Tigers hold out Eels in thriller

In one of the games of the season, the Wests Tigers have survived a stunning Parramatta Eels second half comeback to record a nail-biting 20-18 win at a sold out Parramatta Stadium.

The Tigers held a 20-6 lead with 11 minutes left on the clock and looked to be heading for a comfortable victory.

But the Eels struck in the the 69th minute when Justin Horo stepped his way to a try, before Feleti Mateo sent the crowd into raptures when he sent rookie Anthony Mitchell over the line to reduce the deficit to 20-18 with seven minutes remaining.

In an exciting climax, winger Luke Burt had the chance to send the match into golden point with a relatively easy penalty goal moments before the siren. But to the dismay of the vocal home crowd, the kick was waved away and the Tigers held on for a memorable victory.

The Eels' comeback was aided by a 7-nil second half penalty count in their favour but the loss almost certainly draws curtain on their 2010 quest for the top eight with just two games left in the regular season.

Wests were the better team for the majority of the match - Robbie Farah paved the way up the middle of the ruck, while some determined defence kept the opposition at bay in the first half.

Earlier, the Tigers were denied twice by the video referee in the opening ten minutes but eventually got over the line when Chris Lawrence put Lote Tuqiri into space before the dual international found Lawrence back on the inside.

Wests then stretched their lead to 10-nil in the 32nd minute thanks to winger Beau Ryan, who capitalised on some quick passing to score in the corner.

Moments before the break, Parramatta flanker Krisnan Inu breathed some life into his side's cause when he snuck over out wide after a strong tackle bust from centre Joel Reddy.

Ryan then crossed for his double early in the second half and, when interchange forward Andrew Fifita crashed over, the Tigers had what looked like an unassailable 20-6 lead with less than one quarter of the contest remaining.

However, Horo's fleet footwork sparked the Eels into action and Mitchell's try off a beautiful one armed flick from Mateo gave the home team the late momentum. And when the Tigers were penalised for a strip, it looked as if Burt's boot would send the game into extra time.

But in a tragic circumstances for Eels' supporters, the kick slid wide of the posts, giving Wests a 20-18 win.

Match Details
Parramatta Eels 18 were defeated by Wests Tigers 20
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 24 - Sunday August 22, 2010 3:00pm
Venue: Parramatta Stadium
Referee: Shayne Hayne and Ben Cummins
Video Referee: Sean Hampstead
Touch Judges: Paul Holland and Russell Turner
Crowd: 19,854
Halftime: Parramatta Eels 6 Wests Tigers 10

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Robbie Farah
2 Points - Feleti Mateo
1 Point - Chris Heighington

Parramatta Eels (18)
Tries: Krisnan Inu, Justin Horo, Anthony Mitchell
Conversions: Luke Burt (3/3)
Penalty Goals: Luke Burt (0/1)

Wests Tigers (20)
Tries: Chris Lawrence, Beau Ryan (2), Andrew Fifita
Conversions: Benji Marshall (2/4)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to a sold out Parramatta Stadium for the clash between the Eels and Tigers. The weather is picture perfect for a game that both sides will be desperate to win. Parramatta need a victory to keep their season alive, while a Wests' win will ensure they hold on to their top four spot.

Under 20s was claimed by the visiting Tigers 34-12.

Both teams as per program today. Should be a cracking game!
Parramatta take the field, as the blue and gold flags are waved in a frenzy.
1 min: Eels kick off, as Hayne crouches down to tie his bootlaces. Hurry up Jarryd the game's started!
2 min: Beau Ryan takes a scoot from dummy half as the Eels defence is penalised for a strip.
4 min: Video referee - possible Tigers try..
4 min: NO TRY!
Gareth Ellis is ruled to be offside chasing through a Robert Lui grubber.
6 min: Fui Fui Moi Moi with a huge charge bringing a roar from the parochial crowd.
7 min: Feleti Mateo breaks through the line and finds Burt but Marshall cuts him down. Eels on the attack!
9 min: It's a very open game already, both sides showing plenty of promise in attack.
10 min: Video referee - possible Tigers try, has Farah grounded the ball?
10 min: NO TRY!
Robbie Farah ruled to have knocked on, close call though.
12 min: Krisnan Inu fumbles in attempting to play the ball - a lazy mistake and the Tigers get a chance to attack again.
15 min: Moi Moi pushes an offload but it results in yet another error.
17 min: Wests bomb what should have been a certain try! Lawrence only had to find an unmarked Lote Tuqiri but the pass didn't reach the winger.
20 min: A heavy tackle on Cayless from Gareth Ellis brings a groan from the crowd but the Eels captain gets to his feet.
20 min: TRY
Wests Tigers TRY
The Tigers finally get over the line! Robert Lui got the ball out to Chris Lawrence, who put Tuqiri away. The big winger then drew the fullback and found Lawrence for the first try of the afternoon. Marshall converts.
Wests Tigers 6-0
24 min: The Tigers are well on top at the moment, as Parramatta work the ball out from their own end.
25 min: Jarryd Hayne sneaks through the defence but cover defence shuts down the play - the momentum has shifted.
28 min: Wests knock down a Parramatta pass and the Eels get a scrum feed in their own half.
29 min: Lote Tuqiri does well to take a high bomb in defence but Krisnan Inu waits for him to land and then smashes him. Nothing wrong with that.
30 min: Good footy all 'round! Marshall chip kicks, Robbie Farah regathers and then kicks again. Hayne knocks the ball dead and Parramatta have to take a goal line dropout.
32 min: TRY
Wests Tigers TRY
Some quick passing from the Tigers finds an overlap on the right side and Beau Ryan crosses in the corner. Marshall fails to convert.
Wests Tigers 10-0
34 min: Liam Fulton almost breaks free but Hindmarsh grabs his foot and hangs on for dear life.
36 min: Kris Keating fumbles on his own 30 metre line, dangerous times for the Eels..
37 min: Chris Lawrence fires another poor pass to Tuqiri, he had some space in front of him as well.
38 min: TRY
Parramatta Eels TRY
Against the run of play, Krisnan Inu dives over out wide after Joel Reddy showed great strength to shake off the tackle from Lawrence and get the ball out to his winger. Burt converts.
Wests Tigers 10-6
Halftime: To be honest, the Tigers should be further ahead on the scoreboard. They've played the better footy but failed to capitalise on a number of half chances. Credit to the Eels though, they've been gutsy - that try to Inu will give them confidence.
41 min: Underway in the second half!
41 min: Robbie Farah charges down a Hayne kick and Wests get an early opportunity on the offensive.
43 min: Marshall kicks cross field but Krisnan Inu does very well to take the mark under pressure.
45 min: Farah has the ball on a string - a kick pulls up centimetres before the dead ball line and Hayne has no choice but to hit it out.
47 min: Video referee - possible Tigers try..
47 min: TRY
Wests Tigers TRY
The visitors finally turn pressure into points as Beau Ryan sneaks over in the corner for his double. Marshall fails to convert - a bit of a shocker there from the five-eighth.
Wests Tigers 14-6
50 min: A high tackle from Todd Payten on Justin Horo results in a penalty.
52 min: Nathan Hindmarsh breaks the line (perhaps his first tackle bust of the season?) but then pushes the pass and Galloway comes up with possession.
54 min: Jarryd Hayne chips into the ingoal earning a repeat set - he's starting to become more involved and it's about time.
55 min: Jeff Robson grubbers on an early tackle, it's easily covered by Tuqiri though, who knocks it dead.
56 min: Justin Poore charges for the line but is held up - solid goal line defence from Wests.
59 min: As you can probably tell, Parramatta are domination field position and possession but the Tigers are tackling stoutly.
61 min: Penalty against the Tigers for offside but Parramatta don't find touch! Deary me..
63 min: TRY
Wests Tigers TRY
Prop Andrew Fifita gets a short ball from Robbie Farah and crashes over from close range. Quite poor defence there from the Eels. Marshall converts.
Wests Tigers 20-6
66 min: The bounce of the ball is going against the Eels today, as Hayne fumbles a kick from Benji Marshall.
67 min: Parramatta get two penalties in row - the Tigers try to slow down the play the ball.
69 min: TRY
Parramatta Eels TRY
Justin Horo fools the defence with some nice footwork and crosses with a try that gets the Eels back in the game. Burt converts.
Wests Tigers 20-10
71 min: That try has put the spark back into the Eels! But is it too little too late..
73 min: TRY
Parramatta Eels
Stunning try from the Eels! The crowd goes nuts! Feleti Mateo breaks the line and finds Anthony Mitchell in support with a great flick pass. Burt converts.
Wests Tigers 20-18
75 min: Now Nathan Cayless busts through the ruck, it's all Parramatta at the moment as they get six again on the attack.
76 min: The crowd gasps in unison as Hayne knocks on to relieve pressure, the Tigers work it out from their own line.
77 min: Oh, it's all gone haywire for the Eels as Hayne and Inu collide attempting to catch the ball and Inu drops it.
78 min: Wow! Parramatta run it on the last, Luke Burt kicks ahead but Tahu can't field the ball - it was knocked out of his hands by Todd Payten. He saved a what would have been a try, great desperation.
79 min: With the Eels on the attack the Tigers get penalised for a strip and Burt elects to take the shot at goal!
80 min: PENALTY GOAL ATTEMPT
Luke Burt lines up the kick to take the game into Golden Point but he misses! Tragedy there for Burt, he should have kicked that.
Wests Tigers 20-18
80 min: Parramatta run the ball after the siren through Hayne but it's shut down by the Tigers and they hold on!
Fulltime: Well, what a stunning game of footy! One of the best of the season. The Eels came back in the second half but couldn't quite get the lead, Burt had a chance to level it up with a penalty goal but missed.

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