Farah seals golden point win for Tigers
June 6, 2011 - 9:19PM
Skipper Robbie Farah’s golden point field-goal edged Wests Tigers to a 17-16 win over Newcastle in an enthralling NRL encounter on Monday at Leichhardt Oval.
Farah slotted the ball over the bar from 25 metres, with just over three minutes remaining in the second half of the extra period, to move his side to seventh on the ladder.
However, the Knights’ NSW winger Akuila Uate faces a nervous wait to find out if he will be available for the second State of Origin clash next week after he was placed on report for a dangerous tackle on Tigers debutant Tim Simona.
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Uate, who has been picked on the right wing by Blues coach Ricky Stuart, will be very lucky to escape a suspension after being penalised for lifting Simona onto his head, seven minutes from time.
The Knights led for most of the second half with Antonio Kafusi’s try giving Rick Stone’s side a six-point advantage before Liam Fulton dived over five minutes from time, with Benji Marshall levelling the scores with a conversion.
But it proved to be a bittersweet night for Tim Sheens’ side with Lote Tuqiri’s return to action lasting just six minutes, when he limped off with problems with his knee and ankle after falling awkwardly after a collision with Keith Lulia.
The former dual international, who has been sidelined with a broken arm since round three, will undergo scans on Tuesday to assess the extent of the injuries.
Robert Lui gave the home side the lead after 20 minutes, in front of a good crowd of 18,021, dancing his way to the line following a sharp pass from Farah.
Despite being on the back foot for most of the opening exchanges, the Knights hit back well and Neville Costigan did his hopes of a Queensland recall no harm, by scoring his first try in Knights colours on the half-hour mark, with Kurt Gidley restoring parity with the conversion.
The Knights then took the lead in remarkable fashion, when Junior Sa’u somehow darted in front of Beau Ryan to bat the ball back into play and James McManus touched down.
Simona’s brilliant flick pass allowed Mitch Brown to dive over to level the scores on the stroke of halftime, with Marshall missing the conversion.
The Tigers dominated the second period, but some careless handling and good defence from the visitors kept them at bay,
Beau Henry tried to win it for the Knights with three field-goal attempts that fell short and Gidley was unlucky to see his effort drift to the right just before the end of the first period of golden point, before Farah pounced.
Uate was joined on report by Dan Tolar and Cameron Ciraldo, who were penalised for dangerous play for a challenge on Tigers prop Bryce Gibbs midway through the second half.
WESTS TIGERS BEAT KNIGHTS 17-16 IN GOLDEN POINT
By Wayne Cousins
6/06/2011 9:07:40 PM
A Robbie Farah field goal in Golden Point extra time has given Wests Tigers a thrilling 17-16 victory over Newcastle Knights at Leichhardt Oval tonight in round 13 of the Telstra Premiership.
In front of a superb crowd of 18, 021 on a cold Monday night, Farah’s field goal gave Wests Tigers the two competition points to move to 14 points.
It was also Wests Tigers’ second win in nine games in Golden Point extra time - their last win coming in round 5, 2007, against Cronulla at Campbelltown Stadium.
Wests Tigers lost full-back Wade McKinnon to a hamstring injury with U20s centre Tim Simona coming in to make his NRL debut. Tim Moltzen moved to full-back.
Wests Tigers winger Lote Tuqiri suffered a left ankle injury in the fifth minute and missed the rest of the game. Beau Ryan came off the interchange bench to play on the wing.
The home side opened the scoring in the 20th minute when half-back Robert Lui used his strength from five metres out to plant the ball down next to the posts. Five-eighth Benji Marshall converted for a 6-0 lead.
Referee Jared Maxwell pulled up a forward pass from centre Junior Sau to winger James McManus in the 27th minute just 20 metres from the Wests Tigers tryline.
Newcastle opened their account when five-eighth Beau Henry got through the tackle of prop Andrew Fifita to offload to Sa’u who turned the ball back inside for second-rower Neville Costigan to score. Half-back Kurt Gidley converted the try for a 6-6 scoreline after 31 minutes.
The Knights scored a fortunate try when Sa’u chased a grubber kick through from Gidley to knock the ball back ingoal for McManus to plant his hand on the ball to score. Ryan did everything right in thinking the ball was going to go dead.
Gidley’s attempt hits the upright to leave the Knights with a 10-6 lead after 37 minutes.
Wests Tigers winger Mitch Brown got his team back to 10-10 in the 39th minute after debutant Simona produced a left hand flick pass to put him over in the corner. It came on the back of a penalty awarded to Wests Tigers on the previous set after Knights hooker Isaac De Gois was penalised for punching Marshall on the ground.
Marshall failed to convert the try for a 10-10 scoreline at half-time.
The Knights went to a 14-10 lead when prop Antonio Kaufusi used his strength to brush off Robert Lui close to the line to score near the posts. Gidley converted the try for a 16-10 lead after 49 minutes.
Wests Tigers applied plenty of pressure midway through the second half but some drop ball and failure to complete their sets, combined with some strong Newcastle defence, hurt the home side at times.
The Knights went for a long range field goal attempt though Beau Henry in the 63rd minute but the shot went wide.
Wests Tigers right centre Blake Ayshford made some tremendous inroads into the Knights half through some superb hole running.
Henry went for his second long range field goal attempt in the 70th minute but the ball went wide of the posts.
Knights winger Akuila Uate was put on report in the 73rd minute for a dangerous tackle on Simona.
Fron the ensuring penalty, Wests Tigers went deep inside the Knights quarter before forward Liam Fulton stepped off his right foot to get past the tackle of Henry to score next to the posts for a 16-14 scoreline after 74 minutes.
Marshall converted the try to level at 16-16 after 75 minutes.
Gidley went for a 40 mere field goal attempt in the 77th minute but the ball went wide.
A Farah clearing kick from dummy half in going for a 40/20 hit the sideline, giving the Knights a scrum feed from 40 metres out in the 78th minute.
To the roar of the Leichhardt faithful, Gidley dropped the ball 20 metres out in front of the posts in the 79th minute as the desperate defence swarmed in.
Marshall had a shot from halfway in the dying seconds but the ball kept low, sending the game into golden point extra time.
Lui had a long range shot at field goal but his kick fell just under the posts. The Knights followed suit but it missed.
Gidley went for a 30 metre field goal attempt with 19 seconds left on the clock in the first half of extra time but the ball sailed wide.
2nd Half Extra Time
Wests Tigers win in extra time 17-17 when Farah popped a 20 metre field goal from dummy half. The ball went straight over the posts to send the home crowd into raptures.
It was a gutsy performance from both sides.
Tigers pinch golden-point triumph
By Raman Goraya
Updated June 6, 2011 22:14:00
Robbie Farah’s golden-point field goal handed the struggling Tigers a valuable 17-16 victory over Newcastle in an enthralling Monday night battle at Leichhardt Oval.
The disjointed Tigers were well below their best for the majority of the contest but a crucial late try to Liam Fulton, off the back of a penalty which saw Blues winger Akuila Uate placed on report, sent the match past the 80-minute mark.
Both sides traded drop goal attempts before the ever-alert Farah poked out from dummy half and kicked the winner from 25 metres with just three minutes left.
It was only the Tigers’ second win in eight golden point finishes and kept alive their streak of seven consecutive wins at their spiritual home as they moved into seventh spot with a sixth win for the season.
But arguably the biggest talking point out of the clash may be a possible suspension for Uate, who will come under scrutiny for a dangerous throw on Tim Simona in the second half.
Uate placed his hands between the young centre’s legs and clumsily dumped him on the ground in a tackle Tigers coach Tim Sheens said will have to be looked at by the review panel.
“He picked him up and the hand was in the wrong place and he dumped the kid on his shoulder,” Sheens said post-match.
“The kid has icing on his shoulder and there is no doubt that is not a good tackle.”
Knights coach Rick Stone disagreed, saying the incident deserved a penalty but a lack of malice should see the explosive winger free to play in game two next Wednesday in Sydney.
“He might have put his hand between his legs, but the player definitely landed more on his back” he said.
"It was probably an amateurish error by Akuila.
“The players knows they aren’t meant to put their hands in there but sometimes in the wrestle that is a tackle things go a little bit wrong.”
The Tigers were dealt a blow just five minutes into the match when veteran winger Lote Tuqiri, returning from a broken arm suffered in round two, limped out of the game following a collision with Keith Lulia.
But Sheens confirmed the former dual international’s ankle was already showing signs of improvement after the game and at the most could miss next week’s trip to New Zealand.
Villain to hero
In a twist of fate, Farah’s boot almost cost Wests the match in the final minute when his 40/20 attempt landed out on the full and handed the Knights possession in prime attacking position.
But opposition playmaker Kurt Gidley, filling in at half-back in the absence of Jarrod Mullen, fumbled his chance with the posts at his mercy.
Farah singled out backrower Chris Heighington, who led the hit-up stats with 23, as the Tigers best and said he deserved much of the credit for the match-winning play thanks to his runs deep in extra time.
“I dare say the headlines tomorrow will be the field goal, but no one will talk about the quick play the ball he gave me and that’s why we won the game,” Farah said.
The Tigers opened the scoring through Robert Lui but the Knights replied through back-to-back efforts from Neville Costigan and James McManus, the later coming after a desperate Junior Sau flicked the ball back from over the dead ball line.
The hosts levelled the scores at 10-10 in the shadows of the break when a Simona flick pass put Mitch Brown in the corner.
Antonio Kafusi put the Knights ahead again on 48 minutes before the sloppy Tigers, who made 16 errors, finally found the line through Fulton with six minutes left.