lead.
After some more strong defence, Wests Tigers would pull further in front in the 59th minute when some a strong back-line move to the right saw Chance Peni diver over for a simple finish, with Drinkwater’s conversion taking his side’s lead out to 26-12.
Tyler Cassel put the result beyond doubt with eight minutes remaining when he proved too strong close to the line, with Wests Tigers extending their lead to 30-12.
Cassel would grab a second in the dying moments of the match, and finished off a superb few minutes by adding a goal to take the final score out to 36-12 and make it 26 unanswered points.
Oldfield would grab his second try of the afternoon on the siren, flying down the left wing to score, but it would be all in vain as Wests Tigers ran out eventual 36-18 victors.
ISP FULL TIME — Wests Tigers 36 (Cassel 2, Karwhin 2, Cherrington, Williams, Peni tries; Drinkwater 4/7 goals) def. North Sydney Bears 18 (Oldfield 2, Rogers tries; Levido 3/3 goals)
Wests Tigers Team List
1. Justin Hunt 20. Obed Karwhin 3. Nathan Milone 4. Chance Peni 5. Watson Heleta 6. Jack Littlejohn 7. Josh Drinkwater 8. Rod Griffin 9. Manaia Cherrington 10. Jordan Grant 17. Tyler Cassel 12. Asipeli Fine 13. Joel Edwards (Interchange: 15. Dallas Graham 16. Wesley Lolo 18. Matthew Eisenhuth 22. Jackson Williams) — Coach: Paul Stringer