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Wests Tigers have scored an upset win over the Melbourne Storm, downing NRL competition leaders by 30-12 at Bluetongue Stadium tonight.
With five eighth Benji Marshall being forced off with injury early the match, the task of defeating the competition favourites fell on the shoulders of senior player and hooker Robbie Farah, and rookie back Chris Lawrence.
Lawrence capitalised on the opporunity by scoring a try after just seven minutes.
Farah played a superb first half and capped it off with a sensational 50 metre run in the 28th minute, and followed up with a try to put Wests Tigers 14-0 in front.
Lawrence got his second try just before half time, a simple pick up which saw the five eighth fend off several would-be defenders and run 30 metres to score under the posts.
At half time, Wests Tigers were 22-0 in front.
The Storm made a game of it in the second half with tries to centre Matt King and forward Dallas Johnson.
But Wests Tigers were not to be denied with back rower Ben Galea coming back from a concussion and putting the match beyond doubt with a try in the 73rd minute.
It was confirmed later in the evening that Marshall had dislocated his right shoulder, the same one he has had two reconstructions on.
Scans will be carried out on Monday by club doctor Donald Kuah to reveal the full extent of the injury.
Round 8 - Full Time :: May 5th, 2007 07:30 PM Venue: Bluetongue Stadium Crowd: 19,111 Referee: Tony Archer
Wests Tigers 30 Tries: Chris Lawrence (2), Robbie Farah, Ben Galea Field Goals: John Morris (0/1) Goals: Dean Collis (7/7) Melbourne Storm 12 Tries: Matt King, Dallas Johnson Goals: Cameron Smith (2/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Robbie Farah (Tigers) 2 Points: Chris Lawrence (Tigers) 1 Point: Dean Collis (Tigers) Live commentary Kick off and a fine night on the NSW Central Coast, the Storm will have first use of the ball.
7 min: TRY Wests Tigers Chris Lawrence scores and the Wests Tigers draw first blood. Lawrence swooped on a fumble from Greg Inglis. Conversion attempt by Dean Collis successful. Wests Tigers 6-0
19 min: PENALTY GOAL Wests Tigers No mistake from Dean Collis. Wests Tigers dominating in the early stages. Wests Tigers 8-0
28 min: TRY Wests Tigers Robbie Farah barges over from dummy half and gets the nod from video ref. Follows a big 50m bust from Farah from deep in his own half. Simple conversion attempt by Dean Collis successful. Wests Tigers 14-0
33 min: ON REPORT Danny Galea (Tigers) on report following lifting tackle on Ben Cross.
34 min: PENALTY GOAL Wests Tigers Dean Collis makes no mistake. Wests Tigers 16-0
37 min: TRY Wests Tigers Chris Lawrence runs 20 or 30 metres to score after picking up a loose ball following a scrum win. Conversion attempt by Dean Collis successful. Wests Tigers 22-0
39 min: ATTEMPTED FIELD GOAL Wests Tigers Looks like John Morris has tried a speculator just before the break. Wests Tigers 22-0
Half time: Tigers 22-0 Its all Wests Tigers and an upset is very much on the cards. Chris Lawrence a standout after he came on to replace Benji Marshall who was injured early in the piece.
Second half underway...
45 min: TRY Melbourne Storm Centre Matt King gets the Storm on board, surviving video ref scrutiny over a possible obstruction. Wide conversion attempt by Cameron Smith is a ripper. Wests Tigers 22-6
49 min: TRY Melbourne Storm Dallas Johnson crashes over following a Cooper Cronk kick who then got involved to flick the ball back to Johnson. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful. Wests Tigers 22-12
59 min: NO TRY Wests denied by referee Archer following a forward pass. Storm hanging on.
65 min: PENALTY GOAL Wests Tigers Cameron Smith drop out goes out on the full. Penalty right in front for Dean Collis. Wests Tigers 24-12
73 min: TRY Wests Tigers Ben Galea hits the hole from 30m out and it's all over red rover. Conversion attempt by Dean Collis from in front is successful. Wests Tigers 30-12
79 min: NO TRY Melbourne denied after winger Steve Turner goes into touch before putting the ball down.
Full time: Wests Tigers have upset the competition leaders in a big way, and have done so without fullback Brett Hodgson who was ruled out during the week, and without Benji Marshall who went off injured early in the first half.
Wests Tigers 30-12