It was never a promising season for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
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With the scores locked at 6 all at half time the game was set for a climatic finish but a lacklustre Parramatta effort was punished by the Tigers in attack.
It was a solid start to the game for both teams as they played controlled football but the Tigers opened the scoring in the 18th minute through makeshift centre Dene Halatau. Benji Marshall chipped an ordinary kick for the corner but the ball was deflected into the arms of Halatau who fell over the try line to score.
The Eels hit back through a spectacular effort from Luke Burt to level the scores. Burt received the ball on his wing before jinking and weaving infield through a host of defenders before showing his strength to ground the ball.
The scores were locked at 6 all heading into the sheds with Parramatta having the most attacking opportunities in the first half.
Both teams battled for ascendency until the Tigers hit the lead in the 54th minute as Willie Mataka collected his first try in NRL football. Benji Marshall threw a beautiful face ball to Mataka who burst over the line to give the Tigers a 12-6 lead.
Robbie Farah slotted a field goal in the 66th minute to stretch the Tigers lead and two tries in the closing minutes to Farah and human wrecking-ball Taniela Tuiaki ballooned the scoreline out to a 23-6 victory.
The Eels now have a Bye to analyse how they can improve while the Tigers take on the Melbourne Storm.
Match Details Wests Tigers 23 def Parramatta Eels 6 Round 14 - Monday June 15th, 2009 07:00pm Venue: Parramatta Stadium Referee: Ben Cummins & Brett Suttor Touch Judges: Steve Chiddy & Adam Devcich Video Referee: Sean Hampstead Crowd: 12,003 Halftime: Eels 6 Tigers 6
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Robbie Farah (Tigers) 2 Points: Nathan Cayless (Eels) 1 Point: Taniela Tuiaki (Tigers)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Talk about the game as it happens - Eels v Tigers forum discussion - click here!
Tigers: Tim Moltzen injured himself in the warm up and has been ruled out. Rhys Hanbury comes off the bench into fullback and Alan Schirnack comes into the squad. Centre Chris Lawrence was ruled out earlier in the week, Dene Halatau will start in the centres.
Following these changes the teams will line-up as such:
EELS: 1. Jarryd Hayne 2. Luke Burt 3. Krisnan Inu 4. Joel Reddy 5. Eric Grothe 6. Daniel Mortimer 7. Jeff Robson 8. Nathan Cayless (c) 9. Matthew Keating 10. Fuifui Moimoi 11. Nathan Hindmarsh 12. Joe Galuvao 13. Todd Lowrie Interchange: 14. Kevin Kingston 15. Tim Mannah 16. Etu Uaisele 19. Taulima Tautai
TIGERS: 14. Rhys Hanbury 2. Taniela Tuiaki 3. Blake Ayshford 16. Dene Halatau 5. Beau Ryan 6. John Morris 7. Benji Marshall 8. Bryce Gibbs 9. Robbie Farah 10. John Skandalis 11. Todd Payten 12. Chris Heighington 13. Corey Payne Interchange: 15. Daine Laurie 17. Danny Galea 18. W. Mataka 23. A. Schirnack
TAB Sportsbet- Eels $1.70 Wests Tigers $2.10
5 min: PENALTY Eels. The Tigers penalised for holding the man down too long in the tackle and the Eels have a tap 40m out.
6 min: NO TRY Eels. Robson offloads a beautiful ball to Nathan Cayless who looked certain to score but Blake Ashyford does brilliantly to knock the ball from his hands.
7 min: PENALTY Eels. John Morris concedes the first two penalties of the game and the Eels are on the attack.
9 min: PENALTY Eels. The Tigers penalised in front of the posts and receive an official warning. The Eels take the tap 10m out.
9 min: Goal-line Dropout Tigers. Daniel Mortimer kicks the ball into the in-goal and Hanbury knocks it dead.
10 min: PENALTY Tigers. Fui Fui takes out Skandalis as a decoy runner and is penalised. The Tigers have a tap on halfway.
14 min: SCRUM Tigers. Mortimer slices through a gap for Parramatta and passes inside for Hayne who can't hold it.
15 min: Goal-line Dropout Eels. Farah puts a kick into the in-goal but Hayne gets back to knock the ball dead.
17 min: SCRUM Tigers. Benji Marshall kicks across field and Inu knocks-on as he leap to catch the football.
18 min: TRY Wests Tigers Marshall chips an ordinary kick to the corner but it deflects off Joel Reddy straight into the arms of Dene Halatau who falls over the try line to score. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall successful. Wests Tigers 6-0
24 min: PENALTY Tigers. Nathan Cayless harshly penalised for a high tackle. That's a Kenta of a decision.
25 min: Goal-line Dropout Eels. Tigers get a repeat set as they look to extend their lead.
26 min: NO TRY Tigers. Near howler from Hayne as he shadows the ball out but Tuiaki doesn't manage to ground the ball as he slid in.
28 min: Big hit from Tuiaki as he comes off his wing and decks Joel Reddy.
30 min: PENALTY Eels. The Tigers penalised and the Eels have a chance to level the scores with a tap 30m out.
31 min: TRY Parramatta Eels What a try to Luke Burt! Todd Lowrie throws a cut out ball to Burt on his wing and he jinked and weaved laterally through six or seven defenders to score. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. 6 all
34 min: SCRUM Tigers. Latimor loses the ball for the Eels and the Tigers have a scrum on their 20m line.
34 min: PENALTY Tigers. Hindmarsh penalised for a high tackle and the Tigers have a tap 40m out from their line.
37 min: Kingston makes a half break for the Eels and gets a ball away to Burt who can't hold onto the ball.
38 min: Goal-line Dropout Eels. Farah earns another repeat set as his kick sits up in the in-goal and Burt has to kick the ball dead.
39 min: A poor end to the set for the Tigers as they go backwards with the ball before Marshall snaps a field goal attempt wide.
40 min: Tuiaki sprints down the wing as the halftime siren sounds but a desperation ankle-tap brings the big man down.
Half Time Scores level at 6 all. A solid first half to the game but both sides have been guilty of poor last-tackle options. Whoever can make the most of their opportunities in the second half will get the two points.
44min: John Skandalis thinks he's scored as he dives on a Farah grubber but the play is brought back for accidental offside.
47 min: Marshall launches a towering bomb into the air and Hayne completely loses sight of the ball as it bounces in the in-goal. John Morris was screaming through but he can't get to the pill as it rolls dead.
52 min: Marshall gives a line ball to Danny Galea who bursts through the defence and eventually gets out of the tackle of Burt but is held back inches away from the try line.
53 min: Goal-line Dropout Eels. Burt is tackled in-goal and the Tigers get a repeat set.
54 min: TRY Wests Tigers A great ball from Benji Marshall finds a strong running Willie Mataka who bursts over to score his first try in NRL football. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall successful. Wests Tigers 12-6
56 min: Marshall goes from hero to villain as he drives a kick downfield but it unforgivably goes out on the full.
57 min: Inu throws a dummy close to the line and looks certain to go over for the Eels but a good tackle from John Morris stops him on the spot.
59 min: PENALTY Eels. Luke Burt is taken out without the ball and the Tigers are penalised.
60 min: Goal-line Dropout Tigers. Hayne receives the ball 10m out from the try line and toes a grubber into the corner for Luke Burt but Beau Ryan does well to get back and knock the ball dead.
62 min: A forward pass from Farah is called and the Eels have a scrum 30m from the Tigers line.
64 min: PENALTY Eels. Robson gives a great inside ball to Moi Moi and Daine Laurie is penalised for a high tackle. Harsh call on the big fella.
64 min: PENALTY Eels. The very next tackle Laurie is penalised again for a high tackle and the ref blows time off to give him a warning. Another harsh call as Laurie's arm makes contact around the chest.
66 min: PENALTY Tigers. The Tigers now get a relieving penalty and have a tap 35m from their line.
66 min: FIELD GOAL Wests Tigers Marshall jinks his way through the line and Farah makes use of the momentum to kick a 1-pointer. Wests Tigers 13-6
73 min: Tuiaki makes a damaging break down the wing to put the Tigers on the attack.
INJURY- Heighington off the field with a suspected torn groin.
77 min: TRY Wests Tigers The Tigers shift the ball wide to Tuiaki on the left wing and he won't be stopped as he dives over in the corner to seal an emphatic win. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall unsuccessful. Wests Tigers 23-6
79 min: PENALTY Tigers. Moi Moi gets one back as he is penalised for a high tackle on Daine Laurie. Again the contact was made around the chest. Ben Cummins has blown three penalties for high tackles that hit around the chest. Shocking refereeing performance.