Wests Tigers 26
Tries: Mitchell Moses, Bodene Thompson (2), Blake Austin, Curtis Sironen.
Goals: Blake Austin (2/4), Curtis Sironen (1/1)
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks
Tries: Valentine Holmes (2)
Goals: Michael Gordon (1/2)
Wests Tigers ended their tumultuous season with a 26-10 victory over the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at a wet Leichhardt Oval on Saturday afternoon.
After six consecutive losses and the future of coach Mick Potter at life support level, the home side ensured that if he is let go, he will go out with a victory.
The Tigers were the first team to posts points when in the 8th minute a Robbie Farah grubber was chased through by Mitchell Moses who scored his first NRL try and capped off a bright start to his first-grade career.
Blake Austin couldn’t add the extras as the Tigers lead 4-0.
An error from the resulting kick-off put the Sharks on the offence and a cut-out ball in the 11th minute from Daniel Holdsworth found young flyer Valentine Holmes who scored in the corner.
Michael Gordon missed the conversion as the score remained 4-4 as both sides struggled in the difficult conditions.
The next points wouldn’t come until the 36th minute as a lob from Holdsworth again saw Holmes take the ball, this time from Austin’s grasps to find the tryline for the second time in the game.
Gordon’s conversion from out wide gave the visitors a surprising 10-4 lead at half-time.
Shortly after the break the Tigers hit back when Bodene Thompson darted from dummy half close to the line and burrowed over the line.
Austin this time was successful as the two teams were all level again in the 45th minute.
Two minutes later the Tigers were in again when an intercept from Blake Austin inside his own 20 metre, was finished off by the fullback himself as he streaked away to regain their lead.
He was unable to convert his own try, meaning the score remained at 14-10.
The long season and lack of experience for the Sharks was beginning to show and in the 54th minute the Tigers exploited that. A simple pass to Curtis Sironen saw him barge over close to the line.
Blake Austin converted again for a 20-10 lead.
The Sharks almost hit back not long after through Michael Lichaa but Michael Gordon was adjudged to have been offside and the try was disallowed.
In the 66th minute the home side finished off Cronulla when a deft grubber from Moses was dived upon by Thompson who scored his second try of the game.
With Blake Austin off the field, Curtis Sironen took over the kicking duties and converted to give them a 26-10 lead, the margin they would hold onto until the final whistle.
Both sides would be disappointed with their season but on this occasion it was the Tigers who had more confidence heading into the off-season and preparation for the 2015 season.