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.