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Tigers end Dragons' finals hopes
The West Tigers have all but cemented their spot in the top eight with a 22-12 win again the St George Illawarra Dragons in front of 10,546 at Allianz Stadium.
After conceding two early tries, the Tigers hit back with a try on half-time and a strong second half to claim their second consecutive victory with only three rounds to go until the finals.
Brett Morris opened up the scoring in only the 11th minute courtesy of a cut out pass from captain Ben Hornby. Chase Stanley missed the conversion to kick off an awful night with the boot for the Dragons' goal kickers.
The Dragons were over again three minutes later through Mitch Rein. Stanley missed the conversion from right in front, leaving the Dragons' lead at eight.
With strong winds affecting the kickers from both sides, even perfect completion rates, did not give either sides the needed boost in attack.
The Tigers had their first real attacking opportunity in the 37th minute, and they made sure to take full advantage with Tim Moltzen scoring the first try of his hat-trick just before half-time. The winds continued to toy with the goal-kickers causing Benji Marshall to miss his conversion attempt.
Some Benji Marshall brilliance saw the Tigers' score their second try in the 46th minute, after Marshall put Liam Fulton into a gap. Marshall added the extras to see the Tigers claim the lead for the first time in the match.
Moltzen had his double only two minutes later courtesy of a pin point kick from Robbie Farrah, Marshall added the extras again to give the Tigers are 12-point lead.
The Dragons finally hit back in the 64th minute when Morris streaked away for his double. Jamie Soward failed to convert.
It was Marshall's brilliance with sealed the win for the Tigers in the 72nd minute. After forcing a repeat set with the boot, the Tigers' five-eighth put Moltzen over. Marshall converted the try.
The Tigers will try and make it three in a row next weekend, when they take on the first-placed Canturbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium.
The Dragons will host the Cowboys next weekend.
More to follow.
Wests Tigers 22 defeated St George Illawarra Dragons 12
National Rugby League - Round 23 - Saturday August 11, 2012 7:30pm
Venue: Allianz Stadium
Referee: Gerard Sutton and Adam Devcich
Video Referee: Bernard Sutton
Touch Judges: Jeff Younis and Nick Beashel
Halftime: Wests Tigers 4 St George Illawarra Dragons 8
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Robbie Farah
2 Points - Aaron Woods
1 Point - Dan Hunt
WESTS TIGERS (22)
Tries: Liam Fulton, Tim Moltzen (3)
Conversions: Benji Marshall (3/4)
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (12)
Tries: Brett Morris (2), Mitchell Rein
Conversions: Jamie Soward (0/1), Chase Stanley (0/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome ladies and gentlemen to coverage of this round 23 clash between the Wests Tigers and the St George Illawarra Dragons. After last weekend's high-scoring win over Parramatta, the Tigers will be looking to consolidate their top 8 position tonight, while for the Dragons are one of a number of teams chomping at their heels - albeit with a far inferior points differential.
Not much in the way of team news to worry fantasy coaches in this match - the Tigers will run out as they were named, while one change for the Dragons sees Josh Miller ruled out, giving Jack Stockwell a chance on the bench.
As always you can join the buzz on twitter - follow LeagueUnlimited on Twitter and tweet about the match using the Official Hashtag - #NRLwststi.
You can also discuss the match with thousands of other fans in our Game Day Forums - click here.
1 min: Game on! Dragons given first use of the football
5 min: PENALTY to the Tigers to give them a great attacking opportunity.
6 min: The Tigpies waste their chance and give the footy away.
10 min: Brett Morris has claimed a TRY after a great cut out ball from Ben Hornby.
12 min: TRY
TRY to the Dragons
Brett Morris has the first TRY of the match after bamboozling the defence. Stanley fails to convert.
St George Illawarra Dragons 4-0
14 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Dragons' TRY.
15 min: TRY
TRY to the Dragons
Mitch Rein has been awarded the TRY and Stanley misses the simplest of attempts.
St George Illawarra Dragons 8-0
17 min: The Dragons are all over the Tigers in these early passages, but Stanley's poor shots at goal could prove costly.
23 min: Perfect completion rates from both sides so far, but it remains the Dragons with all the ascendency.
There were only three tries scored in the NYC game played here earlier with the strong winds in the area are playing a role. The Toyota Cup game was won by the Tigers 10-6.
29 min: Jamie Soward has just come on the field for the Dragons.
32 min: The Dragons are attacking right on the Tigers' line, but the defence works hard.
33 min: The Dragons come up with an error and the Tigers have a scrum to help them out of their red zone.
34 min: This wind is doing funny things to Benji's kicking game with a kicking going backwards and the Dragons somehow getting it on halfway.
38 min: The Tigers are right on the attack for the first time this match.
40 min: TRY
TRY to the Tigers!
A mistake from the Dragons and some great second man play sees Moltzen go in for the Tigers' first points of the match. With some help from the weather, Marshall fails to convert.
St George Illawarra Dragons 8-4
40 min: And that will be the half, with late points after no attack for the first 38 minutes of that half, Tigers despite being behind will go into the sheds with some confidence.
41 min: Second half under way.
41 min: The Tigers will have the wind at their backs this half which should help their attack, which was absent for the majority of the first 40.
42 min: An early error from the Tigers puts the Dragons right on the attack early in the half.
45 min: The Tigers have caught me napping and found their way right onto the attack.
47 min: TRY
TRY to the Tigers!
Benji links beautifully with Fulton who puts some fancy footwork on to go in and score. And with Marshall's boot, the Tigers have claimed the lead.
Wests Tigers 10-8
50 min: Some more attacking play for the Tigers, and playing against the wind is proving quite difficult.
51 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Tigers TRY.
52 min: TRY
TRY to the Tigers!
Benefit of the doubt TRY has been awarded to give Moltzen his second, helped by a great dummy half kick from Farah. Marshall's boot extends the lead
Wests Tigers 16-8
55 min: Farah's kicking game simply superb in this second half helping his side to a scrum ten out from the red and white line.
56 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Tigers TRY.
56 min: NO TRY! PENALTY Dragons.
59 min: In possession, the Dragons just can't make it past the half way line, with the wind helping the Tigers push them back.
62 min: Back to back PENALTIES to the Dragons give them their first attacking opportunity of the half.
63 min: A beautiful interception from Ayshford eventually get dropped and the Dragons have it again.
65 min: TRY
TRY to the Dragon!
Some exciting left flank attack puts Brett Morris in for his second of the night. Soward attempts the conversion and misses.
Wests Tigers 16-12
70 min: Marshall with is first good kick in play of the match force a line drop out.
71 min: Some more football for the Tigers with another line drop out.
72 min: TRY
TRY to the Tigers!
Some Benji Marshall brilliance puts Moltzen in for his third of the night. Marshall converts and in these conditions, the fat lady is ready to start singing.
Wests Tigers 22-12
79 min: Things are happening, but nothing that will affect the result of this match.
80 min: It's all over, the Tigers have defeated the Dragons 22-12.