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Around the Grounds: Round 15

It was a limited weekend of action for Wests Tigers with only three of the club's four major teams taking to the field following a COVID-related postponement against Victoria in Jersey Flegg.

Western Suburbs ended their two-game losing streak with a hard-earned point against Newcastle in wet and windy conditions at Lidcombe Oval on Saturday, while the NSW Women's Premiership side went down to the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Despite the defeat, Wests Tigers will still finish in the finals for the women's competition, with an Elimination Final against Cronulla the most likely fixture following the women's State of Origin match next weekend.

It was a tough finish to the weekend as the NRL side suffered a heavy defeat to the Melbourne Storm on the Sunshine Coast Stadium — the 66 points scored against the equal most conceded by a team in Wests Tigers history.

NRL Telstra Premiership

The red-hot ladder-leading Melbourne Storm flew out of the blocks to chalk up a dominant 66-16 win over Wests Tigers on the Sunshine Cast.

Falling behind from the opening set of the game, it was one-way traffic from start to finish as the Storm ran riot with the ball in hand — crossing for seven first half tries to pave the way for a remarkably lopsided 66-16 victory.

Tommy Talau, Luke Garner and David Nofoaluma crossed for the visitors but it was nowhere near good enough to match the attacking masterclass produced by the home side, who scored 12 tries in an overall comprehensive performance.

Melbourne Storm 66 (Hughes 2, R.Smith 2, Hynes, Munster, Finucane, Asofa-Solomona, B.Smith, Kaufusi tries; Hynes 9/12 goals) def. Wests Tigers 16 (Talau, Garner, Nofoaluma tries; Brooks 2/3 goals) at Sunshine Coast Stadium

Knock-On Effect NSW Cup

Heading into the contest winless in their past two matches, Western Suburbs eeked out a 14-14 draw against Newcastle in torrid conditions in Sydney.

Allan Fitzgibbon and Jock Madden both crossed for first half tries to give the hosts the lead but Billy Walters' sin-binning allowed the Knights back into the contest — Gehamat Shibasaki crossing to level the match at the break.

With points hard to come by in the second half, Madden and McKenzie Baker would exchange penalty goals to take the score to 14-14, before wayward field goal attempts late on ensured the points remained shared on the day.

Western Suburbs will be looking to bounce back into the winner's circle following next week's representative round when they face the South Sydney Rabbitohs as part of a three-game program at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday, 4th July.

Western Suburbs 14 (Fitzgibbon, Madden tries; Madden 3/3 goals) drew with Newcastle Knights 14 (Baker, Shibasaki tries; Baker 3/3 goals) at Lidcombe Oval

Harvey Norman NSW Women's Premiership

It was a tough way to end the regular season for Wests Tigers in the Harvey Norman NSW Women's Premiership competition, going down 14-0 at home to the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Missing star fullback Botille Vette-Welsh due to State of Origin commitments, Wests Tigers fell behind early to two tries inside the opening 13 minutes and never recovered — failing to trouble the scorers for just the second time this season.

With finals commencing after the women's Origin match, Wests Tigers will most likely be drawn against the third-placed Sharks side, with final details to be confirmed at the completion of the round.

South Sydney Rabbitohs 14 (Perugini, Donovan, Caine tries; Kelly 1/3 goals) def. Wests Tigers 0 at Lidcombe Oval

Jersey Flegg

Wests Tigers' clash against the Victoria Thunderbolts was postponed in Round 15, with Wayne Lambkin's men still undefeated past the midway point of the year.

With the best attacking and defensive record in the competition, Wayne Lambkin's side will enjoy an additional break now heading into the representative round weekend before returning to action on Sunday, 4th July as part of a three-game triple-header against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Leichhardt Oval.