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REPORT | Wests Tigers 10-20 St George-Illawarra Dragons

Dragons too strong for the Tigers and get a 20-10 win to keep their top 4 hopes alive and snap a losing streak.

MATCH DETAILS

An error and penalty filled first half as the Tigers had many chances but couldn’t capitalise. First points came in a long-range effort from the Dragons as Leilua threw a great pass to Mann, who put Periera over in the corner. The Tigers hit back straight after half time when Ben Hunt dropped the kick off and Chris Lawrence hit the line at speed to score in the set after the scrum.

Was very much an arm wrestle until Ben Hunt went to the sin-bin, with both sides trading penalty goals for the Dragons to go up by two with a man down before Leilua continued his breakout game to score an impressive solo try. It was Frizell who got a reward and scored the try to ice the game, with the home side hitting back through Naiqama just before full-time, but it was too little too late as the Dragons roll over the top of a disappointing Tigers team, who now have to win their last two games by a decent margin and hope for other results to go their way if they are any chance for September football.

FOUR POINTERS

TIGERS CAN’T PUT IT AWAY IN THE FIRST HALF

I lost count of how many times the Tigers dropped the ball in the Dragons 20 in the first half, but it was four or five times, plus they kicked it dead twice after putting in kicks with no chasers, not to mention the 6-0 penalty count. They had nine errors in that first half alone, and gave away four penalties to end the half. By all rights they should have been up by 20 going into the sheds, but they couldn’t capitalise.

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BEN HUNT ANOTHER NIGHT TO FORGET

Deja vu for Ben Hunt as he dropped the kickoff in the second half. He was in disbelief as the Tigers players had a word to him to undoubtedly remind him about that time he did that in Golden Point of the Grand Final three years ago (never forget). It was a tough chance, but he dropped the ball trying to put it down for the first try. He kicked out on the full and it almost went into the crowd. Then later in the second half he put his side under massive pressure as he was pinged for being offside in his own ten metres after they had already been giving a warning for excessive penalties. Luckily it didn’t cost his side the win, but no doubt he’s down on confidence and he’ll need to get over it quickly with finals just around the corner.

DRAGONS JUST TOO GOOD

While the Tigers shot themselves in the foot by not getting the job done in the first half, the Dragons put them to the sword in the second half. Even when they were down to 12 men they managed to manage the game well and extend their lead, but for the full 80 minutes it was their forward pack that were the most impressive. Tariq Sims was terrorising every Tigers player when they caught the ball. James Graham was his solid self. Tyson Frizell started in the front row before moving to the back row and scored the try that put the game out of reach for the Tigers. Jack De Belin was great with 36 tackles in 57 minutes. However the standout with young Luciano Leilua, who was everywhere and played 78 minutes before getting an early shower. He set up the first try after bumping out of two tackles and pass to Mann who put Periera over for the opening try. He had 40 tackles, seven tackle busts and line break assist, a line break, three offloads and a terrific solo try at the end of the game. Bright future for this guy, he barely put a foot wrong this game.

WHO IS RUNNING THE TIGERS TEAM?

Luke Brooks is having probably his best season since coming into first grade. They had great success at the start of the season off the back of him running the team. I’m not sure if it’s got to do with Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall demanding the ball, but it seems like Brooks wasn’t getting it enough and it was either going to Marshall or being kicked out of dummy half for a grubber into the in goal that nobody knew about except the kicker. Brooks wasn’t working in a halves partnership with Moses with Farah at hooker and it seems to be showing signs of the same problems. The Tigers had some great structure before Farah came back and we can’t forget their incredible opening 5 round when they were 4/5 with their only loss being the controversial Golden Point loss to Brisbane. Whatever the problem is, it’s an issue they will need to sort out before they offer any contract extensions for next season.

 

THE RESULT

WESTS TIGERS 10
Tries: Lawrence 41′, Naiqama 78′
Goals: Marsters 1/3

ST GEORGE-ILLAWARRA DRAGONS 20
Tries: Periera 26′, Leilua 63′, Frizell 75′
Goals: Lafai 4/5

SQUADS

TIGERS

1. Moses Mbye
2. David Nofoaluma
3. Esan Marsters
4. Mahe Fonua
5. Kevin Naiqama
6. Benji Marshall
7. Luke Brooks
8. Russell Packer
9. Robbie Farah
10. Ben Matulino
17. Matt Eisenhuth
12. Michael Chee-Kam
13. Elijah Taylor
11. Chris Lawrence
15. Sauaso Sue
16. Luke Garner
18. Jacob Liddle

DRAGONS

1. Matthew Dufty
2. Nene MacDonald
3. Euan Aitken
4. Tim Lafai
5. Jordan Periera
6. Kurt Mann
7. Ben Hunt
8. James Graham
9. Cameron McInness
11. Tyson Frizzell
12. Tariq Sims
17. Luciano Leilua
13. Jack De Belin
10. Leeson Ah Mau
14. Jeremy Latimore
16. Blake Lawrie
19. Jai Field

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