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WESTS TIGERS BEAT SHARKS 30-22 TO SECURE 4TH PLACE
By Wayne Cousins, Toyota Stadium
3/09/2011 9:14:48 PM
Wests Tigers have secured the all important fourth place on the Telstra Premiership ladder with a hard fought 30-22 win over Cronulla Sharks at Toyota Stadium tonight.
The win moves Wests Tigers to 34 points at the completion of the regular season and also equals the club record of eight consecutive victories set in the premiership winning year of 2005.
Wests Tigers will now play premiers St George Illawarra Dragons in a 4 v 5 showdown next Friday night. The venue will be advised soon.
Wests Tigers lost winger Beau Ryan and prop Keith Galloway for the match through injury.
Mitch Brown moved to the wing and Aaron Woods started the match at prop.
Wests Tigers opened the scoring in the 3rd minute with a try in the left corner to winger Mitch Brown after full-back Tim Moltzen raced 60 metres off a pass from five-eighth Benji Marshall. Marshall failed to convert the try.
Six minutes later, hooker Robbie Farah darted out from dummy half to show the ball to two defenders before slicing through a gap to beat 3 defenders to score in the same spot as Brown did for an 8-0 lead. Marshall failed to convert the try.
Referee Gerard Sutton called on the video referee Paul Simpkins to rule whether there was an obstruction in the lead up to the try scored by winger John Williams in the 12th minute. The try was awarded. Williams converted the try from the sideline for an 8-6 scoreline.
Wests Tigers stretched their lead to 12-6 when full-back Tim Moltzen dived over in the right corner to score a 70 metre try after half-back Robert Lui stepped past two defenders to put centre Blake Ayshford away down the right flank. He then hooked up with Moltzen to complete the try. Marshall converted the try from the sideline for a 14-6 lead after 23 minutes.
The Sharks got back to 14-10 in the 28th minute when second-rower Jeremy Smith brushed off a defender to put a grubber kick through behind the line for winger Stewart Mills to swoop on the ball to score. Williams converted the try for a 14-12 scoreline after 29 minutes.
Wests Tigers winger Lote Tuqiri scored his third try of the season when Marshall put him through a gap to score under the posts from a scrum win after referee Ben Cummins ruled the Sharks knocked the ball aftera loose pass went to ground from the Wests Tigers.
Marshall converted the try for a 20-12 lead after 35 minutes.
The score remained that way until half-time.
Cronulla started the second half strongly with a try next to the posts to Smith. Williams converted the try to leave Wests Tigers leading 20-18 after 43 minutes.
A clever run around move by Farah to second-rower Gareth Ellis saw Farah dive over next to the posts in the 59th minute for a 24-18 lead. Marshall converted the try for a 26-18 lead after 61 minutes.
The Sharks got back to 26-22 when Williams dived over in the left corner for his second try in the 72nd minute. Williams failed to convert the try from the sideline.
Wests Tigers secured victory when Farah used his experience to barge his way over from dummy half to score his second try for a 30-22 lead.
Marshall failed to convert the try with 30 seconds remaining.
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Tigers grab fourth for NRL finals
September 3, 2011 - 10:29PM
They were made to work hard for it, but a Robbie Farah-inspired Wests Tigers sneaked into fourth place and a home NRL final with a 30-22 victory over a gallant Cronulla at Toyota Stadium on Saturday night.
Farah scored a hat-trick, including a 78th-minute clincher, as the Tigers struggled to put the home side away in what became a nailbiter when Sharks winger John Williams scored in the 72nd minute to make it 26-22.
The six tries to four victory set up a blockbuster opening night to week one of the finals with a massive game against fifth-placed St George Illawarra.
With that match-up capable of drawing in excess of 50,000, the NRL chose to play the qualifying final at ANZ Stadium.
The win avoided a nasty trip to Brisbane for the Tigers and came against a Sharks side desperate to celebrate inspirational captain Paul Gallen’s 200th game with an end to their seven-match losing streak.
The earlier victory for the Warriors over North Queensland earned the Auckland side sixth place and consigned the Cowboys to seventh.
If the standings remain the same after Sunday’s games, Melbourne will host Newcastle, Manly will play the Cowboys and Brisbane will take on the Warriors.
As well as Farah, Mitch Brown, Tim Moltzen and Lote Tuqiri grabbed tries for the Tigers with Benji Marshall booting three from six.
For the Sharks, Williams (two), Stewart Mills and Jeremy Smith bagged four-pointers, while Williams kicked three from four.
It looked ominous for the Sharks when two tries in the opening nine minutes had the Tigers up 8-0 but the home side stuck with Tim Sheens’ men and limited them to a 20-12 halftime lead.
Sheens would have been ropeable when Gallen sent Smith over three minutes after the break to narrow the gap to just two points.
The Tigers made it 26-18 went Farah scored his second after a neat ball from Gareth Ellis in the 60th minute before Williams set up a grandstand finish.
A late flurry from the Sharks came to nothing before Farah celebrated by slamming the ball down after notching his third.
With eight straight wins under their belt, Farah said the Tigers would have no fear of the premiers who they beat 16-14 a month ago.
“It’s a semi-final, you’ve got to beat the best teams to win the comp and any team you come up against is going to be hard,” he said.
"Last time we played them it was a tough game, we got them at the end but it took 80 minutes to get them.
“I’m sure it will be the same.”
Sheens said the close shave with Cronulla was the result of a month’s intense training.
“It was a tired effort from our guys,” he said.
"I’ve worked them pretty hard for a month. We’ll freshen them up this week.
“You don’t have to be up mentally (for the final), you’ve got to be up physically for this game.”
The Tigers’ run has plenty thinking they can relive their 2005 premiership, among them Gallen.
“They’ve probably got to play through the middle a bit more. They play a bit expansive when a team’s getting into them,” he said.
“I definitely think they’ll be around there. I’ll back them. I think they’ll be there with Brisbane.”
Onya Gallen, you’re a good judge!