Brad Inger reviews the Round 3 clash between the Tigers and Warriors at Campbelltown Sports Stadium; here’s how the match went.
Tries: James Taumou 6, Zane Musgrove 37,
Goals: Luke Brooks 7, 38,
Tries: Euan Aitken 11, Adam Pompey 26,
Goals: Reece Walsh 12, 27, 33, 52,
Sin Bin: Marcelo Montoya 69
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
You could feel the pressure on both of these sides as they ran onto the pitch desperate to secure their first win of the season. The Warriors had the first scoring opportunity when Chanel Harris-Tavita kicked early and forced a repeat set; however, Matt Lodge lost the ball on the first tackle after the reset and let the Tigers off the hook. Wests powered up the field on the back of some strong runs from their pack and, after a penalty, found themselves deep in Warriors territory and then on the scoreboard when James Tamou barged his way over the try-line. The New Zealand side fought their way back into the contest and were next to score after Euan Aitken scooped up a Marcelo Montoya tap back to level the score. The clubs started to trade sets but let themselves down with discipline and handling errors, the Tigers pushed a kick through and appeared to have scored when Luciano Leilua placed a finger on the ball before it went over the dead-ball line, but the referee made the call that he had no control when grounding in a decision that may be discussed for some time after the final whistle. The New Zealand side wasted little time getting themselves back into the Tigers RedZone and ahead on the scoreboard when Adam Pompey was able to snatch a kick out of Daine Laurie’s hands to stroll over. A penalty against the Tigers allowed the Warriors to push their lead out by two. With the first half almost over, the Tigers would not quit and found themselves in a scoring situation again when David Nofoaluma tapped a kick back to Laurie, who then offloaded it to Zane Musgrove for Wests second try of the night. In the final minute of the half, the Tigers sent the ball down the left edge and looked sure to score until a scrambling Walsh managed to save the Warriors in the final moments as the visitors entered the sheds with a 14-12 lead.
HALF-TIME: New Zealand Warriors 14 Wests Tigers 12Embed from Getty Images
Both sides started the second half with intent but struggled with execution, making poor errors almost in every set. Harris-Tavita looked to have milked a high tackle which the officials correctly ignored; the young standoff was sent from the field for an HIA as a punishment for his poor acting skills. The comedy of errors continued with both sides trading mistakes in repeat sets. The home side gave back-to-back penalties, and the Warriors elected to push their lead out by another two with a Walsh penalty kick. This woke the Tigers up, and they started to run with enthusiasm and looked to be over for another try when Luke Brooks pushed through a grubber for Laurie, but the fullback could not keep his hands on the ball. The New Zealand side started to fight back and made easy work of the Tigers as the home side’s players began to look like the walking wounded; however, a wayward kick went straight into the Tiger’s arms. Wests darted up the field and put the pressure on with a bomb but had to turn around and chase Walsh, who snatched the ball, running 60 metres up the field before being slowed down by cramp. It was Deja Vu; however, as the Warriors dropped the ball once again, they were able to keep the pressure on with some strong defence and look ready to score before a wayward pass found its way to Jock Madden, who ran 70 metres down the field before being dragged down by Marcelo Montoya. The Warriors winger held Madden down for too long and was sent to the bin for his efforts. Wests had a one-man advantage and excellent field position but continued to make coach killer errors, throwing away several chances to regain the lead. Warriors coach Nathan Brown was pacing in the coaches’ box as he watched his team throwing wayward offloads in the dying minutes of the game, but despite doing everything they could to lose the match, they managed to hold on for their first win in what may have been the ugliest game of 2022.
FULL-TIME: New Zealand Warriors 16 Wests Tigers 12
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Reece Walsh (Warriors), 2 pts – Josh Curran (Warriors), 1 pt – James Tamou (Tigers)
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