Wests Tigers Holden Cup side have battled bravely but gone down 30-22 in the end to the St. George-Illawarra Dragons this afternoon at ANZ Stadium.
Despite a strong first half that saw Wests Tigers lead 16-12 at the break, several missed opportunities in attack proved the difference for the home side, as the Dragons took advantage of their chances to emerge with a eight-point victory.
Tristian Sailor beban the game scoring in the first four minutes for the Dragon with Zachary Lomax backing him up with a conversion — giving the Dragons a 6-0 lead.
Wests Tigers kicked off their scoring in the 10th minute with a try from captain Daniel Peck under the posts. Blake Higgins followed with a conversion, making it a tied match.
Less than five minutes later Jamin Williams pushed through defenders on the right side to score in the corner, with a missed conversion from Higgins leaving the score at 10-6.
Heading into the 20th minute, Liam Pakau found a gap on the left side running the ball to score his first try of the day, with Higgins' conversion giving Wests Tigers a 16-6 lead.
Just before half-time, however, it was the Dragons who crossed for a crucial four-pointer, with Reece Robson pushing through the defence to score underneath the black dot.
Lomax's conversion cut Wests Tigers' lead to 16-12 at the break.
After a slow start to the second half, Dragons were the first to score during the 55th minute, with Jackson Williams crossing under the posts off a grubber from Sailor.
Lomax's conversion gave the Dragons their first lead of the day, 18-16.
The visitors would continue their ascendancy with Sailor grabbing his second try of the day after a one-on-one stip, before Jason Gillard got in on the scoring in the 70th minute.
Lomax's strong afternoon with the boot took the Dragons' lead out to 30-16.
Higgins restored some respectability to the scoreboard for Wests Tigers with an intercept right on full-time, but it was too little too late for Chris Hutchison's side in the end, with St. George-Illawarra running out comfortable 30-22 winners.
St. George-Illawarra Dragons 30 (Sailor 2, Robson, Williams, Gillard tries; Lomax 5/5 goals) def. Wests Tigers 22 (Higgins, Peck, Williams, Pakau tries; Higgins 3/4 goals)