Wests Tigers have returned to the winner’s circle with a 16-8 triumph against St George Illawarra Dragons at WIN Stadium.
Michael Maguire’s men dominated the second half with a mountain of possession and field position, scoring two tries to none in the final 40 minutes to record their second win of the season.
Entertaining winger Zac Cini was impressive on debut and his try early in the second half will be a moment he’ll never forget.
After being denied earlier in the half when the Bunker was forced to take a try off the debutant, Cini managed to score in the left corner to give Wests Tigers the lead and send his family and friends into wild celebrations in the stands.
The winger, who looked comfortable in the top grade, finished with 153 metres and two line-breaks, as well as a breathtaking try-saver in his first career game.
Joey Leilua bagged his first try of the season in his return game to first grade when fullback Daine Laurie sent him over the line to give Wests Tigers an eight-point lead.
The first half was littered with mistakes from both sides as the Dragons held an 8-6 lead at the break.
It wasn’t an ideal start for Wests Tigers with the home side gaining a 6-0 lead in the opening 10 minutes of the game with Zac Lomax slotting a penalty goal before Cody Ramsey scored in the left corner.
Tommy Talau was placed on report for a shoulder charge in the lead up to the game’s opening try.
The Dragons dropped the ball off the kickoff, allowing Wests Tigers to build plenty of pressure with five consecutive attacking sets, but weren’t able to crack a wall of defence.
Tommy Talau stepped up to bring the away side back in the game with two big plays. The first being a big hit to gain possession before scoring up the other end after David Nofoaluma bathed the ball to his team-mate to score.
After the Red V lost representative centre Zac Lomax to a suspected broken thumb throughout the first half, Corey Norman took over the goal-kicking duties and landed a penalty goal for an 8-6 lead.
Wests Tigers will be looking for back-to-back wins when they face the Gold Coast Titans at Campbelltown Sports Stadium next Saturday.
Match: Dragons v Wests Tigers
Round 8 -
Venue: WIN Stadium, Wollongong