Wests Tigers Tarsha Gale team have recorded a thrilling upset victory over defending premiers Penrith Panthers today — running out 20-18 winners.
After a disappointing 2017 that saw the team finish the season winless, Wests Tigers started their second campaign in the best way possible on Saturday, with a maiden victory paving the way for what should be a promising year across all grades and competitions for Wests Tigers.
Emily Curtain was the star of the show for the visitors — scoring the first and last try of the match — while also landing all three conversions and a last minute penalty goal to steal the win.
Curtain's try in the 18th minute got the match off to the perfect start for Wests Tigers, converting to take the lead to 6-0 before Shekinah Edwards hit back for the Panthers in the 22nd minute.
In the following set, Chelsea Jones restored Wests Tigers' six-point lead with a classy finish, before Reshaun Vaughan crossed just before half-time to cut the lead to 12-10 at the break.
With just 10 minutes remaining on the clock, Dena Isaako crossed to give the defending premiers their first lead of the day, and when Malelega Lavemai touched down just two minutes later, Penrith seemed in an unassailable position. However, wayward goal-kicking from Litiani Tuifua kept the visitors in the match, and Curtain's second try of the day with just three minutes remaining set the match up for a grandstand finish.
Curtain kept her goal to slot the conversion and level the scores at 18-all, before nailing a penalty goal in the final minute of play to complete a thrilling upset for Wests Tigers and secure their first ever victory.
Wests Tigers Tarsha Gale will face a much tougher test next week when they take on Newcastle at Leichhardt Oval, with the Knights chalking up a dominant 54-10 win in their first match of the year.
Wests Tigers 20 (E. Curtain 2, Jones tries; E. Curtain 4/4 goals) def. Penrith Panthers 18 (Edwards, Vaughan, Isaako, Lavemai tries; Tuifua 1/4 goals) at Panthers Stadium