WESTS TIGERS SEASON ENDS WITH WARRIORS LOSS
By Wayne Cousins, SFS.
16/09/2011 9:41:29 PM
Wests Tigers have tonight been eliminated from the Telstra Premiership finals with a 22-20 loss to the Warriors at the Sydney Football Stadium.
In front of a crowd of 27, 109, Wests Tigers led 18-6 at half-time before a try in the 78th minute saw the Warriors take the lead for the first time in the match.
It was a heart-breaking way for the Wests Tigers season to come to an end.
Wests Tigers made the first break of the match in the 2nd minute when centre Chris Lawrence found some open space but his inside pass saw the ball go behind captain Robbie Farah.
After a settling in period, Wests Tigers prop Keith Galloway scored the opening try in the 15th minute by charging over the top of Warriors full-back Kevin Locke to score next to the posts.
Five-eighth Benji Marshall converted the try to give Wests Tigers a 6-0 lead. Bryce Gibbs left the field with a sprained right ankle suffered in the lead up to the try. He left the field for more treatment.
Marshall gave Wests Tigers a 10-0 lead in the 21st minute when he stepped back inside to beat three defenders to score 10 metres out from the posts. Marshall converted his own try for a 12-0 lead after 22 minutes.
The Warriors got on the board in the 27th minute when full-back Kevin Locke scooted out from dummy half to brush off the tackle of Matt Groat before offloading to five-eighth James Maloney to score behind the posts. Maloney converted the try to leave the Warriors trailing 12-6 after 29 minutes.
Gibbs will not return for the rest of the game due to the ankle injury, leaving Wests Tigers with just three on the bench.
Wests Tigers captain and hooker Robbie Farah dived over for a ‘Farah special’ from dummy half in the 35th minute for a 16-6 lead. Marshall converted the try to give Wests Tigers an 18-6 lead after 37 minutes.
The game was erupted for a minute when adult man streaked across the field before finally being escorted from the field by security.
Marshall attempted a field goal in the 39th minute but the ball was touched in flight and didn’t go through the posts. The score remained 18-6 at half-time.
The Warriors enjoyed some good fortune through a try to second-rower Feleti Mateo after he ran onto on a good pass to beat three defenders to score behind the posts. Maloney converted the try to leave the Warriors trailing 18-12 after 51 minutes.
The try came after a forward pass was missed by the referees who then penalised Wests Tigers for raking the ball out in a tackle on winger Manu Vatuvei when replays showed he appeared to have lost the ball.
Two minutes later, Wests Tigers prop Aaron Woods came within a metre of scoring next to the posts.
Marshall extended Wests Tigers lead to 8 points when he converted a penalty goal in the 56th minute for a 20-12 scoreline after Locke was penalised for diving in low on a standing tackle on second-rower Gareth Ellis.
The Warriors got back to 20-16 in the 66th minute when utility Lance Hohaia dived over from dummy half to score next to the posts. Maloney converted the try toleave Wests Tigers leading 20-18 with 12 minutes remaining.
Inu put the Warriors ahead in the 77th minute with a try after a crossfield bomb by half-back Shaun Johnson saw centre Chris Lawrence and winger Lote Tuqiri collide to spill the ball. Inu grabbed the ball and fell short of the line before having a second attempt without a hand on him to score. It was awarded a try on video referee decision.
Maloney missed the conversion attempt to make it 22-20. The Warriors held on to win to advance through to play the Melbourne Storm.