Wests Tigers have turned in a dominant display in their Holden Cup Elimination Final today, demolishing Parramatta 54-24 at Allianz Stadium.
The Willie Peters’ coached side finished the season in sixth-place and subsequently ended the Eels’ season today with a ten-try effort.
Jacob Liddle, Obed Karwhin, Pio Sokobalava and Roman Ioelu were amongst the best performers, with the side now set to face the North Queensland Cowboys next weekend in another do-or-die match.
Two very early opportunities went begging for Wests Tigers, with Esan Marsters ruled offside from a grubber and Jakob Giles being denied moments later from another kick with a knock-on in the lead-up.
Parramatta made them pay soon after with left centre Atini Gafa snaring first points of the day from a short-ball close to the line.
Michael Doolan converted the try and the Eels went out to a 6-0 lead after just 11 minutes.
With Wests Tigers still on the back foot, Parramatta fullback Mason Cerruto spilled a cut-out pass right into the hands of Obed Karwhin who raced 90 metres down-field to score very much against the run of play.
Ioelu nailed the conversion from the sideline to even the scores at 6-all after 17 minutes.
Wests Tigers continued their roll-on down field, with Esan Marsters showing his strength to shake-off the Eels defender and throw a great pass to Ioelu who dived over in the corner.
The speedy winger was unable to convert his own try, however Wests Tigers went ahead for the first time 10-6 after 22 minutes.
On the very next set Karwhin was at it again, finding space down the flank and grubbering behind the fullback with his centre Toa Mata’afa diving on the loose ball to score a great try.
Ioelu’s conversion was again waved away from near touch, with Wests Tigers racing out to a 14-6 lead after 25 minutes of play.
Ioelu continued his strong involvement early in this match, this time showing great speed and agility to speed his way over the try-line and converted his own try to make it 20-6 after 30 minutes.
The one-way traffic continued when Mata’afa went in for his second try of the day, with some nice lead-up play from Sokobalava and Mark McCormack setting him up.
Ioelu converted the try with Wests Tigers holding a commanding 26-6 lead with just five minutes to play before the half-time break.
The momentum completely changed just before the break as the Eels ran in two very quick tries to claw their way back into the game, with Tuimavave Afualo and Cerruto scoring to peg it back to 26-18.
Wests Tigers came out in the second half with all guns blazing, with Daniel Roberts nailing a 40/20 and McCormack crashing over to score just two tackles later.
Ioelu added the two extra points with the conversion and Wests Tigers went out to a 32-18 lead.
From there, Wests Tigers went in for three consecutive tries to Tony Tali, Luke Sharpe and Liddle – all in the space of 12 minutes – to make it an overwhelming 48-18 scoreline after just 65 minutes.
Parramatta ran in a consolation try in the 71st minute, with Doolan scoring off a scrum for the Eels and converting his own try to make it 48-24.
Marsters put the icing on the cake in the 77th minute, strolling over for a try of his own on the left edge, as Ioelu’s conversion took the final score out to 54-24.
Wests Tigers 54 (Mata’afa 2, Ioelu 2, Karwhin, McCormack, Sharpe, Tali, Liddle, Marsters tries; Ioelu 7/10 goals) defeated Parramatta 24 (Afualo, Cerruto, Gafa, Doolan tries; Doolan 4/4 goals)