Wests Tigers have produced an impressive performance at Leichhardt Oval to become the first team to beat the Penrith Panthers in 2021 with a 26-6 victory in front of 9,127 fans.
The 20-point triumph is Wests Tigers first back-to-back win this season and snapped Penrith’s 27-game winning streak in regular season matches.
Michael Maguire’s men scored four tries to one to ensure the side’s fifth win of the season — as they moved to within one win of the top eight.
Wests Tigers became the first team to keep Penrith scoreless in the opening 40 minutes this season as Michael Maguire’s men scored 10 unanswered points in the first half.
It was a former Panther who bagged the opening try of the night when gun fullback Daine Laurie finished off a lovely sweep to the left for a 6-0 lead after 16 minutes.
Not only was Laurie scoring tries, but he was also saving them up the other end — stopping a certain four-pointers when he pushed winger Charlie Staines into touch, and then pulled down Robert Jennings close to the line.
Wests Tigers were impressive in defence throughout the first half as they stopped multiple Penrith raids, and were rewarded for their efforts when Jacob Liddle ran nearly the length of the field to score. The hooker trapped the ball from a Dylan Edwards kicked, picked up the ball and ran 93 metres to extend the home side’s lead to 10-0.
The away side thought they had reduced the deficit to four just after half-time when former Wests Tigers forward Matt Eisenhuth pounced on a Tyrone May grubber, however the Bunker intervened when they spotted a player taken out.
The Panthers, however, found their first try of the night with 27 minutes remaining when Matt Burton cleaned up a sloppy last tackle play to cross.
Wests Tigers extended their lead to 12 points when Luciano Leilua was awarded a penalty try after he was hit high by Robert Jennings when attempting to ground the ball.
Adam Doueihi landed a penalty goal and Stefano Utoikamanu bagged a late try to seal the result for the home side.
Wests Tigers 20 (Laurie, Liddle, Leilua tries Utoikamanu; Doueihi 5/6 goals) def. Penrith Panthers 6 (Burton try; Crichton 1/1 goal) at Leichhardt Oval.
Match: Wests Tigers v Panthers
Round 13 -
Venue: Leichhardt Oval, Sydney