Balmain Tigers and Western Suburbs Magpies Junior Development Discussion
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Post by balmain1 » Mon 10 Aug, 2009 4:10 pm

Balmain Ryde Eastwood Tigers vs Dragons
Round 19 - NSW State Cup
In terms of nail biters, Sundays NSW Cup match between the Balmain Ryde-Eastwood Tigers and the Shellharbour Dragons had the crowd gnawing to their knuckles. The fiery back and forth match went down to the wire with the Dragons final play holding weight in their attempt to snatch the win from the Tigers, who managed to win 30 - 24 in a sensational comeback.
The Dragons took the first points of the match when they drew the Tigers midfield then spread the ball wide to centre Nick Emmett who crossed through the gap, 0 - 4. However Rhys Hanbury tied the match 4 - 4, 4 minutes later, when the opposite number 4 scored in the corner after receiving a nice inside ball which was spread through 4 sets of hands. Unfortunately he only scored 3 tries on the day.

The game was clawed in the Tigers favour by the end of the first half, but only barely. The Dragons had the pressure in attack, but their defence lacked anticipation as they were caught again on the wing when they didn't move across and David Gower scored for Balmain in the corner off a long Sean Meaney pass. However the Tigers received the same punishment after penalties gave the Dragons 3 sets on their line and Emmett took his second, 10 - 8.
But the second half was where the real arm-wrestle exploded. The Dragons scored first to retake the lead by 2 points, but only for 3 sets as the Tigers hit back with an amazing 60 metre try which started with Jarred Farlow and passed through 5 sets of hands to finish with Ryan Carr to score, 16 - 12.

But when the Dragons scored twice to get get 8 points in front, the first by winger Tim Smith, and the second by fullback Michael Lett, it looked like the Dragons might be able to get themselves off the bottom of the table with a win.
But when a push and shove sent 2 players to the sin bin, the Tigers attacked like men possessed. 8 points behind with 10 minutes to go Brett Lane crossed first in the corner off a long pass to the wing caught the Dragons unaware. Then Rhys Hanbury brought it home, finishing off 2 brilliant tries the last off a 50 metre break which Josh Lewis then kicked from dummy half across field to leave Hanbury unopposed, 30 - 24. The struggle and anticipation had fans standing on their seats and honking car horns as the one converted try difference meant that even as the whistle blew during the last play on the Tigers line it was still anyones game.

Tigers coach Paul Fletcher was thrilled by his teams tenacity as he walked into the changerooms and the elation of the team. "We had a rough start, but the team pulled their heads together to really battle this one out. Webby (Dean Webster) had a blinder, but the way all the team worked together, those tries were never going to be stopped... overall really impressed by their fight."

Next week the Tigers have a break which with their increasing injury list is sorely needed as they head towards the finals.

By Ryan Cunningham

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