Wests Tigers have celebrated Indigenous Round in style with a 34-18 win over St George Illawarra Dragons at Bankwest Stadium.
Indigenous stars James Roberts scored a double, while Daine Laurie also crossed on a special night for the game as the club recognised past and present Indigenous players.
Roberts — who was playing his first game in a month — was impressive on his return from injury, while halves Luke Brooks and Moses Mbye both excelled throughout the 80 minutes.
Michael Maguire’s men scored six tries to three to make it a perfect two wins from two matches against the Dragons and climb to just one win outside the top eight following the Round 12 clash.
Wests Tigers were impressive in the opening 40 minutes as they led 18-0 at the break, and even received a standing ovation as they left the field.
It was fitting that Indigenous star Roberts scored the opening try on such a special night — his first four-pointer in Wests Tigers colours — when he collected a ball from Adam Doueihi to cross down the right edge after 16 minutes.
Jimmy the Jet is back into the team and back scoring tries
The celebrations continued with winger David Nofoaluma bagging the next try in his first home game after celebrating his 250th NRL game last Friday night.
It was then fitting that Indigenous young gun Laurie crossed after Luke Brooks sent Tommy Talau through the line, who linked up with his fullback to score under the posts for an 18-0 lead.
Wests Tigers left edge comes to life
It wasn’t an ideal start for the home side after the break with hooker Jacob Liddle leaving the field for a HIA, and Brayden Wiliame scored off the ensuing set for the Dragons to close the deficit to 12 points.
Wests Tigers regained their three-converted-try lead when Alex Seyfarth came down with the ball to score his first ever NRL try following a cross-field chip kick.
Laurie continued his impressive form with a delightful cut-out ball for Talau, who scored untouched down the left for a 28-6 lead with 20 minutes remaining.
Roberts scored his second try of the night with 18 minutes left on the clock when Doueihi found his winger down the right.
Dragons halfback Ben Hunt and utility Talatau Amone scored late consolation tries for the visitors, but the home side recorded their fourth win of the season.
Wests Tigers will be aiming for back-to-back wins for the first time this season when they host the ladder-leading Penrith Panthers at Leichhardt Oval next Friday night.
Wests Tigers 34 (Roberts 2, Nofoaluma, Laurie, Seyfarth, Talau tries; Doueihi 5/6 goals) def. St George Illawarra Dragons 18 (Wiliame, Norman, Amone tries; Norman 3/3 goal) at Bankwest Stadium.
Match: Wests Tigers v Dragons
Round 12 -
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney