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6 days ago
The Wests Tigers have farewelled James Tedesco and Aaron Woods in style with a 28-16 victory to close the NRL regular season in front of 10,000 fans at Leichhardt Oval.
With just pride to play for, both sides had nothing to lose and it was a nervous start early and it took a Luke Brooks chip for Kevin Naiqama who got the scoring underway with his first of the night. The Tigers took control and were caught centimetres away so often and despite the Warriors having an effort denied by the bunker,the Tigers were next to score when Esan Marsters created space for himself and sliced through the line and got the Tigers second to go 10-0 up after Lolohea pushed the conversion wide.
The Tigers quality was on show and it was an end to end effort that saw an offload from David Nofoaluma find Malakai Watene-Zelezniak in the Tigers ingoal run 50m before finding James Tedesco who then found Tui Lolohea with a one handed pass and the 100m effort saw the Tigers take a 16-0 lead.
The Warriors swung a bit of momentum their way in the dying seconds when Solomone Kata pushed his way over from dummy half and took a couple of goes to get it down but it was given and after a extraordinary long time Issac Luke put the kick through off the post to take the score to 16-6 at HT.
The second half the Tigers and Warriors threw barbs at each other but both sides could only manage two tries each. The first was the second of the double for Kevin Naiqama when Luke Brooks threw a pass that left everyone confused with the ball rolling at least 5 metres before Naiqama picked it up to score in the corner.
The Warriors hit back with some quick hands and beautiful Rugby League with a wrap around play that saw Ryan Hoffman hold the ball for microseconds before getting to Roger Tuivasa-Sheck who got a deserved try for his efforts in the game.
Both sides then put the pressure on and David Fusitua had a second effort turned down by the Bunker and it took 20 minutes before the Tigers sealed their win with Lolohea finding Esan Marsters with a marvellous bullet pass who then beat the Warriors defence finding Nofoaluma who scored in the corner.
The final try of the regular season went to Cook Islands international Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad who was able to get onto a Fusitua ball which saw the winger streak down the touchline and score.
It's all over for both sides for 2017 but World Cup action awaits many of the players in the coming months.
Wests Tigers 28 - Warriors 16
Venue: Leichhardt Oval
Halftime Score: Wests Tigers 16 Warriors 6
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Aaron Woods
2 points - Esan Marsters
1 points - James Tedesco
WESTS TIGERS (28)
Tries: Kevin Naiqama (2), Tuimoala Lolohea, Esan Marsters, David Nofoaluma
Conversions: Tuimoala Lolohea (4/5)
Tries: Solomone Kata, Roger Tuivasa-sheck, Charnze Nicoll-klokstad
Conversions: Issac Luke (2/3)