The Eels look to have said goodnight to their Premiership dream after going down in a two-point thriller to the Tigers at Parramatta Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Given a chance to take the game into golden-point extra-time with a last minute penalty, veteran winger Luke Burt suffered a brain freeze and missed the kick from right in front of the sticks handing Wests the win.
It was a devastating result for the Eels who dominated in attack and attitude during the last quarter and needed to win this to stay in finals contention.
Last year’s runners-up have now dropped down into 12th spot on the ladder and with tough games against the Rabbitohs and Warriors over the next fortnight, are now only a long-shot chance of surviving for September.
The Wests Tigers, on the other hand, are in flying form and have moved up into third position having won three from their past four, Ladbrokes.com.au shortening their odds into $8 to win the Premiership.
Tigers are now an $8 chance to win the Premiership through Ladbrokes.com.au
On Sunday the Tigers were first to score when Chris Lawrence crossed in the 20th minute following an earlier disallowed try to the visitors.
Benji Marshall converted and the Wests were up 6 – 0 after the first quarter.
Just over 10 minutes later the Tigers got their second when Beau Ryan scored in the corner to extend their lead to 10 points ahead of a still scoreless Eels.
Then two minutes before the break winger Krisnan Inu got the Eels going with their first try, converted by Burt to narrow the deficit to just four points going into halftime.
Back from the break Beau Ryan made it a match double scoring his second of the night in the 47th minute to give the Tigers a bigger buffer, 14 – 6.
Wests were next to score again when Andrew Fifita got over in the 62nd minute, Marshall’s conversion giving them a seemingly comfortable 20 – 6 advantage.
Then inside the last quarter the Eels ignited hope within their fans with two tries within three minutes.
First Justin Horo scored in the 69th minute followed by Anthony Mitchell in the 72nd minute, Burt making it three from three and bringing it into a two point match.
But where Burt had been brilliant all night, when Parra were given a penalty after the Tigers stripped the ball from Mateo and Burt had a chance to tie the score seconds before the siren, he failed catastrophically.
The commentators summed it up seconds before the attempt, “Don’t count your chickens yet he hasn’t kicked this.”
From 23 metres out and just off the centre Burt, the NRL’s most accurate goal kicker with an 85% success rate, missed the kick possibly throwing out the Eels last chance to slip into the September semis.
The TAB have odds on the Tigers v Storm match this Sunday, but if you bet with them you will lose out. Even if you win through the TAB it won’t be as much as you would have won if you chose to wager online with Ladbrokes.com.au, who guarantee to have better odds than the TAB every day!