NRL Round 11 – Match 1 Results: Newcastle Knights 6 v 23 Wests Tigers

In a rain-drenched opening game on Friday night the going was tough for both the Knights and the Tigers, but after an 80 minute soaking it was the Wests Tigers who picked up their socks and stormed home for a gutsy win.

It was an intense first half of footy, the wet conditions making the ball slippery to hold onto and with the rain stinging their faces both teams put in their all for the first 40 minutes.

But by the end Newcastle had tiered, and the home team’s inability to match their competitors in the second half meant the Tigers happily and heroically put an end to their dismal four-match losing streak.

After Friday night’s win the Tigers find themselves just scraping into the top eight, now with an equal five wins and five losses for the season to date, while the Knights have fallen to 13th spot after suffering their seventh defeat in 2010.

Newcastle were first to put points on the board when five eight Ben Rogers scored nine minutes in after some impressive footwork, his try converted by Wes Naiqama. But despite a good start, this would be the sole try scored by the Knights who felt the pressure of playing without vital halfback Kurt Gidley.

Five minutes after Naiqama got over, Gareth Ellis opened the Tigers account, Benji Marshall converting the visitor’s only first half try, so the scoreboard was tied six all at half time.

Back from the break Wests Tigers showed they were keen to atone for their massive 50 – 10 loss to the Rabbitohs last week, and Chris Lawrence scored their second four-pointer after a scrum play five minutes into the second half.

This time Marshall missed the kick, so the visitors held a narrow four point lead.

As the clock ticked on and the stormy conditions worsened, the two teams battled on for 25 more minutes before another point was put on the board.

It came in the form of a nifty field goal by Marshall for the Tigers in the 70th minute, so that the Knights needed to score and convert if they were to take back the lead.

But unable to score again, the Knights lost all steam and with six minutes left to play, the Tigers pulled out a late burst and scored two tries before the full time whistle.

First Marshall, bouncing back from a nasty tackle by Cameron Ciraldo only 10 minutes earlier, got one between the posts in the 74th minute, converting his own try to extend the Tigers lead to 11 points.

Then in the final minute of play young centre Geoff Daniela put the icing on the cake with one last try, Marshall’s kick bringing them up to 23 points.

Following Friday’s match, Newcastle’s winger Cooper Vuna officially announced he will leave the Knights and the NRL at the end of the year, signing with rival code Rugby Union for the Melbourne Rebels.

If you think the Tigers could be back on track and like them for their home game against the Warriors this round, then jump on their odds at Ladbrokes.com.au today!