Wests Tigers have battled bravely against a mounting injury toll but ultimately gone down 26-16 to the top-of-the-table Parramatta Eels in their Round 11 clash tonight at Bankwest Stadium.
Having started fast to lead the Eels 12-4 after 18 minutes, Michael Maguire's men were dealt a tough blow with Michael Chee Kam stretchered off after 27 minutes following a nasty concussion that saw him eventually taken to hospital.
Concussions to Adam Doueihi and Sam McIntyre in quick succession to start the second half made the going extremely difficult for Wests Tigers — who refused to go away and kept themselves in the contest against the odds — but Parramatta would simply have too much in the end and emerged with the two competition points.
Leilua busts through Matterson and Mahoney
The loss leaves Wests Tigers still inside the top eight ahead of next week's clash against the New Zealand Warriors at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Earning a penalty in their first set of the game, it was a dream start for Maguire's side with Harry Grant sending Luciano Leilua over in the second minute of play — the edge forward's third try in his past two matches after a double last week.
Both try-scoring phenoms would soon get in on the action as Maika Sivo (10 tries for the year) and David Nofoaluma (10 tries for the year) traded tries, before a Mbye penalty goal pushed the visitors' lead to eight points inside the opening 20 minutes.
Nofoaluma dives over in the corner
The Eels would hit back shortly after, however, when Reagan Campbell-Gillard showed his pace to round several defenders and score a long-range effort, before an individual effort from Mitchell Moses just before the break put the hosts in front.
As injuries piled up for Wests Tigers to start the second half, Shaun Lane put the Eels further in front as he snared a Gutherson grubber just before the dead-ball line before the fullback then sent Sivo over for his second try of the night.
Wests Tigers would continue to fight as the class of Benji Marshall threatened the Eels' defence on a number of occasions late on, but they were unable to find the final pass with players out of position to mount a serious comeback.
Mbye would send Tommy Talau over late on to reduce the margin somewhat, but it would be too little too late for the visitors as the Eels hung on to win 26-16.
Parramatta Eels 26 (Sivo 2, Campbell-Gillard, Moses, Lane tries; Moses 3/6 goals) def. Wests Tigers 16 (Leilua, Nofoaluma, Talau tries; Mbye 2/4 goals) at Bankwest Stadium.