WESTS TIGERS BEAT ROOSTERS 56-32 IN TOYOTA CUP
By Wayne Cousins at the SFS
Sunday, August 09, 2009
A barnstorming second half performance saw the Wests Tigers record a 56-32 victory over the Sydney Roosters at the Sydney Football Stadium today in round 22 of the Toyota Cup competition.
The win moves Wests Tigers into fourth place on the ladder on 29 points.
Sydney Roosters opened the scoring in the second minute in the Toyota Cup when Wests Tigers winger Sama Sauvao knocked the ball on in-goal from a short grubber kick for second-rower Andrew Clayton to pounce on.
Full-back Luke Towers's attempt hit the upright for a 4-0 lead.
Wests Tigers hit back three minutes later when powerful prop Andrew Fifita spun out of a tackle to score next to the posts. Prolific pointscorer and full-back Jake Mullaney converted the try to give Wests Tigers a 6-4 lead.
Fifita set up the second try for Wests Tigers when he made a break on his 30 metre line and raced 35 metres to offload to Sauvao who dummied and raced to the tryline to score.
Mullaney failed to convert the try for a 10-4 lead after 16 minutes.
It was the second consecutive week that Andrew Fifita has scored the first try for the Wests Tigers.
The Roosters hit back in the 21st minute when an offload by second-rower Dane Cordner on an attempted tackle by half-back and captain Darren Nicholls saw him offload to Towers to score out wide.
The try was not converted for a 10-10 scoreline.
The Roosters went to a 14-10 lead when half-back Brad Murray beat the tackle of lock Matt Hyland to find support on his right. The ball travelled through four sets of hands for centre Ryan Williamson to step past opposite Joel Wisbety to score out wide in the 27th minute.
The try was not converted.
It became 18-10 when a grubber kick by Towers behind the line saw winger Sandor Earl place his hand on the ball in the corner to score.
Towers converted the try from the sideline for a 20-10 lead after 31 minutes.
Wests Tigers hit back a minute later when Nicholls found centre Jake Clarke who quickly offloaded for winger Joel Jackson to dive over in the corner. Mullaney's conversion attempt from the sideline hit the middle of the crossbar and was waved away for a 20-14 scoreline after 35 minutes.
A knock-on from the re-start by Rhys Curran gave the Roosters a scrum feed and win 10 metres out from the Wests Tigers tryline. Three plays later, a grubber kick by Towers saw second-rower Jason Schirnack fumble the ball for Earl to score his second try by diving over the line for a 24-14 scoreline.
Towers converted the try from the sideline for a 26-14 lead.
Wests Tigers had one final chance inside the final minute before half-time after receiving a penalty for a high shot on Simon Dwyer five metres out from the Roosters line. It all ended with a knock-on just before the siren.
Wests Tigers started the second half on a perfect note when Curran split the defence up the middle to offload to Sauvao to score his second try.
Mullaney converted the try from in front to leave Wests Tigers trailing 26-20 after 43 minutes.
A barnstorming run by prop David Fifita saw him beat four defenders but he was unable to offload to Mullaney in support 10 metres out from the line.
Wests Tigers capitalised on two back-to-back penalties when second-rower Simon Dwyer brushed through a defender to score after lead up passes from five-eighth Robert Lui and Nicholls.
Mulalney converted the try from in front for a 26-26 scoreline after 52 minutes.
A fight erupted in the 56th minute resulting in Andrew Fifita being sent to the sin-bin. The Roosters had prop Tom Pelo sent off for using an elbow to the head and five-eighth Jerome Leolahi placed on report. The penalty went to the Wests Tigers.
Wests Tigers regained the lead in the 58th minute when Nicholls burrowed his way over from dummy half to score for a 30-26 lead. Mullaney converted the try for a 32-26 lead.
A break by Dwyer and an inside pass found Mullaney in support for a 36-26 lead. Mulalney converted the try for a 38-26 lead with 18 minutes remaining.
The Roosters got back to 38-30 when Leolahi found a gap to score. Towers converted the try for a 38-32 scoreline.
A brilliant piece of play by Lui saw him split the defence and push off two defenders to offload an inside pass to Leivaha Pulu to score behind the posts for a 42-32 scoreline. Mulalney converted the try for a 44-32 scoreline with four minutes remaining.
Mullaney secured the win when he defused a kick on his own 40 metre line and beat several defenders to score under the posts. Mullaney converted the try for a 50-32 lead with less than two minutes remaining.
Ten seconds from full-time, a casual inside pass by Lui saw Andrew Fifita crash over under the posts for his second try.
Mullaney converted the try to give Wests Tigers a 56-32 victory.