The Wests Tigers have taken advantage of horrific weather conditions at Leichhardt Oval today to dominate Manly 34-18 in front of a brilliant 16,311 turnout.
Leading from the front, it was Robbie Farah who got the hosts off to a perfect start, grubbering ahead and taking advantage of the soggy ground - the ball pulled up short of the dead ball line and it was Farah who won the race to it.
The Tigers continued to dominate the match, which slowly became littered with errors due to the wet weather. This turned into further points before the thirty-minute mark - Pat Richards kicking a penalty goal before David Nofoaluma crossed out wide to put the Tigers up 14-0. Two more tries in the ten minutes prior to halftime - one to Chris Lawrence who overcame several defenders, and one to a rampaging Aaron Woods, saw the Tigers looking likely to lead by a significant margin at the halftime break... but then there was controversy.
Leichhardt's automated siren appeared to not go off when the clock reached zero - as a result time had elapsed but the officials were none the wiser. Off the next play Manly scored through Jamie Lyon - despite Robbie Farah's vociferous protests to Ashley Klein the try stood and the margin was instead twenty at the changing of ends - the Tigers holding a 26-6 lead.
Unfortunately for Manly, the controversy only served to fire up the home side, and it showed from the first set after the resumption. They dominated the opening exchanges of the second half and went on to win comfortably - Nofoaluma grabbing a second before the Sea Eagles added some respectability to the visiting side's total with a Steve Matai double.
The loss is Manly's first since the opening Saturday night of the season and means they're set for a tough challenge next Sunday when they host the Sharks for the Steve Rogers Cup. The Tigers on the other hand shift home grounds to Campbelltown on Saturday to host their 2005 Grand Final opponents, the North Queensland Cowboys.