HEART BREAKING LOSS ENDS U20S SEASON
By Wayne Cousins, Skilled Park
3/09/2010 7:04:48 PM
Wests Tigers have missed out on qualifying for the Toyota Cup finals series following a heart breaking loss to the Gold Coast Titans at Skilled Park tonight in round 26.
In a match that determined eighth place, the Titans recorded a 24-18 victory to claim eighth place on 29 points, one ahead of the Wests Tigers.
Wests Tigers opened the scoring in the sixth minute with a try to hooker Sam Stanford. Five-eighth Curtis Sironen converted for a 6-0 lead.
It became 10-0 three minutes later when a barnstorming run down the blindside by second-rower Ben Murdoch Masila saw him score in the corner.
Full-back Sama Sauvao then finished off a fine backline play to score out wide for a 14-0 lead after 18 minutes.
The Titans opened their account when winger Ryan Tongia dived over in the corner for a 14-4 scoreline. Five-eighth Jordan Rankin failed to convert from the sideline.
Wests Tigers Coach Grant Jones would have been very disappointed when Tongia scored the softest of tries when he dived over in the corner from dummy half. Rankin failed to convert again from the sideline for a 14-8 scoreline after 32 minutes.
Wests Tigers got a lucky break in the 37th minute when winger Limoni Kamuta pounced on a spilt ball from a Florimo grubber kick to score for an 18-8 lead.
Sironen failed to convert the try from out wide. The score remained that way until half-time.
Wests Tigers got off to the worst possible start in the second half when a break down the left hand wing by Tongia saw him pass inside to half-back Cody Walker to score in the 45th minute for an 18-12 scoreline.
Two minutes later, centre Dominic Walsh got on the outside of Pat Politoni for Tongia to score his third try in the 47th minute. Rankin converted for an 18-18 scoreline.
Wests Tigers were denied a try to centre Jake Clarke in the 72nd minute after winger Faluela Finau brushed off the defence in a strong run down the left flank only for his miracle one handed pass inside to be ruled forward by referee Michael Wise.
The decision proved costly six minutes later when half-back Cody Walker was allowed to play through after being ruled not to have been tackled.
Walker found a gap and raced downfield before putting through a chip kick for Tongia to regather. The winger then threw the ball back inside for Walker to score near the posts. Rankin converted the try for a 24-18 victory.