Wests Tigers have suffered a 40-12 defeat to the Parramatta Eels at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The home side scored six tries to two to inflict Michael Maguire’s men with their first loss in three weeks.
A controversial second-half sin-binning of Shawn Blore proved costly for Wests Tigers with the Eels scoring three tries in the space of 10 minutes to put the game out of reach.
The loss was also compounded with Adam Doueihi failing to finish the match after being hit in the head by Eels winger Maika Sivo, who was sent to the sin bin, while David Nofoaluma suffered an ankle injury.
After Moses Mbye was ruled out at captain’s run with a knee injury, Billy Walters played his first game since suffering an ACL injury in Round 13 last year.
Although the five-eighth wasn’t able to celebrate his return to the top grade with victory, he did get through the match successfully.
The Eels hit the front after 13 minutes when forward Nathan Brown sent his skipper Clint Gutherson through a hole to score for a 6-0 lead.
Parramatta extended their lead to eight points after Alex Twal was deemed to interfere with Joey Lussick after the Eels hooker kicked the ball, and Mitch Moses stepped up to slot the penalty goal.
Brad Arthur’s men thought they had another try when Tom Opacic pounced on a grubber kick, but Wests Tigers fullback Daine Laurie denied the Eels centre, who dropped the ball at the goal line.
The Eels, however, were next to score with Lussick scooting from dummy-half to bag his first NRL try in four years — and Moses added the extras for a 14-0 lead after 32 minutes.
The home fans at Bankwest Stadium thought their side had another four-pointer but the Bunker had to step in to deem Moses had spilled the ball when attempting to ground it.
Wests Tigers took full advantage of the mistake, gaining multiple repeat sets to go up the other end and score through Jacob Liddle. In-form backrower Luciano Leilua created the opportunity when he found open space, before linking with halfback Luke Brooks, who sent his hooker over the line — reducing the deficit to eight at the break.
It wasn’t an ideal start to the second half for Wests Tigers with Shawn Blore being sent to the sin bin for a professional foul — and the Eels took advantage of having an extra man by scoring three tries in three consecutive sets.
Waqa Blake scored the first after Daine Laurie dropped a bomb, before Moses caused havoc down the left edge.
The halfback bagged his first try of the season with a runaway effort, before making another break and linking with winger Sivo to score.
Sivo, however, found himself in the sin bin for foul play on Doueihi, who was ruled out with concussion.
Maguire called upon his 18th man, Michael Chee Kam, who assisted James Roberts down the right edge.
Gutherson bagged his second try of the afternoon before Eels forward Isaiah Papali'I was next to find himself in the sin bin for foul play on Leilua.
Wests Tigers will now turn their attention to next Saturday night’s clash against the Melbourne Storm on the Sunshine Coast.
Parramatta Eels 40 (Gutherson 2, Lussick, Blake, Moses, Sivo tries; Moses 8/8 goals) def. Wests Tigers 12 (Liddle, Roberts tries; Doueihi 1/1; Brooks 1/1 goals) at Bankwest Stadium.
Match: Eels v Wests Tigers
Round 14 -
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney