Wests Tigers will play their first home game of season 2017 at Leichhardt Oval this Sunday — an all-important clash against the top-of-the-table Melbourne Storm.
And as they say, there's something special about a Sunday afternoon at Leichhardt.
We count down our Top 5 Sunday afternoons at Leichhardt, thanks to Share Care!
5. Round 20, 2005 — Wests Tigers 42 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 20
Having won three in a row heading into a Round 20 showdown against the Rabbitohs, a record crowd of 22,877 watched as Wests Tigers made it four wins in a row for the first time in Club history — charging into the finals for what would be a memorable finish. Leading 24-6 at half-time thanks to a strong performance across the board, the home side showed no mercy for their opponents as the vocal crowd cheered them on — cruising towards a dominant 22-point victory that would keep Wests Tigers' magical winning run alive.
4. Round 7, 2004 — Wests Tigers 30 def. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 22
Having lost five games in a row prior to their trip to Leichhardt Oval, the Sea Eagles were determined to turn their form around against Wests Tigers, and found themselves heading into the half-time sheds leading 12-8. The result appeared destined to head the way of the visitors when Wests Tigers halfback Ben Reynolds broke his ankle midway through the second half, but a surprising halves combination of Scott Prince and Ben Galea guided the home side back into the contest. Tries to big men Bryce Gibbs and Jeff Lima — who was on debut — allowed Wests Tigers to sensationally take the lead late in the match, before John Skandalis put John Wilson away to score and secure victory for Coach Tim Sheens in his 450th first-grade match as a Coach.
3. Round 5, 2014 — Wests Tigers 34 def. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 18
Despite driving rain and wind making miserable conditions at Leichhardt Oval, Wests Tigers had a day to remember against the Sea Eagles in 2014 — blowing away the visitors to lead 26-6 at half-time. Not phased by losing fullback James Tedesco to an ankle injury in the first half, David Nofoaluma crossed for his second career double against the Sea Eagles and Pat Richards booted seven from seven in tough conditions to give the home side a comprehensive 16-point victory that temporarily took them to the top of the NRL ladder.
2. Round 22, 2016 — Wests Tigers 26 def. North Queensland Cowboys 14
Needing to win to keep their hopes at a top eight finish alive, Wests Tigers came up against a North Queensland side looking to make the top four and boosted by the return of halfback Jonathan Thurston. Heading into half-time leading 12-6, both teams remained locked in battle until Sauaso Sue burst through with 10 minutes to go — sending the Leichhardt Oval crowd into raptures — before James Tedesco produced one of the tries of the season to cross next to the posts and seal a 12-point victory for the home side.
1. Round 1, 2012 — Wests Tigers 17 def. Cronulla Sharks 16
It was a game that had everything. A season opener fuelled by the disappointment of the 2011 finals exit; a devastating injury to fullback James Tedesco on debut; a memorable Golden Point finish that the home fans will remember for years to come. Trailing 6-0 inside the opening two minutes after a try to Beau Ryan, Cronulla would show great determination to fight back in the contest, with Todd Carney guiding the Sharks to a 16-12 lead with five minutes remaining. However, running the ball on last tackle, Wests Tigers would come up with the crucial four-pointer through Ryan, who showed remarkable skill and agility to regather his own grubber kick just before the dead-ball line. And after missing the potential game-winning conversion, it would be Benji Marshall who walked away the hero for Wests Tigers — keeping his goal in Golden Point to steer home a field goal and ensure a season-opening victory for the home side.