Lachy MacCorquodale reviews the round six clash between the Wests Tigers and the North Queensland Cowboys at Campbelltown Stadium. Here’s how the game went.
|1st||Try Zane Musgrove (Wests Tigers)||Wests Tigers 4-0|
|2nd||Goal Moses Mbye (Wests Tigers)||Wests Tigers 6-0|
|7th||Try Joseph Leilua (Wests Tigers)||Wests Tigers 10-0|
|8th||Goal Moses Mbye (Wests Tigers)||Wests Tigers 12-0|
|14th||Try Luke Brooks (Wests Tigers)||Wests Tigers 16-0|
|16th||Goal Moses Mbye (Wests Tigers)||Wests Tigers 18-0|
|24th||Try Josh Aloiai (Wests Tigers)||Wests Tigers 22-0|
|25th||Goal Moses Mbye (Wests Tigers)||Wests Tigers 24-0|
|29th||Try Robert Jennings (Wests Tigers)||Wests Tigers 28-0|
|30th||Goal Moses Mbye (Wests Tigers)||Wests Tigers 30-0|
|34th||Try Moses Mbye (Wests Tigers)||Wests Tigers 34-0|
|53rd||Try Scott Drinkwater (Cowboys)||Wests Tigers 34-4|
|54th||Goal Kyle Feldt (Cowboys)||Wests Tigers 34-6|
|56th||Try Kyle Feldt (Cowboys)||Wests Tigers 34-10|
|59th||Try Kyle Feldt (Cowboys)||Wests Tigers 34-14|
|60th||Penalty Goal Jake Clifford (Cowboys)||Wests Tigers 34-16|
|62nd||Penalty Goal Moses Mbye (Wests Tigers)||Wests Tigers 36-16|
It wasn’t the start the Cowboys were after with newly appointed skipper Jason Taumalolo dropping the ball in the opening set.
The Tigers were sure to make the most of this opportunity with Zane Musgrove scoring next to the posts fairly easily to open the account for the home side, who scored just the one try last week.
It didn’t take long for the Tigers to add to their lead with a nice sweeping play involving Josh Reynolds, Adam Doueihi and the try-scorer Joseph Leilua.
It only took another seven minutes for the Tigers to score another try and this particular one was in typical fashion. A blocked kick from Harry Grant ended up with David Nofoaluma who threw a massive cut-out ball to Moses Mbye who found himself in acres of space. Mbye charged down the field and sold Kyle Feldt with a dummy and passed it to Luke Brooks who raced away to put the footy down under the posts.
The Tigers continued the onslaught as Harry Grant ran the ball out of dummy-half engaging the try-line defenders and proceeded to pass the ball to Josh Aloiai who went through untouched as they extended their lead to 24.
A rare successful captains’ challenge from the Tigers resulted in yet another try for the home side. A smooth play down the left edge which was highlighted by a brilliant pass from Mbye to Robert Jennings who scored untouched in the corner.
The Tigers continued to pour the points on with one of the most bizarre tries you’ll ever see. A Josh Reynolds kick to the corner found the ground which was accidentally kicked back infield by Michael Chee-Kam which had a steaming Mbye running onto it to become the sixth different try-scorer for the Tigers this half.
The Cowboys were able to hang on in the last five minutes but they went into the break trailing by 34 points.
The Cowboys thought they finally had their first try just ten minutes into the opening half but the touch judge correctly ruled that rookie Connelly Lemuelu had stepped on the line, preventing him from claiming his first NRL try.
However, the Cowboys would only have to wait a few minutes before scoring their first try of the night courtesy of a interception Josh Reynolds pass which saw Scott Drinkwater run 80 metres to open the the account for the Cowboys.
As the Cowboys started to gather some momentum, they added another try to reduce the deficit to 24 points thanks to a pin-point kick from Jake Clifford in which Kyle Feldt rose above his opposite man to take the catch and come down and ground the football.
The Cowboys continued to put the foot down on the pedal with a brilliant flick pass from former Tiger Esan Marsters finding Kyle Feldt who scored in the corner, his second try in three minutes. The try was given as a penalty try which allowed goal-kicker Jake Clifford a second attempt after the awarding of an eight-point try after his first attempt went wayward.
The Tigers were given a penalty downfield as Marsters was pinged for an escort which allowed Mbye to convert the shot to extend the lead back out to 20. The Cowboys were denied another try in the last 15 minutes with Ben Hampton placing a foot into touch after a great pass from Scott Drinkwater. Essentially, ending the comeback from the Cowboys.
The Cowboys grabbed a consolation try late in the second half as Esan Marsters was on the receiving end of a grubber kick which would be the final scoring act of the game as the Tigers win by 16 points.
The highlight of the match was without a doubt the opening half from the Wests Tigers as they piled on an equal club record 34 points in the half. It wasn’t due to a dominating the possession either, they entered the half with a 50-50 possession split.
The home side was able to easily find holes in the Cowboys defensive line and played with some great intensity despite lacking in this during the second half. They had six different try scorers in the first half which even included a try within the opening minute of the clash.
Loanee, Harry Grant, was exceptional throughout this clash as he accumulated 95 run metres and completing a total of 42 tackles. He was able to get the forwards rolling in the first half and this was a big key to the Tigers success.
Some credit should head Luke Brooks way after putting in one of his better performances this season coming off the back of two matches in which his attacking play was lacking. He was constantly taking the ball over the advantage line and combined well with the left edge, especially Moses Mbye, all night.
Despite dominating on the scoreboard, the Tigers will be disappointed with their second half effort which saw the Cowboys pile on three tries in just seven minutes.
Wests Tigers: 1. Adam Doueihi 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Joseph Leilua 4. Moses Mbye 5. Robert Jennings 6. Josh Reynolds 7. Luke Brooks 8. Josh Aloiai 9. Harry Grant 10. Zane Musgrove 11. Luke Garner 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Alex Twal. Interchange: 14. Matthew Eisenhuth 15. Thomas Mikaele 16. Sam McIntyre 17. Michael Chee-Kam
North Queensland Cowboys: 1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Justin O’Neill 4. Esan Marsters 5. Connelly Lemuelu 6. Scott Drinkwater 7. Jake Clifford 8. Francis Molo 9. Reece Robson 10. Josh McGuire 11. Mitchell Dunn 12. Coen Hess 13. Jason Taumalolo. Interchange: 14. Ben Hampton 15. Corey Jensen 16. Peter Hola 17. Gavin Cooper