In the biggest win of the season to date, the Wests Tigers showed they were back in form with a massive 50 – 6 victory ahead of the New Zealand Warriors at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Saturday.
After a mid-season slump losing four successive games, the Tigers look dangerous once more now with two victories in a row and have moved up into the sixth spot on the NRL ladder; their victory on Friday night thanks to a double from veteran Lote Tuqiri and an impressive hat-trick from the explosive Geoff Daniela.
It was also a great comeback as the Tigers had 50 points scored against them a fortnight earlier when the Rabbitohs thrashed them 50 – 10.
New Zealand were coming off two strong wins at home before their embarrassing loss on Friday night, showing their inconsistency when playing outside of Auckland.
The Tigers began their brilliant nine-tries-to-one victory eight minutes in when fullback Beau Ryan scored, but Marshall missed the kick and they lead by four.
The Warriors were next over the line when Joel Moon scored their sole match try in the 26th minute, and after Brett Seymour converted New Zealand lead by two, the only time they would hold the lead.
Just when it looked as though the Warriors might head into the break as the leaders, the Tigers pulled out a show stopping final three minutes of the first half scoring twice more before the siren.
Lote Tuqiri was first over scoring his first try of an eventual match double in the 34th minute, this was followed with a Robbie Farah try in the final minute of the first half. Benji Marshall kicked both this time and the Tigers stormed in front, leading 16 – 6 going into half-time.
Back from the break it was more of the same brilliant attacking from the home side as the in-form Geoff Daniela, former centre for Penrith, scored three successive tries in 11 minutes putting his stamp on the game.
He scored in the 45th, 48th and 56th minutes, the first after promising prop Andrew Fifita made a great break getting through two New Zealand defenders, with Marshall converting three from three to extend their lead to a very comfortable 34 – 8. Unfortunately after his dazzling display Daniela came off later in the game with a possible neck injury.
Just two minutes later Chris Lawrence put the result beyond doubt with a 58th minute try. Before the games end the Warriors were further embarrassed as the Tigers had their run of the field, enjoying two final tries.
Mark Flanagan scored in the 67th minute and then Tuqiri went out with a bang completing his match double three minutes from time giving the Tigers a total 50 points.
This weekend the Wests Tigers should prevail over the Bulldogs in the round opener on Friday night, while the Warriors have another home game where they host the mighty Dragons. To back the Tigers or get behind the Dragons for their 10th win this season head to Ladbrokes.com.au!