WESTS TIGERS BEAT ROOSTERS 17-10
By Wayne Cousins
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Wests Tigers have kept their finals hopes alive with a hard fought 17-10 victory over the Sydney Roosters at the Sydney Football Stadium today in round 22 of the Telstra Premiership.
In front of a crowd of 16,427, the win made it five straight victories for the Wests Tigers to move them to 24 points and into seventh position.
It was a hard fought win for the Wests Tigers who appeared to be very flat after their gusty win over premiers Manly last Monday night. The Roosters threw plenty at the Wests Tigers but in the end, the Wests Tigers prevailed to again “own the SFS turf”.
Wests Tigers lost centre Chris Lawrence with a hamstring injury and has been replaced by centre Dean Collis. The Roosters have no changes. Blake Ayshford has moved to the left centre position to partner winger Taniela Tuiaki.
The Roosters knocked on in the opening set, giving Wests Tigers a scrum win and feed in the first minute of play. Wests Tigers got a penalty three plays later 10 metres out from the Roosters line.
A grubber kick on the last tackle by hooker and captain Robbie Farah saw the Wests Tigers get a repeat set from a goal line drop out. Ayshford went close to scoring but was held out. The pressure was relieved when second-rower Gareth Ellis was penalised for not playing the ball straight.
The Roosters took advantage of the penalty and opened the scoring when the ball was spread left for centre Setaimata Sa to dive over in the corner. It came on the back of a break by lock and captain Craig Fitzgibbon.
Fitzgibbon failed to convert the try for a 4-0 lead after seven minutes.
Wests Tigers went on the attack in the 17th minute through a repeat set but the Roosters defence remained strong. The Roosters then got a penalty on half-way in the next set from the re-start.
The Roosters jumped to an 8-0 lead when winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall scored in the corner after the ball was spread right through several hands.
Fitzgibbon failed to convert the try in the 20th minute.
Wests Tigers full-back Shannon Gallant left the field with an injury in the 24th minute. John Morris came on and moved to half with half-back Tim Moltzen shifting back to full-back.
Video referee Phil Cooley was called on in the 31st minute to rule on a possible try to winger Taniela Tuiaki. Tuiaki had made a break down the left flank and kicked the ball through with his left foot before placing his hands on the ball to score in the corner. The try was awarded for an 8-4 scoreline.
Marshall failed to convert from the sideline for an 8-4 scoreline after 32 minutes.
The score remained that way until half-time. Club doctor Donald Kuah says Gallant has a calf strain in his left leg.
Referee Gavin Badger called on the video referee again in the 44th minute to rule on a possible try to Tuiaki in the corner after Farah appeared to have ran behind Ellis before a long cut out pass to Tuiaki to score. It was ruled no try.
Badger sent Roosters centre Mitchell Aubusson to the sin-bin in the 47th minute for holding down Tuiaki too long in a tackle 10 metres out from the tryline. Wests Tigers got a repeat set after the ball was touched but the pressure was relieved when Badger ruled prop John Skandalis lost the ball in a tackle five metres from the tryline.
Wests Tigers drew level when a grubber kick by Morris into the left corner saw winger Beau Ryan dive on the loose ball to score. The Roosters supporters and Fitzgibbon blew up after the try came on the back of a penalty to the Wests Tigers afterit was ruled the ball was stripped in tackle and not lost. The penalty count is 9-5 to Wests Tigers.
Marshall converted the try from the sideline for a 10-8 lead, much to the roar of the Wests Tigers supporters, who clearly outnumber their Roosters counterparts.
Moltzen and Ryan then pulled off a trysaving tackle on Roosters five-eighth Anthony Minichiello by taking him into touch after an offload by Willie Mason.
Wests Tigers prop Bryce Gibbs was penalised in the 61st minute for being offside in front of his posts. Fitzgibbon converted the try for a 10-10 scoreline with 18 minutes remaining.
A smart play by Ryan on the last tackle saw him kick the ball just metres from the Roosters tryline. The ball was taken by the Roosters and passed back inside but the touch judge ruled the Roosters player had a foot on the line, giving Wests Tigers a scrum feed 10 metres out.
A pass by Marshall to Tuiaki was knocked down five metres short of the tryline by Kenny-Dowall to give Wests Tigers the scrum feed.
From the scrum win, the ball was spread right for Marshall to offload to Collis for Ryan to dive over out wide for a 14-10 lead. Marshall converted the try for a 16-10 lead with 12 minutes remaining.
Moltzen looked set to score under the posts nine minutes from full-time after making a great break but lost the ball just metres from the line.
Wests Tigers dug deep in defence and kept the Roosters at bay just metres from their line with six minutes remaining.
A much needed 40-20 kick by Marshall saw Wests Tigers get the scrum feed 10 metres out in the 75th minute. Farah took the early option on the third tackle and calmly landed a field goal from in front for a 17-10 lead with four minutes remaining.
Wests Tigers got a scrum feed 10 metres out in the 78th minute after a pass by Ellis to Tuiaki on the last tackle was touched by a Roosters player. Marshall ran acrossfield and beat Minichiello before being tackled into touch just short of the line.
Wests Tigers held on to record a tough win.