Benji brilliance trumps fading Raiders

The Wests Tigers have run out victors 18-8 in an entertaining, enthralling match this afternoon in front of 19428 delirious fans at Leichhardt Oval.

The match started in unusual circumstances with the Raiders kicking out on the full from the kick-off. The Tigers made them pay for that error through winger Beau Ryan. Benji Marshall and Robert Lui linked up, before delivering a pass out to Blake Ayshford who flick passed back on the inside for Ryan to dive over out wide to give the Tigers the perfect start. Marshall converted from the sideline, but it would be the Tigers only points of an entertaining first half. For all their possession and field position in the opening 20 minutes, the Tigers could not convert it into points and the Raiders levelled the scores in the 22nd minute through Origin representative Joel Monaghan. Referee Jarrod Maxwell sent the decision to the video referee after Tigers' fullback Wade McKinnon believed he was obstructed while trying to scramble across in cover defence, but the video referee ruled otherwise. Centre Jarrod Croker, taking over the goal-kicking from Terry Campese landed the near-sideline conversion to draw the Raiders level after they appeared to be starved of possession. The 6-all scoreline would remain the same until the halftime break despite both teams throwing the ball around, but a combination of poor finishing and good scrambling defence ensured the scoreboard attendant was not required for the remainder of the first half. Unfortunately for the Raiders, Scott Logan went off with a suspected broken hand, while the Tigers' Robert Lui and Beau Ryan were treated for injuries at various stages in the first half.

The second half began in almost identical fashion to the first, but this time it was the Raiders who appeared to score after just two minutes, but Joel Monaghan was ruled to have knocked on from a Terry Campese cross-kick. Both teams continued to play an arm-wrestle style of football, with neither giving an inch. Try-scoring opportunities were few and far between, but when the opportunities did arise, both sides were unable to take full advantage through some scrambling defence from their opponents, or pushing the pass. In the 63rd minute, the Raiders poked their noses in front through a penalty goal to Jarrod Croker after Tigers' winger Lote Tuqiri was penalised while in possession. The 8-6 scoreline remained that way until a piece of Benji Marshall brilliance ignited the game and sent the near-capacity crowd into raptures. Running the ball on the fifth tackle, the Tigers played some razzle dazzle and winger Beau Ryan's chip-and-chase saw him regather 10 metres out, before scoring out wide. Marshall's conversion from the sideline saw the Tigers in front and from the ensuing re-start, the Raiders knocked on from the short kick-off. Daniel Fitzhenry then put the icing on the cake when he raced 65 metres from the scrum to dive over under the posts and send the Tigers fans home delirious.

Next week, the Tigers play Friday Night Football in what shapes as another enthralling encounter against the Dragons at WIN Jubilee. The Raiders will look to bounce back on Monday night when they host Canterbury.

Match Details
Wests Tigers 18 defeated Canberra Raiders 8
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 15 - Sunday June 20, 2010 3:00pm
Venue: Leichhardt Oval
Referee: Ashley Klein and Jared Maxwell
Video Referee: Sean Hampstead
Touch Judges: Grant Atkins and Paul Holland
Crowd: 19428
Halftime: Wests Tigers 6 Canberra Raiders 6 players of the match:
3 Points - Benji Marshall (3 Conversions)
2 Points - Robbie Farah
1 Point - Beau Ryan (2 Tries)

Tries: Daniel Fitzhenry, Beau Ryan (2)
Conversions: Benji Marshall (3/3)

Tries: Joel Monaghan
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (1/1)
Penalty Goals: Jarrod Croker (1/1) Live Commentary And welcome here to a sunny Leichhardt Oval for this afternoon's Round 15 clash between the Wests Tigers and the Canberra Raiders. In team news, Keith Galloway comes onto the bench, while Andrew Fifita and Geoff Daniela will drop off. For the Raiders, Shaun Fensom will run on at lock forward and Trevor Thurling will drop back to the bench. Kick-off will be a little after 3pm.
In the Toyota Cup match that has just been completed, the Raiders have run out 42-26 victors in another high-scoring match.
1 min: The Raiders will kick off towards the northern end of Leichhardt Oval and the Tigers will get first use of the ball in front of a near-capacity crowd at their spiritual home.
1 min: PENALTY Tigers. And the Raiders have kicked the ball out on the full! The Tigers will go straight on the attack.
2 min: PENALTY Tigers. Canberra ruled to be offside.
2 min: TRY
TRY Wests Tigers
Scored by Beau Ryan. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall successful.
And the Tigers have opened the scoring in just the second minute. Ayshford received the pass from Farah on the wing, before flick passing on the inside for Ryan to dive over out wide.
Wests Tigers 6-0
5 min: Knock on Raiders. Tilse has knocked the ball on in a solid tackle from Heighington five metres inside Tigers territory.
8 min: And the Tigers have hit the ground running here this afternoon. They appear to be doing everything quicker than the Raiders.
8 min: PENALTY Tigers. Fensom is ruled to have hit Tigers halfback Robert Lui late after passing and the Tigers will again go on the attack.
11 min: Beau Ryan is slow to his feet after picking up a kick from Terry Campese that has pinned the Tigers on their own line.
12 min: PENALTY Raiders. As the Tigers chased a chip kick downfield, the Raiders are awarded a penalty for the chasers being offside. The Raiders will get their first attacking set of the afternoon.
12 min: Knock-on Raiders. The Tigers now turn defence into attack.
13 min: Marshall puts a kick in on the fifth tackle which ricochets off a Raiders defender who is ruled to not have played at the ball.
14 min: Good scrambling defence from the Tigers sees the Raiders hand the ball over on the fifth tackle as they showed some razzle dazzle.
17 min: PENALTY Tigers. The Raiders have been penalised for having hands in the ruck.
17 min: Marshall's kick towards the wing of Tuqiri has just beat the flying winger into touch. In injury news, Scott Logan is being helped from the field with what appears to be a serious arm injury.
20 min: The Raiders will feed a scrum 10-metres out from the Tigers line and go straight on the attack here. Lui is in the hands of trainers in back-play.
21 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Canberra try. Joel Monaghan has dived over out wide, but referee Maxwell wants to have a look at a possible obstruction on Tigers fullback Wade McKinnon.
22 min: TRY
Monaghan scores the Raiders first try of the afternoon and despite all the possession and field position the Tigers have had, scores are level.
6 all
24 min: Knock on Raiders. As the Raiders have moved the ball out of their own danger zone are ruled to have knocked the ball on.
25 min: Tuqiri has raced down the sideline, but lost the ball. From the ensuing tackle, the Raiders have received a penalty.
30 min: Some Benji Marshall magic has been nipped in the bud by Croker from the Raiders and a good thing he did too, otherwise the Tigers were racing away downfield, but now the Raiders will go on the attack.
36 min: Both teams have slowed to walking pace as the game approaches halftime.
38 min: As the Raiders looked to move the ball from sideline to sideline, they have knocked the ball on and the Tigers work the ball away from their own line.
39 min: The ball has gone from one end of the field to the other and now the Raiders have the ball again and have been held up!
39 min: The Tigers defence has held and they should go to the break locked at 6-all in an entertaining game of football.
40 min: HALFTIME here at Leichhardt Oval in an entertaining, end-to-end spectacle played in front of a bumper crowd on a sunny Sunday afternoon where the Tigers and Raiders are locked at 6-all.
40 min: And we're underway here in the second half. The Raiders have first use of the ball.
41 min: The Tigers have thrown the ball away in their first use and the Raiders will go on the attack early in the second half.
42 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Canberra try. Monaghan has dived over in the corner, taking a Campese cross-kick and the video referee is checking the grounding.
42 min: No Try. Monaghan has knocked the ball on in the in-goal.
48 min: Both teams continue to complete their sets here at Leichhardt, but the Tigers appear to be a little flat since the halftime break.
52 min: PENALTY Tigers. Farah has darted out of dummy half and caught the Raiders offside. The Tigers will go on their first attacking set of the second half.
53 min: Marshall's cut-out pass to Ryan has sailed over the winger's head with the tryline wide open. Both teams are struggling evidently with the warm weather this afternoon.
54 min: Thompson has lost the ball over the line! With the tryline open and the Tigers defence converging, the Raiders' centre has lost the ball.
56 min: The game is beginning to open up as the warm weather begins to take its toll. Whoever can manage to hang onto the ball will score soon and perhaps blow this game wide open.
61 min: We head into the final quarter of this intriguing encounter with no indication as to which of these two sides are going to come away with the two points.
62 min: PENALTY Raiders. Tuqiri has been penalised for obstruction whilst in possession of the ball.
PENALTY GOAL Canberra Raiders
Penalty goal attempt by Jarrod Croker successful.
Croker has put the Raiders in front for the first time this afternoon with a 32-metre penalty goal. Needless to say this more than likely won't be the final score, but it puts the Raiders' noses in front.
Canberra Raiders 8-6
65 min: Tuqiri has again burst down the sideline, but the pass back on the inside to Heighington has been put down by the second rower.
66 min: PENALTY Raiders. The Tigers have been penalised for a dangerous tackle from Heighington.
67 min: The Raiders have lost the ball on the first tackle through Learoyd-Lahrs and the Tigers again have the ball as they attempt to get back in front on the scoreboard.
68 min: BREAKING NEWS: Mark Gasnier's management has lodged his contract with the NRL to play for the Dragons over the next 3 seasons.

Stay tuned to LeagueUnlimited for more details as this story continues to break and more facts come to light.
71 min: This match continues to be on a knife-edge and now is the time for someone to stand up and be counted, whether that is Campese, Farah or Marshall.
72 min: Campese has kicked the ball out on the full and here is the Tigers' chance to go back on the attack.
72 min: Forward pass from the Tigers. The Raiders are out on their feet, but the Tigers are unable to land a knockout punch as Marshall's short pass to Heighington is called back.
75 min: TRY
TRY Wests Tigers
Scored by Beau Ryan. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall successful.
Some Benji brilliance has inspired the Tigers to put their noses back in front! Ryan has dived over out wide, after chip-kicking for himself and send this bumper crowd at Leichhardt into raptures.
Wests Tigers 12-8
77 min: Knock-on Raiders. The short kick off has come off for the Raiders, but they have knocked the ball on through Monaghan. The Tigers will look to hang on for the remaining three minutes.
77 min: TRY
TRY Wests Tigers
Scored by Daniel Fitzhenry. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall successful.
From the scrum, Fitzhenry has raced 65 metres to score untouched under the posts and seal the deal for the Wests Tigers. Joyous scenes here at Leichhardt.
Wests Tigers 18-8
80 min: Fulltime here at Leichhardt Oval and the Wests Tigers have run out victors 18-8 in an entertaining match in the sunshine on a Sunday afternoon.

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