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Match Report: Round 11 vs Canterbury Bulldogs

A strong first half has powered Wests Tigers to a 36-22 victory over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in Round 11 of the Telstra Premiership at Leichhardt Oval.

Wests Tigers kept the visitors scoreless in the first forty minutes and survived an early scare in the second half to ensure that Alex Twal could celebrate his 100th NRL match in style.

Joe Ofahengaue was responsible for the first points of the evening, sending Luke Garner through the line with a deft short pass.

Jackson Hastings then extended the home side’s lead by throwing a dummy, attracting one defender and sending Starford To’a away to score his first try in Wests Tigers colours.

Alex Twal took the field after 19 minutes and had an immediate impact in his milestone match as he accumulated 116 running metres and 39 tackles.

A swift passing shift saw Ken Maumalo cross in the left hand corner to push the lead to 14, before the Kiwi winger completed his double on the stroke of half time.

Down by eighteen, the Bulldogs kickstarted their second half resurgence with an early try to Matt Burton.

Jackson Hastings was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul in the ensuing set, allowing Jeremy Marshall-King to barge over from dummy half to cut the advantage to just six points.

Jacob Kiraz then crossed in the left corner to bring the visitors within two points of the lead.

In line with the see-sawing nature of the match, the proceedings soon took another twist as Aaron Schoupp was sent from the field for ten minutes following a dangerous tackle.

Much to the delight of the raucous home crowd, Wests Tigers capitalised on the man advantage and Fa’amanu Brown crossed for a try in his club debut.

With ten minutes to play and the result still undecided, Jock Madden spotted Matt Dufty in the defensive line and placed a perfectly-weighted chip kick into the in-goal area. 

The crafty five-eighth grounded the ball for his first NRL try before Fa’amanu Brown scored for his second four-pointer of the night to put the result beyond doubt.

The win is the third of the season for Wests Tigers and was warmly received by a strong crowd of 15,124 - the largest at Leichhardt Oval since 2019.

Having lifted the Beyond Blue Cup, Michael Maguire’s side will now turn its attention to next Saturday’s matchup against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium.

Acknowledgement of Country

Wests Tigers respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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