Wests Tigers fans were treated to a thrilling last-minute victory on Sunday when Malakai Watene-Zelezniak crossed to give the home side a 30-26 win over Manly.
Down by 14 points at half-time, it was the biggest comeback in over seven years for the Club, and certainly a night that few at the ground will ever forget. But while it was no doubt an incredible evening, where does it rank amongst our best last minute wins?
We’ve gone back through the archives and come up with our Top Five Last-Minute Victories, with the Top Five at Five proudly brought to you as always by ShareCare.
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Honourable Mention — Wests Tigers 29 def. Cronulla Sharks 28 (2007)
Plenty of Golden Point games didn’t make this list — which were very tough to leave out — but we had to include this one from 2007 as a 79th minute field goal from Robbie Farah gave Wests Tigers a 29-28 win over the Sharks. Down 18-4 at the break, Tim Sheens’ side incredibly took the lead in the second half with four tries in 13 minutes, before two late tries to the home side leveled the match up once again. Luke Covell had a chance to win the match with his sideline conversion but was unable to land the extras, allowing Farah to step up with 55 seconds on the clock and give his side the victory.
5. 2015 — Wests Tigers 19 def. Gold Coast Titans 18
Looking to kick off the 2015 season under new Coach Jason Taylor on a positive note, Wests Tigers made the tough trip up to Cbus Super Stadium to face the Gold Coast Titans, and once again found themselves locked in a tight battle against the hosts. With the game winding down, an error from the Titans gave Wests Tigers one final set to try and steal the win, with the pass going from Luke Brooks to Pat Richards after the siren. Richards calmly slotted the 30m field goal — his first in Wests Tigers colours — to give the visitors an incredible 19-18 victory, earning himself the nickname “Iceman”.
4. 2017 — Wests Tigers 30 def. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 26
Those there on Sunday afternoon won’t be forgetting this one any time soon, with a stirring second half comeback against top four hopefuls in the Sea Eagles giving Ivan Cleary’s side a much-needed victory. Two intercepts to David Nofoaluma changed the game for the home side, before tries to Tui Lolohea and Sauaso Sue pulled Wests Tigers within two points for the final few minutes. A shift to the left and Malakai Watene-Zelezniak dived over — taking Wests Tigers off the bottom of the ladder once again.
3. 2013 — Wests Tigers 22 def. North Queensland Cowboys 20
Having lost seven in a row heading in to a clash against a strong Cowboys side, few gave Wests Tigers a hope of winning their Round 11 clash at Leichhardt Oval — particularly when torrential rain poured down for the entire contest. However, with a minute on the clock, a young David Nofoaluma (playing in just his second NRL game) dived over for an acrobatic finish in the corner — sending the small crowd on the night into raptures.
2. 2012 — Wests Tigers 17 def. Cronulla Sharks 16
Another memorable one at Leichhardt Oval — this time to open the 2012 season after bitterly dropping out of the 2011 finals series. Trailing late in the contest, it was Beau Ryan who crossed late to send the game in to Golden Point, before Benji Marshall stepped up and drilled a long-range field goal to give the home side the victory.
1. 2005 — Wests Tigers 37 def. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 36
But if we’re talking last-minute victories, our 37-36 win over the Bulldogs on the Easter weekend in 2005 has to rank as one of the best of all time. Fighting back from 18-6 down to lead the defending premiers 36-18 with 13 minutes remaining, Wests Tigers look to have the game in the bag before Braith Anasta and Hazem El Masri stepped up to incredibly level the match at 36-all in the 79th minute. However, the incredible was only just beginning as Wests Tigers somehow got the ball back off the kickoff — allowing Scott Prince to step up and drill a field goal to give Wests Tigers a remarkable victory.