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Throwback Thursday: Wests Tigers vs Parramatta Eels

After playing in the Warriors’ emotional return to New Zealand, Wests Tigers will enjoy a homecoming of their own on Saturday as they host the Parramatta Eels at Leichhardt Oval.

Wests Tigers have played more games against the Eels than any other club, but only five of these clashes have been played at the ground affectionately known as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’.

In those five matches, the home side has emerged victorious on three occasions and only lost once.

As Brett Kimmorley prepares his troops for Saturday’s battle, we’re partnering with Boomer Home Loans to go back and revisit two of the club’s most memorable clashes against the Parramatta Eels.

The last time that Parramatta travelled down the M4 to Leichhardt Oval was in 2013, with the home side recording a dominant 31-18 victory.

A break from Benji Marshall put the hosts onto the attack early in the match, with the Kiwi maestro throwing a short pass to Chris Lawrence for the opening try of the match.

It wasn’t long before Lawrence had his second, running over Chris Sandow after receiving another short ball from a different Wests Tigers legend in Robbie Farah.

Blake Ayshford soon extended the lead to eighteen points before a try-saving tackle from Farah denied Jacob Loko, ensuring that the visitors would remain scoreless at halftime.

After the break, Benji Marshall scored a remarkable four-pointer by taking a quick tap against a clueless Parramatta defence and running eighty metres down the middle of the field to plant the ball under the posts.

Tim Moltzen then capitalised on an error from the Eels in their own in-goal area before halfback Jacob Miller slotted a field goal to put the result beyond doubt in front of a raucous home crowd.

If Wests Tigers need any motivation for Saturday’s clash, they need not look any further than their previous match against Parramatta earlier this year.

Searching for their first victory of the season, the visitors got away to a strong start as Luciano Leilua rolled over the tryline for the first points of the afternoon.

Clint Gutherson then hit back for the Eels, but it wasn’t long before David Nofoaluma muscled his way over the line in front of 28,000 spectators at CommBank Stadium.

Jackson Hastings soon gave Nofoaluma his second try with a tantalising chip kick, before Daine Laurie sent Wests Tigers fans into raptures with a driving tackle on Clint Gutherson.

Laurie delivered the final pass for Ken Maumalo to score the opening try of the second half, which provided the away side with a ten point lead.

Tries to Dylan Brown and Marata Niukore tied the match with ten minutes to go, with all signs pointing towards a Golden Point thriller.

However, Jackson Hastings stepped up as time expired to kick a long-range field goal and secure the win in what could only be described as an Easter Monday miracle.

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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