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Wests Tigers 52 v South Sydney Rabbitohs 18
at Leichhardt Oval
Referee: Tony De Las Heras
Wests Tigers have annihilated South Sydney at historic Leichhardt Oval by 52-18 this afternoon, adding further misery to an already disastrous week in the club?s history.
After sacking their coach mid-week and facing a backlash over life memberships in today?s print media, Souths put in one of their more gutless performances of the season which has yielded only three victories in total.
By contrast the Tigers turned up in a positive fashion with the obvious aim of ending the season on a high and sending off departing stars John Skandalis, Scott Prince, Anthony Laffranchi and Shane Elford in style.
And that?s exactly how things played out.
It was 18-nil after 25 minutes of play with Todd Payten grabbing one earlier in the third minute before Robbie Farah and Shannon McDonnell continued the feast.
The surprise of the day was a first half brace of tries to forward Chris Heighington who completed his effort prior to the break with the Tigers taking an unassailable 30-nil halftime advantage.
It looked as though the pain would be unrelenting for the Bunnies as veteran John Skandalis scored just after the break in his last game for the club.
Soon after though there was some relief for Souths fans who remained at the ground, presumably to exorcise this season from themselves entirely, as fullback David Peachey crossed for the visitor?s first try of the day. The enigmatic custodian was clearly the Bunnies best among a very ordinary team on the day.
Both teams swapped tries for the remainder of the game with Daniel Fitzhenry notably scoring a double as Souths finished up with a further two touchdowns to finish the game at 52-18.
Whilst this game was a dead rubber the difference between the two cultures of the clubs couldn?t be more obvious.
Wests went out there intent on putting a difficult season behind them and farewelling some of their long-serving players from the club in happy circumstances. They can at least now look forward to next season with a few fond memories as they head to the pub tomorrow.
Souths, on the other hand, were a rabble and the off-field issues that have been dogging the club in recent times clearly took their toll today. With several mid-year signings coming to the club the past few weeks provided an opportunity for some existing players to stake a claim for next season. Unfortunately this will slip them by with unaccomplished performances of today?s magnitude. Fans can only hope that Jason Taylor will pull out a bag of tricks next season, similar to what he has done with Parramatta, and get them on the road to improvement.
Wests Tigers: 52
Tries: Shane Elford, Robert Farah, Daniel Fitzhenry(2), Chris Heighington(2), Todd Payten, John Skandalis, Shannon McDonnell
Goals: Daniel Fitzhenry 1/1, Scott Prince 7/8
South Sydney Rabbitohs: 18
Tries: Scott Geddes, Yileen Gordon, David Peachey
Goals: Joe Williams 1/1, Nathan Merritt 1/1, Eddie Paea 1/1
By the Clock:
Muggy day here at Leichhardt Oval where the Tigers and Rabbitohs square off in a dead rubber.
Both teams as per the program.
1 min: NEWS We're underway here at sunny Leichhardt.
3 min: TRY Wests Tigers
An early try here to the home side with mobile prop Todd Payten scoring the first of the day from short range. Captain Scott Prince nudges the conversion over and the Tigers are off to a good start.
13 min: NEWS Both teams competing pretty well here with an even share of possession and minimal mistakes.
20 min: TRY Wests Tigers
Robbie Farah bags up the next try for the Tigers after a good piece of back-up. Fitzhenry converts this one and the home side are pulling away.
25 min: TRY Wests Tigers
Speedster Shannon McDonnell advances the gap with his first of the day. Prince converts.
27 min: NEWS Video referee denies Robbie Farah a second try. The Tigers are dominating everything right now.
33 min: TRY Wests Tigers
Big forward Heighinton gets in on the act for the Tigers as they start to change gears and really get moving here at Leichhardt. Prince adds the extras and they are running wild.
38 min: TRY Wests Tigers
Amazingly, Heighinton gets his second for the day. It woulf be a rare occasion for this forward. Prince converts and they might break the half ton here today.
40 min: NEWS Halftime: Well, it's a bloodbath here. The Rabbitohs have very little to combat the Tigers who are enjoying throwing the ball about and making good use of it when they have it.
The home side might rack up a cricket score here.
41 min: NEWS Underway in the second half.
43 min: TRY Wests Tigers
The carve-up continues here as John Skandalis crashes over to continue the humiliation. Prince converts.
45 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs
The Bunnies finally get on the board through enigmatic fullback David Peachey. Leading try-scorer Nathan Merritt adds the extras.
51 min: TRY Wests Tigers
The Tigers are showing no mercy here as Fitzhenry crosses the stripe. Conversion unsuccessful but the Tigers are killing it at the moment.
59 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs
Buddy Gordon scores as the Rabbitohs try to inject som respect to the scoreline. Williams converts.
61 min: TRY Wests Tigers
Normal transmission has resumed with Shane Elford notching one up in his name. Prince converts and the Tgiers are hungry for more.
71 min: TRY Wests Tigers
Geez this is a smash-up. Fitzhenry gets another as the Tigers continue to run rough-shod over an uninterested Souths team. Prince converts and they could make 60.
74 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs
Big Scott Geddes finds his way to the line as defence becomes an after-thought here at Leichhardt. Eddie Paea converts.
80 min: NEWS It's all over here at Leichhardt where a few of the Tigers like Prince and Skandalis have received a fitting farewell.
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 - Scott Prince
2 - Daniel Fitzhenry
1 - Chris Heighington