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Around the Ground: Round 5

On a special day at Leichhardt Oval as the club celebrated the life of the great late Tommy Raudonikis, all four Wests Tigers grades were in action in a jammed-packed day of rugby league.

The day had a little bit of everything — including two wins for the home side, a thrilling draw and a number of stunning comebacks.

Although the NRL side couldn’t leave Leichhardt with two competition points, there were a number of positive signs for the lower grades as the Knock-On Effect NSW Cup and Jersey Flegg sides consolidated second place on the ladder, while the Women’s Premiership team recorded an impressive win.

NRL Telstra Premiership

Wests Tigers rallied in the second half with five tries in the final 40 minutes, however a 28-6 first-half deficit was too much to come back from.

On a day where the club was celebrating the life of the late Tommy Raudonikis at Leichhardt Oval, Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire was frustrated by the output of his players.

2021 Match Highlights: Rd.5, Wests Tigers vs. Cowboys

“I’ll have a look at the video because that’s definitely not what the Wests Tigers are about,” Maguire said after the game.

“Defensively we aren’t where we need to be … defence is about attitude. It wasn’t good enough. We conceded 34 points — that’s not good enough.

“There’s a lot of improvement need from what we saw out there.”

North Queensland Cowboys 34 (Taulagi 2, Tabuai-Fidow, Drinkwater, Condon, Burr tries; Holmes 5/6 goals) def. Wests Tigers 30 (Laurie, L Leilua, Garner, Nofoaluma, Talau, Ofahengaue tries; Doueihi 3/6 goals)

Knock-On Effect NSW Cup

Western Suburbs Magpies extended their winning streak to three with a 34-14 triumph against Mounties.

The 20-point victory lifted the home side to second on the ladder following five rounds.

With the number seven jersey retired for the afternoon to honour the Raudonikis, halfback Jock Madden wore number 22 on his back and had an afternoon to remember as he scored a try and had a hand in three others, as well as kicking five goals.

Exciting dummy half Jake Simpkin also had an impressive game as he scored his sixth try in five games, while Zach Dockar-Clay showed positive signs at five-eighth.

The Magpies will be aiming for their fourth-consecutive win when they travel to Stadium Australia to face South Sydney on Saturday.

Western Suburbs Magpies 34 (Madden, Fitzgibbon, Hoffman, Dockar-Clay, Rogers-Smith, Simpkin tries; Madden 5/6 goals) def. Mounties 14 (Manu 2, Schoupp tries; Schoupp 1/3 goals).

Jersey Flegg

Wests Tigers Jersey Flegg have kept their unbeaten start to the season alive with a thrilling 24-all draw against Canterbury-Bankstown at Leichhardt Oval.

The Bulldogs scored three late tries to set up a grandstand finish in the second of four games at the iconic venue, and a last-minute four-pointer to Bulldogs' Kurtis Morrin ensured the competition points would be split. 

The draw keeps the U/21’s team second on the ladder following five rounds. 

Speedy fullback Logen Dillon had an impressive outing as he bagged a hat-trick while producing a number of classy touches.

The team will now turn their attention to Saturday’s clash against South Sydney — which will be the curtain raiser to the NRL match at Stadium Australia.

Wests Tigers 24 (Dillon 3, Scolari, Alexander tries; Stevanovic 2/5 goals) drew with Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 24 (Morrin 2, Williams, Manowski tries; Clark 4/4 goals).

Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership

Wests Tigers kicked-off a big day at Leichhardt Oval in style with a 20-16 win against St Marys in the Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership.

St Marys scored two late tries to set up a thrilling finish, however Wests Tigers held on for a four-point victory — their second triumph from three games this season.

The win, however, came at a cost with representative five-eighth Raecene McGregor suffering a significant shoulder injury in the second half.

Captain Botille Vette-Welsh had an impressive outing as she scored a try and had a hand in a couple, as well as producing some stunning try-saving tackles at the other end.

Wests Tigers winger Rebecca Pollard scored a second-half double in the space of five minutes to seal the result.

The Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership side will enjoy a weekend off with a bye scheduled for Round 6.

Wests Tigers 20 (Pollard 2, P McGregor, Vette-Welsh tries; Curtain 2/5 goals) def. St Marys 16 (Pio, Kennedy, Collins tries; Harrison 2/3 goals).