A rampaging New Zealand Warriors have run over the top of the Wests Tigers to record a 42-18 win in front of a bumper crowd of 22,512 at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
In a game of two halves, the Tigers looked the better of the two teams for most of the first stanza before the Warriors thrilled the Wellington crowd with an exhibition of attacking football, piling on 28 second half points.
Despite dominating the first 40 minutes, the Tigers found themselves behind at half time after the Warriors scored three tries in the last seven minutes of the first half to take a 14-12 lead into the break. It was Glen Fisiiahi who scored in the 34th and 38th minutes before Manu Vatuvei completed a miracle try right on half time, laying the platform for a second half onslaught. Braith Anasta had earlier fooled the Warriors defence with a show and go to get over for the opening try of the match in the 19th minute, before James Tedesco got the ball down just inside the field of play on 23 minutes as Sam Tomkins tried to shepherd it dead.
The Tigers were unable to recover from the late first half burst, a situation that was made all the more difficult when news came through at half time that both Cory Paterson and James Tedesco had been ruled out for the remainder of the game after sustaining head knocks.
Glen Fisiiahi sealed his hat trick only two minutes into the second half when a Tigers mistake inside their own in goal provided him with a gift of a try. When the Warriors scored another converted try in the 46th minute to take the score to 26-12, it looked as though the Tigers wouldn't have enough in the tank to get back into the match.
To the Tigers credit however, they got themselves back into the contest with a 59th minute try to Robbie Farah which brought the score back to 26-18. The next ten minutes saw a period of sustained pressure as the Tigers looked to crack their opponent's line once again but the Warriors defence held firm.
Any chance of a comeback was ended when Pat Richards knocked on a grubber close to his own line which was latched onto by Jayson Bukuya to score an easy four pointer. Two more late Warriors tries to Sam Tomkins in the 74th minute and Glen Fisiiahi's fourth try in the 77th minute took the score to a convincing 42-18 by the time the full time siren sounded.
The Warriors have now recorded their first back to back wins of the season, a much needed boost ahead of their trip to Remondis Stadium next week. The only concern will be a reported broken jaw to Jerome Ropati sustained in the opening half.
For the Tigers, it's back to the drawing board before a clash with the in-form Manly Sea Eagles at Leichardt Oval next Monday night.