Brad Inger reviews the Warriors vs Wests Tigers clash ….. Here’s how the game went.
Tries: Marcelo Montoya (10, 71), Jack Murchie (26), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (31), Reece Walsh (37), Wayde Egan (68)
Goals: Kodi Nikorima (27, 69, 72)
Sin-Bin: Ben Murdoch-Masila (55), Eliesa Katoa (65)
Wests Tigers 26
Tries: Luke Garner (4, 14), David Nofoaluma (43), James Tamou (78)
Goals: Adam Doueihi (16, 45, 56, 61, 79)
Player of the Year PointsEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Reece Walsh ( Warriors )
2 pts – Luke Brooks ( Tigers )
1 pt – Roger Tuivasa-Sheck ( Warriors )
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
After earning a six again call in their first set, the Tigers cruised up the field and put pressure on the Warriors by forcing a repeat set. The New Zealand side’s defence held firm to survive the early onslaught, but it didn’t last as the Tigers were right back in the Warriors red zone with Luke Garner crossing for the first try of the night after diving on a Joseph Leilua grubber. The Warriors responded a few sets later when a Reece Walsh cutout pass saw Marcelo Montoya go across in the corner to draw the game level. A Ben Murdoch-Masila loose carry let handed the Tigers prime field position, and after another pinpoint kick from Luke Brooks, they earned another repeat set which saw Garner cross for his second try of the night from a nice short ball from Moses Mbye. Mbye went from hero to villain next as he lost the ball on the next set, but the Warriors looked lost with the ball in hand and failed to make any dents in Wests defensive line. The Tigers looked dangerous on attack once again, going the length of the field using several offloads in an exciting set, but they chaced their arm one too many times, with their last offload ending up in the hands of Tohu Harris. The Warriors got themselves into the Tigers RedZone and were close to scoring when Kodi Nikorima almost managed to grab a Chanel Harris-Tavita grubber. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck decided it was his time to add to his highlight reel, first by beating Joseph Leilua one on one, scorching down the sideline before putting Jack Murchie over to score. Then the Skipper was over for a try himself when Walsh threw another fantastic cutout pass. Wests tried to get themselves back into the matchup but struggled to get out of their own half, making unforced errors and getting dragged over the sidelines. This allowed the Warriors to continue to control the matchup. Walsh was involved once again, catching a short ball from Nikorima and speeding off to score in the corner in the final scoring play of the first half to see the Warriors go into the sheds with an eight-point lead.
HALF-TIME: New Zealand Warriors 18 Wests Tigers 10Embed from Getty Images
The second half started with both sides trading sets, with neither gaining the upper hand until the Tigers started to punish the Warriors with offloads again, seeing them march up the field with ease. A Brooks grubber looked to offer little threat, but Montoya failed to scoop it up, allowing David Nofoaluma to sneak up and get a hand on it to score and reduce the New Zealand sides lead. The Warriors responded with some more Walsh magic when the rookie flung the ball to Montoya on the edge, who then decided to kick the ball ahead, which Wests defused with relative ease. This saw the game settle into a wrestle in the middle of the park for several sets until Nofoaluma snatched an Eliesa Katoa pass and sprinted off; he was finally caught and brought down by Murdoch-Masila, who held onto him for too long and was sent to the bin. Doueihi slotted the resulting penalty goal to bring the scores level. With a one-man advantage, the Tigers had no issues moving up the field, but a high tackle from Murchie on Brooks the Tigers given a penalty right in front of the posts, which saw Doueihi step up and nail to hand the Tigers a two-point lead as the game entered the final 15 minutes. The Warriors responded with a decent set and almost had an opportunity to score, but Adam Pompey failed to pass to an open Montoya on the final tackle. A dangerous tackle by Katoa saw him become the second Warriors to be sin-binned in this match, but the Tigers couldn’t capitalise after throwing a forward pass on the next set. The New Zealand side took this let off with both hands and got themselves back in front when Wayde Egan beat the Tigers chasers to a Nikorima grubber. The Warriors were not done yet as despite only having 12 men, they still hounded the Tigers and charged up the field, and Walsh threw yet another cutout pass to send Montoya over for his second try of the evening. Wests attempted a bounceback, and the Warriors appeared to drop a kick attempt; however, they successfully challenged the call but were not so lucky a few tackles later when Tuivasa-Sheck lost the ball when making a break. The Tigers had good field position but lost the ball giving the New Zealand side another reprieve, but the Tigers refused to quit, making more strong dents in the Warriors line before James Tamou barged over to reduce the Warriors lead down to four with a minute to go. This lead to a tense final minute as Wests kicked it up a notch and started to make some inroads and looked to have the chance to score the matchwinner when they had a massive overlap on the left side before they flung it out to the right and saw a wayward pass tragically end their night with the Warriors grimly holding on for a four-point win.
FULL-TIME: New Zealand Warriors 30 Wests Tigers 26
to be advised
Match Review Committee
Eliesa Katoa (Warriors) – Grade 1 Dangerous Throw – Early Guilty Plea $1600 fine, Guilty at Judiciary $2100 fine
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