Tigers blow Panthers off the park

Some stunning late tries have seen the Wests Tigers run away with a comprehensive 43-18 win over the Penrith Panthers at Campbelltown Stadium.

The game was in the balance at 24-18 to the home team with less than fifteen minutes left on the clock but some razzle dazzle from the Tigers saw them post three late tries and run away convincing winners.

English import Gareth Ellis and young bull Andrew Fifita had strong games - both grabbed a brace of four-pointers in the seven try romp.

Earlier, Penrith got off to the perfect start when a one arm pass from Travis Burns sent Frank Pritchard through the line - the big second rower went over to give his side a 6-0 advantage.

Both teams continued the 'expansive footy' theme and the home side hit back thanks to Robbie Farah. In interesting circumstances, Fifita had the ball stripped in the act of scoring by Kevin Kingston before Farah pounced on the loose ball.

Fifita wasn't about to make the same mistake again - in the 29th minute, the front rower tucked the ball safely under his arm and crashed over off a nice inside pass from Gareth Ellis. Marshall's conversion gave Wests a 12-6 lead.

Penrith started to run out of juice toward the latter stages of the stanza and on the stroke of halftime the Tigers made them pay when halfback Robert Lui slid through the line.

Panthers' fullback Michael Gordon got his side off to the perfect second half start, thanks to a weaving try but Wests stretched their lead to 24-12 thanks to a striding run from Ellis.

However, the 'Mountain Men' kept their noses in the match when a stepping run from Michael Jennings reduced the deficit to just 24-18 in the 67th minute.

But Ellis' double in the 72nd minute erased any sniff of a Panthers' charge before a Farah field goal stretched the lead to 31-18.

The Tigers didn't put the cue in the rack by any means, further tries came via a barging run from Fifita before the speedy Chris Lawrence raced away 60 metres to rub salt in the wounds in the final minute.

Wests move to third on the ladder ahead of their tantalising clash with Parramatta next Sunday, while Penrith will be searching for form against South Sydney at CUA Stadium, Friday night.

Match Details
Wests Tigers 43 defeated Penrith Panthers 18
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 23 - Sunday August 15, 2010 3:00pm
Venue: Campbelltown Sports Stadium
Referee: Tony Archer and Gavin Badger
Video Referee: Steve Clark
Touch Judges: David Abood and Jeff Younis
Crowd: 17,208
Halftime: Wests Tigers 18 Penrith Panthers 6

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Gareth Ellis (2 Tries)
2 Points - Robbie Farah (1 Try, 1 Field Goal)
1 Point - Andrew Fifita (2 Tries)

Wests Tigers (43)
Tries: Robbie Farah, Chris Lawrence, Gareth Ellis (2), Robert Lui, Andrew Fifita (2)
Field Goals: Robbie Farah (1/1)
Conversions: Benji Marshall (7/7)

Penrith Panthers (18)
Tries: Frank Pritchard, Michael Gordon, Michael Jennings
Conversions: Michael Gordon (3/3)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to Campbelltown Stadium for the clash between Wests and Penrith. It's a big game for both sides who will be looking to entrench a spot in the top four after some indifferent form over the last few weeks.

In the U20s, the Tigers secured a commanding 44-24 victory - centre Jake Clarke scored a hat trick.

Team changes..
Tigers: Wade McKinnon is again out injury, Mitch Brown takes his spot at fullback. Keith Galloway is also missing, with Bryce Gibbs replacing him in the starting side and the evergreen John Skandalis coming on to the bench.
Panthers: Lachlan Coote is injured, Michael Gordon shifts from wing to fullback - Sandor Earl comes on to the wing. Daine Laurie has been elevated to starting prop, with Tim Grant shifting back to the interchange.
Wests Tigers take the field in front of a nice size crowd on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
1 min: Tigers kick off!
2 min: Benji Marshall puts it high on the last tackle but Beau Ryan spills the ball.
4 min: Panthers get the first attacking opportunity of the afternoon and a knock down by Wests gives them another set.
6 min: TRY
Penrith Panthers TRY
Perfect start for Penrith! A one arm pass from Travis Burns sends Frank Pritchard through the line and the big second rower crashes over. Gordon converts.
Penrith Panthers 6-0
9 min: Penrith have all the running at the moment but Wests get a penalty to help them out of their half.
11 min: Tigers find a repeat set after a Farah grubber and now the home team get a chance on the offensive.
12 min: Robert Lui drops the ball over the line but replays suggest he perhaps didn't get a touch..
14 min: Great counter-attack from Penrith! Marshall threw an intercept to Luke Walsh he then linked up with Earl, who raced away downfield. Payten cut him down in cover defence though.
17 min: A 40/20 attempt from Robbie Farah is thwarted by Sandor Earl - he anticipated the kick well.
18 min: It's a rapid fire game at the moment, both teams really utilising their speed and footwork.
20 min: A penalty against the Panthers for tackling Benji Marshall without the ball.
22 min: Video referee - possible Tigers try..
22 min: TRY
Wests Tigers TRY
Big call there! Andrew Fifita looked to have scored but the ball was stripped legally by Kevin Kingston - the loose ball is pounced on by Robbie Farah. Interesting circumstances there but definitely the right decision. Marshall converts.
6 all
26 min: Benji Marshall breaks away downfield but he's gone into touch - good scrambling defence but danger signs for Penrith.
28 min: Panthers starting yet another set from deep in their half.
30 min: Two penalties in a row give Wests a chance inside the opposition's 20.
30 min: TRY
Wests Tigers TRY
Andrew Fifita missed out earlier in the half but he's over now! A nice inside pass from Gareth Ellis sends the young front rower crashing over. Marshall converts.
Wests Tigers 12-6
33 min: A long kick from Robbie Farah is fielded from Gordon but he only makes it 8 metres out from his own line.
35 min: Farah's involved in everything at the moment but this time it's not good as he throws a pass forward.
37 min: Nathan Smith with a line break but he needed to pass to Michael Jennings in support!
38 min: Travis Burns grubbers through but Ryan puts his body on the line and grabs the ball.
39 min: The vocal home crowd rises as Robbie Farah nails a 40/20 - can the Panthers hold on with two minutes remaining?
40 min: TRY
Wests Tigers
Two long passes find Robert Lui, who steps and throws a dummy to slide through and score on the stroke of halftime. Perhaps his finest moment in the NRL? Marshall converts.
Wests Tigers 18-6
Halftime: It's been a non-stop match so far, as both teams have really tried to throw it around at all costs. The break will serve the Panthers well, they ran out of juice towards the latter end of the half.
41 min: Underway in the second half. Can the Panthers fight back?
42 min: TRY
Penrith Panthers
What a start by Penrith! Fullback Michael Gordon picked up a loose ball and showed great footwork and strength to shake of the tackle attempt of Robert Lui and score. Gordon converts.
Wests Tigers 18-12
46 min: Wests don't seem to have the same intensity as in the first half, as Kingston finds some metres from dummy half.
47 min: A great kick return from Mitch Brown puts his side on the front foot.
50 min: Well I said the Tigers lacked spark but since then they've picked their game up, as a long Farah kick gains some territory.
53 min: The crowd erupts due to what looked like a certain forward pass from Penrith, referees say play on.
54 min: Robbie Farah chips ahead but the unlikely Gavin Cooper fields the kick.
56 min: The game turning into quite the arm wrestle, looks like we're set for a tense finish.
57 min: Luke Walsh bombs back towards the posts but Mitch Brown saves the day and a penalty gives the Tigers a piggyback.
59 min: TRY
Wests Tigers TRY
Englishman Gareth Ellis stampedes over the line off a nice short pass from Robert Lui. Marshall converts.
Wests Tigers 24-12
62 min: Adrian Purtell chips over the top but it's read well again from Brown at the back.
64 min: Video referee - possible Penrith try..
63 min: NO TRY!
Some spectacular play from Penrith but Frank Pritchard is ruled to have produced a double movement in grounding the ball.
66 min: Michael Jennings tries to step back through the defence but he's been contained pretty well by Wests so far.
67 min: TRY
Penrith Panthers TRY
Panthers fan can blame me for that try, I may have jinxed it.. some nice offloading finds its way into the hands of Michael Jennings, who steps past the defence and touches down. Gordon converts.
Wests Tigers 24-18
70 min: Tough call against Penrith with Daine Laurie ruled to have knocked on but there were feet and everything else in the way.
71 min: Andrew Fifita is held up! But the Tigers have still got four tackles on the attack..
72 min: TRY
Wests Tigers TRY
Benji Marshall finds Gareth Ellis striding through a hole on the fringe on the ruck - that looks to be the nail in the coffin for Penrith this afternoon. Marshall converts.
Wests Tigers 30-18
73 min: Penrith go for a short kick off but it's out on the full.
74 min: FIELD GOAL
Wests Tigers FIELD GOAL
Robbie Farah slots the one pointer under absolutely no pressure at all.
Wests Tigers 31-18
77 min: Tigers put on some razzle dazzle but they push the pass and come up with an error.
78 min: TRY
Wests Tigers TRY
Big Andrew Fifita barges over some tired defence to notch a double. Marshall converts.
Wests Tigers 37-18
80 min: TRY
Wests Tigers TRY
They're in again!! Andrew Fifita makes a strong surge before Chris Lawrence steps past the defence and races 60 metres to score under the posts. Marshall converts.
Wests Tigers 43-18
Fulltime: Some late tries have seen Wests blow the Panthers off the park 43-18.

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