FIRE DOUSED | After returning to finals action in 2015, the St George-Illawarra Dragons struggled un...
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The game was very even right for the majority of the game with general play continuously travelling from end to end much like a tennis match.
New signing for Wests Tigers, Paul Whatuira scored the first try of the match just 5 minutes in. Fast plays and tough tackles were the order of the day as the two sides fought for domination and points, only to be floundered by the opposition.
12-10 at the break with the Eels scoring right on the stroke of halftime, a good indication of how close these teams were on the field.
The Eels took the lead 10 minutes into the second half and did not relinquish it no matter what the Tigers could throw at them. Both side guilty of unforced errors towards the end of the match. Well played Parramatta to keep the Tigers scoreless in the second half.
A good first up effort by Russell Smith as he controlled the game very well.
Stand out performances by Eels newcomer Glenn Morrison and Anthony Laffranchi for the Tigers.
WESTS TIGERS 12 Tries: Whatuira, Richards Goals: Hodgson CON 1/1, PG 1/1, Richards CON 0/1 EELS 28 Tries: Cannings, Morrison, Morris, Peek, Tahu Goals: Burt CON 4/5
By the clock: Two teams ready for action. The Eels welcome back PJ Marsh into their side, coming in to the game from the bench. Russell Smith from England is umpiring his first NRL match tonight.
0 min: Kick off, in the second match of the NRL competition again at Telstra Stadium
5th min: TRY TIGERS. Whatuira scores the first try of the season for his new side. A penalty to the Wests Tigers to set up excellent field position. A high kick in goal is fumbled by Grothe and Whatuira pounces on the ball to score. Hodgson converts to add the extra 2 points. Tigers 6-0
9th min: NEWS - The Eels hit straight back and are rewarded with a line drop out. The resulting kick goes an outstanding 70 metres. The Tigers defence soaking up the attack well.
15th min: NEWS - Both teams very committed to the task at hand, both in defence and attack. The play end to end at this stage of the match. Tigers lead 6-0
21st min: NEWS - Wests Tigers very close to scoring however the try score Whatuira unable to gather in the last pass out wide. Excellent scrambling defence by the Eels.
25th min: PENALTY GOAL. Hodgson kicks the penalty 20 metres out following offside play by the Eels. Tigers 8-0
31st min: TRY EELS. Hard work finally pays off for the Parramatta side as Cannings crosses the line for his first try. A line drop out set up the play perfectly for the Eels. Burt adds the two points. Tigers 8-6
36th min: NEWS - Hodgson (Tigers) leaving the field with a badly swollen eye. The intensity of the game has not wavered from the very first tackle, full of action by both the teams
37th min: TRY TIGERS. Fast hands by the Tigers as Richards scoops the ball from a bounce and flies into the corner, the video ref calling the shots and awarding the try. Richards attempting to convert his try, misses the conversion. Tigers 12-6
40th min: TRY EELS. A mistake by the Tigers 20 metres out from the Eels goal line, sets up the scrum nicely for the Eels. Patience prevails and Morrison scores right on the hooter. Burt misses the conversion. Tigers 12-10
HALFTIME: This game could go either way. Well played by both sides. Tigers hold a narrow lead at the break, 12-10
Second half underway...
45th min: NEWS - The Eels have come out from the break with the guns firing on all cylinders however the Tigers are matching them on all counts. No change to the score at halftime.
49th min: TRY EELS. Morris does well to push his way through two tacklers close to the line with momentum helping his cause to roll the ball over the defenders' arm, finally finishing off some great play by the Eels. Burts adds the extra points. Eels 16-12
55th min: NEWS - The momentum seems to have swung the Parramatta way since the Morris try. Their defence has stepped up as has the talking on the field
63rd min: NO TRY EELS. A kick out to Grothe on the wing almost results in a try as he contests the ball however slaps it forward while in mid air, as the video ref decides after long deliberation. The score remains 16-12 to the Eels
70th min: NEWS - The Eels starting to make a few unforced errors allowing the Tigers just a sniff of hope to score and take the lead. Eels still have it at 16-12
76th min: NEWS - Riddell (Eels) busting for the line is held up by Laffranchi in a try saving tackle
76th min: TRY EELS. The next tackle following the no try decision has Hodgson fumble a grubber and Peek diving on the ball to score. Burt from right in front nets the conversion. Eels 22-12
80th min: TRY EELS. Tahu burns some rubber down the sideline and run a good 50 metres to score the final try of the match. Burt converts and ends the match. Eels 28-12
FULLTIME: Well played Eels, a hard fought but deserved victory
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - G Morrison (Eels) 2 - A Laffranchi (Tigers) 1 - J Morris (Eels) -----------------------------------------