Wests Tigers Intrust Super Premiership side have suffered a heavy 36-0 defeat against the New Zealand Warriors today in their Round 3 clash at Campbelltown Stadium.
After two big defeats to begin the season, Wests Tigers were unable to match it with the unbeaten Warriors, going down in a 36-point defeat in wet and windy conditions.
Matt Ballin's first start since suffering a season-ending knee injury last year was one of the few positives in a tough afternoon for Wests Tigers, playing big minutes in his second game back from injury — providing plenty of energy in attack and defence.
Jordan Grant was also strong in adding some spark off the bench for the home side.
New Zealand opened the scoring through young winger Junior Pauga, who took advantage of a right-edge shift to dive over in the corner after just eight minutes of play.
Mason Lino was unable to add the extras from out wide, leaving the score at 4-0.
Off the back of consecutive penalties, Wests Tigers looked to hit back with several good attacking sets, but were unable to find the final pass to unlock the Warriors’ defence.
That would prove costly for the home side as an error from Watson Heleta returning a kick allowed Matthew Allwood to touch down out wide, extending the lead to 10-0.
After both Ballin and Jayden Wheelhouse were stopped in their efforts to bring Wests Tigers back into the contest, the Warriors were proving far too clinical in their attack, as Semisi Fotu and Pauga both found the try-line minutes before the half-time break.
Lino’s sharp goal-kicking would give the Warriors a deserved 20-0 lead at half-time.
Needing to begin the second half strong to work back into the game, an error in the opening set from Justin Hunt would give the Warriors early field position, with Taniela Palavi crashing through some flimsy defence to score under the posts.
Lino’s simple conversion gave the visitors a commanding 26-0 lead after 43 minutes.
As errors and missed tackles continued to plague Wests Tigers, the Warriors would blow the game open with tries to Chance Nicol-Klokstad and Isaiah Papali’I — extending their lead to 36-0 with just under 20 minutes remaining in the second half.
With the Warriors threatening to run away with the game further in the final stanza, Wests Tigers showed good resilience on their own line to hold the visitors at bay, but it was far too little too late for David Heath’s side as they recorded a third straight defeat.
FULL TIME — New Zealand Warriors 36 (Pauga 2, Allwood, Fotu, Palavi, Nicol-Klokstad, Papali’I tries; Lino 4/7 goals) def. Wests Tigers 0 at Campbelltown Sports Stadium