WESTS TIGERS THUMP CANBERRA 40-0 IN BEST WIN OF THE SEASON
By Wayne Cousins
Saturday 2 June 2012 5:05 PM
Wests Tigers recorded their biggest win of the season in crushing Canberra Raiders 40-0 at Canberra Stadium tonight in round 13 of the Telstra Premiership.
The match might have been played in cold and wet conditions but the Wests Tigers were red hot in a dominant performance to record their sixth straight win.
Benji Marshall was outstanding at half-back and controlled the play well with ball in hand and with his general kicking play while his goal kicking was again lethal.
Wests Tigers props Aaron Woods and Keith Galloway again pushed their case strongly for NSW Origin selection by dominating the ruck which allowed Blues hooker Robbie Farah to dictate.
Head Coach Tim Sheens brought Curtis Sironen off the interchange bench to start his first game at five-eighth to replace the injured Blake Ayshford.
Former Penrith hooker Masada Iosefa was added to the interchange bench along with Joel Reddy with Tom Humble dropping back to NSW Cup.
Sironen scored his first try in the NRL in the 13th minute when he ran straight through three defenders to score from a 10 metre run off a pass from Marshall. Marshall converted the try to give Wests Tigers a 6-0 lead after 15 minutes.
Canberra were penalised for being offside after a spilt bomb by Marshall in the 18th minute. Marshall converted the try from 20 metres in front of the posts for an 8-0 lead after 19 minutes.
Wests Tigers hooker and captain Robbie Farah combined with second-rower Liam Fulton for a run around move before slicing through three defenders to crash over out wide in the 19th minute. Marshall converted the try for a 14-0 lead. It was Marshall’s 18th consecutive goal.
It became 18-0 when strong running forward Ben Murdoch-Masila ran off a Farah pass to crash through three defenders to score near the posts. Marshall converted the try for a 20-0 lead after 31 minutes.
Wests Tigers remained committed in defence to take a 20-0 lead into half-time on the back of a superb first half completion rate (21from 24) in the wet conditions.
A mistake from Canberra from the kick-off saw Marshall punish the home side when he put through a grubber kick for centre Beau Ryan to dive on the ball to score. Marshall converted the try for a 26-0 lead.
Ryan then bamboozled the Raiders when he ran acrossfield before splitting the defence to then put a grubber kick through for centre Chris Lawrence to score in the 48th minute for a 30-0 lead. It was an amazing piece of play by Ryan. Marshall failed to convert the try - his first missed attempt since the win over Parramatta in round 8.
Farah was replaced by Iosefa in the 60th minute to put him away for Origin 2 in Sydney on June 13.
Another piece of beautiful play by Marshall saw him get away from Dugan to put a grubber kick through two defenders for winger Matt Utai to score in the 65th minute for a 34-0 lead. Marshall failed to convert from the sideline.
Marshall was at it again when he put Fulton through a perfect hole to score out wide in the 71st minute. Marshall converted the try for a 40-0 lead.
The win takes Wests Tigers to 16 points to move into seventh place with a positive for and against record of +36.