Wests Tigers Holden Cup side have gone down 20-14 to the Sydney Roosters in their Round 13 catch-up game on Wednesday night at Leichhardt Oval.
Boosted by the inclusion of Junior Kiwi forward Esan Marsters for the clash, Wests Tigers trailed from start to finish in the match, and despite threatening to take the lead late in the second, were unable to get the better of their opponents on the night.
The result sees Wests Tigers Holden Cup sit in seventh after 18 rounds of competition.
After losing prop forward Siaosi Nasilai to concussion in the opening set of the game, Wests Tigers soon found themselves behind on the scoreboard not long after when Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck finished off a strong right edge move in the corner.
Jesse Marschke couldn’t convert, leaving the score at 4-0 after six minutes.
The Roosters would extend their lead after 13 minutes when prop Ben Thomas crashed over under the posts, with Marshcke converting to give the Tricolours a 10-0 advantage.
Wests Tigers would peg one back after 25 minutes when a late offload from Marsters found Roman Ioelu in support, with the fullback evading two to score under the posts.
Veiru Mapesone had no problems converting to reduce the Roosters’ lead to 10-6.
Mapesone almost put the visitors in front when he regathered his chip-and-chase close to the line, but a superb cover tackle denied the five-eighth from crossing the line.
That would see the Roosters take their 10-6 lead into the half-time sheds at Leichhardt.
Off the back of an intercept from his opposite winger, Tuivasa-Sheck would restore the home side’s two-try lead with an acrobatic finish in the corner after 50 minutes.
Marschke’s wayward conversion would leave the scoreline at 14-6.
Mapesone would cut the lead further when he crashed over out wide after 60 minutes to make it 14-10 in favour of the Roosters, but a fortuitous bounce and regather saw the home side pull back in front through Jarred Anderson — taking the score to 20-10.
Wests Tigers would set the match up for a grandstand finish when a big run from Marsters saw Victor Radley sent to the sin-bin and Jesse Jackson crash over with five minutes remaining in the match, but they would be unable to complete the comeback as the Roosters held on for a 20-14 victory as ugly scenes erupted in the final minute of play.
NYC FULL TIME — Roosters 20 (Tuivasa-Sheck 2, Thomas, Anderson tries; Marschke 2/4 goals) def. Wests Tigers 14 (Ioelu, Mapesone, Jackson tries; Mapesone 1/3 goals)