Tigers stun complacent Panthers
Wests Tigers have made it back to back victories with a stunning 20 points to 18 victory over the Penrith Panthers in front of 16,827 fans at Centrebet Stadium.
It was billed as the battle of the big cats with a resurgent Panthers team taking on a injury depleted Tigers side who were confident following a win over the Cowboys last Friday.
Penrith struck first after three minutes with Dean Whare popping a magic ball for David Simmons to cross. Luke Walsh converted and it was 6-0 to the home side.
Creating the theme that would run throughout the match, the Tigers hit back with rookie David Nofoaluma going down the blind slide, fooling Penrith and sliding in.
Mose Masoe took it upon himself to increase the Panther's advantage when he took a simple pass from Walsh and beat several defenders to score.
Panthers made it back to back when David Simmons swapped with Dean Whare providing the assist for the latter to score, making it 18-4 Penrith.
Tigers would shorten the deficit in the 38th minute when Benji Marshall drifted across field, found Nofoaluma who slid in for his second try of the afternoon. Marshall missed and it was 18-8 going into halftime.
Taking that momentum from the late try into the second half, Tigers had a spring in their step starting to overpower the Panthers.
David Nofoaluma who scored the match winner last weekend provided the kick inside which sent Ava Seumanufagai in for a try from a Jack Buchanan pass. Penrith had clocked off and the Tigers were ready to pounce.
The tension was rising inside the stadium and it would rise a couple of octaves in the 68th minute. Tim Simona from a Luke Walsh fifth tackle kick, took it the whole way beating several defenders to give the Tigers the lead for the first time.
Much like last Friday, the Tigers had to weather a final storm before earning the two points. Penrith tried to prise an opening in the Tigers line but were unsuccessful handing the Tigers back to back wins.
Penrith Panthers 18 Wests Tigers 20
Venue: Penrith Stadium
Halftime Score: Penrith Panthers 18-8
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Benji Marshall
2 points - David Nofoaluma
1 point - David Simmons
PENRITH PANTHERS (18)
Tries: David Simmons, Mose Masoe, Dean Whare
Conversions: Luke Walsh (3/3)
WESTS TIGERS (20)
Tries: David Nofoaluma (2), Ava Seumanufagai, Tim Simona
Conversions: Benji Marshall (2/4)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Panthers: 21. Wes Naiqama 2. Travis Robinson 3. Lewis Brown 4. Dean Whare 5.David Simmons 6.Isaac John 7. Luke Walsh 8.Nigel Plum 9. Kevin Kingston (c) 15. Mose Masoe 11. Sika Manu 12. Matt Robinson 13. Adam Docker
Interchange: 14. James Segeyaro 17. Clint Newton 18. Josh Mansour 19. Cameron Ciraldo
Tigers: 1. Sean Meaney 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Joel Reddy 4. Tim Simona 5. Marika Koroibete 6. Benji Marshall 7. Curtis Sironen 8. Aaron Woods 18. Masada Iosefa 10. Adam Blair 11. Eddy Pettybourne 12. Ben Murdoch-Masila 13. Braith Anasta
Interchange: 14. Sauso Sue 15. Jack Buchanan 16. Ava Seumanufagai 17. Jarred Farlow
Welcome to an overcast Penrith Park for the battle of the big cats - Penrith hosting the Tigers. Penrith are coming off the bye and are refreshed while the embattled Tigers defeated the Cowboys to end a long run of outs.
PEN: A few changes for the home side with Matt Moylan out due to a salary cap reason, he's replaced by Wes Naiqama in #21. Mose Masoe comes into the starting line-up in #15 for Tim Grant with Josh Mansour and Cameron Ciraldo coming onto the bench.
WST: One change - Masada Iosefa comes in for the injured Robbie Farah.
1 min: Both teams have made their way out on the field and here we go!
1 min: Tigers kick-off, Panthers with first use.
2 min: Good first kick from Walsh forces a Tigers error. They control it well to get a drop-out.
4 min: It's all Penrith early. Luke Walsh's 5th tackle kick forcing another error. This will be the Panther's fourth set at the Tigers line.
VIDEO REFEREE: Checking if David Simmons has got the ball down.
7 min: TRY PENRITH PANTHERS
Scored by David Simmons. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh successful.
GREEN LIGHTS.. TRY! The defence had to crack but it took a magic offload from Whare to find Simmons who planted it down. Luke Walsh has no troubles with the conversion.
Penrith Panthers 6-0
8 min: PENALTY Panthers. They will attack again.
10 min: Tigers PENALTY! They have their first attacking set of the game.
11 min: Some luck for the Tigers with another Panthers error, knocking down the kick. Six more coming here.
VIDEO REFEREE: Tigers might have a try here, going upstairs. Checking the grounding.
13 min: TRY WESTS TIGERS
Scored by David Nofoaluma. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall unsuccessful.
GREEN LIGHTS.. TRY! David Nofoaluma goes down the blind and gets the try. He got the match winner last weekend verse North Queensland and has the Tigers first today. Benji Marshall from out wide, hooks it wide.
Penrith Panthers 6-4
18 min: TRY PENRITH PANTHERS
Scored by Mose Masoe. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh successful.
Mose Masoe! He gets the ball from Walsh and just goes on a rampage, beating defenders at will then swatting Sean Meaney away for the TRY! Luke Walsh converts the easy chance.
Penrith Panthers 12-4
24 min: Panthers were inches away from earning a repeat set there. It just went dead.
27 min: Oh dear! Watch out if you are squimish, Marika Koroibete palmed off one player then dislocates his elbow.
30 min: Clint Newton with a frustrating error. Tigers on the attack.
31 min: Nofoaluma the hero earlier is the villain, knocking it on.
32 min: SIX MORE to the Panthers!
34 min: TRY PENRITH PANTHERS
Scored by Dean Whare. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh successful.
Simple work for that try. Luke Walsh puts the kick on the chest of Simmons who bats it back to Whare. He strolls in for the four pointer. Luke Walsh with another wide attempt, glides it over.
Penrith Panthers 18-4
37 min: PENALTY Tigers! A chance for them to reduce the deficit before halftime.
VIDEO REFEREE: Upstairs we go, once again.. Nofaluma might have his second.
39 min: TRY WESTS TIGERS
Scored by David Nofoaluma. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall unsuccessful.
That was vintage Benji Marshall. He drifted across the field threw a lovely cut-out to Nofoaluma who strides in for his second this afternoon. Marshall goes close with the conversion but it is wide.
Penrith Panthers 18-8
40 min: HAFLTIME in an entertaining contest here. Panthers leading 18-8.
41 min: Here we go again for the second half! Panthers to kick-off.
43 min: A simple drop ball from Jack Buchanan followed by a stripping PENALTY. Panthers right on the attack.
44 min: Good tackle from Nofoaloma forcing the ball free and saving the Tigers.
45 min: PENALTY for Penrith as Naiqama is hit high by Aaron Woods.
45 min: Marshall is coming alive here putting Eddy Pettyborne away but he follows it up with a kick that goes dead.
48 min: PENALTY Panthers - holding down.
50 min: Some magic play all around there. Tigers keeping it alive with a kick for the winger in Simona but David Simmons saves the day.
VIDEO REFEREE: It makes a hat-trick of checking the TRY for Nofoaluma and it could be his THIRD try.
54 min: TRY WESTS TIGERS
Scored by Ava Seumanufagai. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall successful.
GREEN LIGHTS.. TRY! It is a first try in first grade for Seumanufagai. Nofoaluma started off the movement by kicking inside the field for Buchanan to pick it up and hand off to Seumanufagai for his first of the afternoon. Benji Marshall converts.
Penrith Panthers 18-14
VIDEO REFEREE: I swear they have checked every Tigers try this afternoon. Curtis Sironen might have made a miraculous put down but checking the contest.
58 min: RED LIGHT.. NO TRY! In the end, it was a great save by Naiqama. Changeover.
60 min: Terrible pass forced Walsh to grab at the ball and spill it.
60 min: PENALTY Panthers. That will piggyback them out from their own end.
62 min: PENALTY Tigers. James Segeyaro on report for a high shot on Marshall.
65 min: PENALTY Panthers - They wouldn't get off Sika Manu.
68 min: TRY WESTS TIGERS
Scored by Tim Simona. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall successful.
Wow! Tim Simona from the kick return, taps it on the 20.. beats Simmons and is in the clear! Only Naiqama could stop him, but he weaves past him to score! Marshall converts from in front.
Wests Tigers 20-18
70 min: Benji Marshall with the almost perfect kick but it finds touch.
72 min: To quote Phil Gould, no no no! After some hot potato football, Sika Manu is CAUGHT on last tackle! Change over.
74 min: Knock on by Masada Iosefa. Panthers ball.
75 min: Handball by Marshall getting it to his own player.
77 min: PENALTY Tigers! Meaney taken out in the air.
78 min: Panthers lost on last tackle, Walsh tries to run but his pass is dropped. Tigers will hold on for the win.
80 min: PENALTY Panthers - offside! Ten seconds to do something.
80 min: Panthers throw it around, trying to prise an opening but no good! Tigers win a thriller 20 points to 18. FULLTIME.