Brendan Wood reviews the Wests Tigers 28-16 victory over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. Here’s how the game went.
Tries: Nick Meaney (10), Corey Waddell (38), Corey Allan (65)
Goals: Jake Averillo (11, 39)
Tries: Luciano Leilua (5), Ken Maumalo (23, 30), Tommy Talau (49)
Goals: Adam Doueihi (6, 24, 32, 42, 50, 75)
Player of the Year Points
3 pts – Luciano Leilua (Wests Tigers)
2 pts – Ken Maumalo (Wests Tigers)
1 pt – Adam Doueihi (Wests Tigers)
The Bulldogs were gifted an early chance when Thomas Mikaele threw an errant pass in the opening set. Luckily for Mikaele it didn’t turn into points, as the Tigers fended off the attacking raid.
After escaping an early scare, the Tigers got their own opportunity and made the Bulldogs pay. Luciano Leilua crashed over from close range off an inside ball from Jacob Liddle to open the scoring.
Just five minutes later the Bulldogs hit back. Nick Meaney split the defence down the middle and found Jake Averillo, who threw a flick pass back to Meaney to score the equaliser.
With the scores level at six, both sides struggled with possession trying to gain ascendancy. Eventually the Tigers took the lead when Moses Mbye threw a cut-out pass to Ken Maumalo who found his way to the line.
In the following set, Luke Brooks nailed a 40/20 to give the Tigers another chance deep in the Bulldogs half. However, a forward pass on the second tackle of the set nullified the pressure.
Despite having some chances of their own the Bulldogs couldn’t execute when needed. Off the back of an error, Ken Maumalo added his second try when he soared above the pack to catch a bomb and score in one motion.
After extending the lead to 12, the Tigers got complacent and produced an error of their own. With a renewed chance, the Bulldogs responded. Jake Averillo took the ball to the line and put Corey Waddell over for a try.
The game stayed on a knife’s edge heading into the break, with only six points separating each side.
HALF-TIME: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 12 Wests Tigers 18
Much like the Tigers did in the first half, the Bulldogs made an error in the first set after halftime. The Tigers received a penalty soon after and opted to take the two points.
After a period of sloppy play from both sides it was the Tigers who regained composure first. Adam Doueihi chipped a kick across field for Tommy Talau, who out-jumped the Bulldogs and grounded the ball to extend the lead.
With the Bulldogs looking to respond on the scoreboard, they gave away a penalty while in possession when Jack Hetherington pulled Luciano Leilua to ground without the ball.
Despite the field position they gained off the penalty, the Tigers failed to execute in attack as the Bulldogs held on defensively. Not long after, the Bulldogs turned defence into attack and had their third try.
They spread the ball through hands and Corey Allan found the overlap to score in the corner.
With the Tigers looking to ice the game, Jack Hetherington was controversially sin-binned for minimal high contact on Alex Twal, leaving the Bulldogs with 12 men for the last five minutes. The Tigers opted to take the two points.
With the lead extended the 12, the Tigers held on in the final minutes to get a scrappy but important win in the context of their season.
FULL-TIME: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 16 Wests Tigers 28
to be advised
Match Review Committee
to be advised