Tigers turn into wet weather wonders

The Wests Tigers have taken advantage of horrific weather conditions at Leichhardt Oval today to dominate Manly 34-18 in front of a brilliant 16,311 turnout.

Leading from the front, it was Robbie Farah who got the hosts off to a perfect start, grubbering ahead and taking advantage of the soggy ground - the ball pulled up short of the dead ball line and it was Farah who won the race to it.

The Tigers continued to dominate the match, which slowly became littered with errors due to the wet weather. This turned into further points before the thirty-minute mark - Pat Richards kicking a penalty goal before David Nofoaluma crossed out wide to put the Tigers up 14-0. Two more tries in the ten minutes prior to halftime - one to Chris Lawrence who overcame several defenders, and one to a rampaging Aaron Woods, saw the Tigers looking likely to lead by a significant margin at the halftime break... but then there was controversy.

Leichhardt's automated siren appeared to not go off when the clock reached zero - as a result time had elapsed but the officials were none the wiser. Off the next play Manly scored through Jamie Lyon - despite Robbie Farah's vociferous protests to Ashley Klein the try stood and the margin was instead twenty at the changing of ends - the Tigers holding a 26-6 lead.

Unfortunately for Manly, the controversy only served to fire up the home side, and it showed from the first set after the resumption. They dominated the opening exchanges of the second half and went on to win comfortably - Nofoaluma grabbing a second before the Sea Eagles added some respectability to the visiting side's total with a Steve Matai double.

The loss is Manly's first since the opening Saturday night of the season and means they're set for a tough challenge next Sunday when they host the Sharks for the Steve Rogers Cup. The Tigers on the other hand shift home grounds to Campbelltown on Saturday to host their 2005 Grand Final opponents, the North Queensland Cowboys.


Match Details
Wests Tigers 34 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 18
Venue: Leichhardt Oval
Crowd: 16311
Halftime Score: Wests Tigers 26 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 6

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Robbie Farah
2 points - Aaron Woods
1 point - David Nofoaluma

WESTS TIGERS (34)
Tries: Robbie Farah, David Nofoaluma (2), Chris Lawrence, Aaron Woods
Field Goals:
Conversions: Pat Richards (5/5)
Penalty Goals: Pat Richards (2/2)

MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES (18)
Tries: Jamie Lyon, Steve Matai (2)
Field Goals:
Conversions: Jamie Lyon (3/3)
Penalty Goals:


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

TEAM NEWS | Wests Tigers just with one omission - Keith Lulia is out. Tim Simona replaces him in the centres, with Sitaleki Akauola to come on to the bench. The visitors Manly have a host of changes...
OUT are Glenn Stewart, Cheyse Blair and James Hasson.
IN are Brett Stewart (FB), Tom Symonds & Jesse Sene-Lefao (both interchange).
POSITIONAL - Peta Hiku goes to the wing, Jamie Buhrer comes off the bench to start at lock.

Good afternoon and welcome to a rain-soaked Leichhardt Oval for that tradition we love - Sunday footy and a muddy hill. Despite the weather, plenty of people have made the 'sacred journey' as we celebrate the Men of League Heritage Round with one of the true rivalries. The Tigers have been indifferent so far this year, most recently succumbing to the Warriors after great wins over Souths and the Gold Coast. Manly are 3-1 in the record books this year, aiming for a fourth straight win after losing only one match this season - by one point in round one. A win for the Eagles could see them leading the competition by fulltime today. Join us for kickoff at 3pm AEST.

2: We have action at Leichhardt. Tigers with it first, Galloway takes the first hit-up for the hosts.

3: Brett with a first-up challenge having to take a ball in-goal... he does so on the full, Manly 20m restart.

7: End to end footy in driving rain so far... VIDEO REFEREE possible Tigers try to Robbie Farah. Checking grounding inside the dead ball line.

9: TRY WESTS TIGERS
Scored by Robbie Farah. Kick to come.

Robbie Farah grubbers into the in-goal... Manly expect it to go dead, the heavy track slows it and Farah has chased his own kick and SCORED! Not sure why we need the video referee for that, to be honest.

9: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION WESTS TIGERS
Conversion attempt by Pat Richards successful.

No issues for Pat Richards right near the posts.

12: The last tackle option from the Tigers isn't too good and Josh Starling picks it up for Manly. They get a penalty on the next play to help them out of their own end.

13: Great break down the left, Brett Stewart gets in space, stumbles and finds Hiku, who kicks in field. Nofoaluma grounds it in-goal. Dropout Tigers.

17: The rain is just teeming down, the ground is packed - never seen so many umbrellas in my life. Manly error inside their own half, Tigers scrum.

18: Bad luck for Manly there... another penalty given away, Matai the culprit. Tigers attack.

19: Farah crosses for what looks like a held-up call, but it's actually a penalty to the Tigers for Watmough being offside. Goal attempt...

19: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL WESTS TIGERS
Penalty goal attempt by Pat Richards successful.

Successful - eight points the difference!

26: TRY WESTS TIGERS
Scored by David Nofoaluma. Kick to come.

Nofoaluma crosses out wide for the Tigers!

26: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION WESTS TIGERS
Conversion attempt by Pat Richards successful.

Touchline conversion from Richards is.... good.

28: TRY WESTS TIGERS
Scored by Chris Lawrence. Kick to come.

Lawrence is tackled... no he's not! He gets up and goes again! TRY TIME!

28: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION WESTS TIGERS
Conversion attempt by Pat Richards successful.

Richards converts... Tiger dominance so far!

34: TRY WESTS TIGERS
Scored by Aaron Woods. Kick to come.

Woods barges over! Tigers in again!

34: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION WESTS TIGERS
Conversion attempt by Pat Richards successful.

Richards converts the Woods try for a 26-0 lead.

35: Manly on the attack after a penalty.

37: Tigers denied a try to Woods, would've been his second, but the video referee says no.

40: TRY MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Scored by Jamie Lyon. Kick to come.

Huge controversy here on the halftime siren... well, after it, actually! Jamie Lyon has scored off a beautifully worked play... but it's after the halftime siren! It had gone before the previous tackle and the refs missed it!

40: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.

Lyon converts his try for a 20 point buffer at the break. Halftime!

41: UNFORCED ERROR MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Daly Cherry-Evans makes an unforced error.

Pat Richards kicks off to start the second... and Cherry-Evans spills it! From the ensuing set the Tigers force a line drop-out.

43: UNFORCED ERROR WESTS TIGERS
James Tedesco makes an unforced error.

Sweeping backline play looking promising for the Tigers until Tedesco spills it in the greasy, wet weather.

47: Tigers error mid-field means Manly have a scrum and a shot at attacking now.

50: VIDEO REFEREE possible Sea Eagles NO TRY to Steve Matai. Checking grounding for Skivvy, has he been held up?

50: It's NO TRY. Matai's grounding is no good, it's held up and a turnover. Tigers ball.

51: UNFORCED ERROR MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Jamie Buhrer makes an unforced error.

Just not Manly's day, Jamie Buhrer spills it from dummy half. Who knew the Tigers were wet weather specialists?

54: TRY WESTS TIGERS
Scored by David Nofoaluma. Kick to come.

Oh dear... a pass goes behind Justin Horo and Nofoaluma is on the spot to capitalise. Too easy.

55: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION WESTS TIGERS
Conversion attempt by Pat Richards successful.

Richards maintains his perfect record.

61: TRY MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Scored by Steve Matai. Kick to come.

Matai gets inside a couple of defenders on the left edge and he gets the reward for some good work.

61: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.

Conversion is good with twenty left, it's twenty the difference.

63: UNFORCED ERROR MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Brett Stewart makes an unforced error.

Kickoff... and Stewart's dropped it. Welcome back, Brett. Tigers scrum 10m out!

64: Tigers lose it, and now not more than a couple of plays later Robbie Farah's penalised for tackling Jamie Buhrer off the ball. Replays show it was probably a fair tackle.
...AND MANLY DON'T FIND TOUCH! I think we need Benny Hill theme music here, comedy of errors.

71: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL WESTS TIGERS
Penalty goal attempt by Pat Richards successful.

Things winding down as the rain continues to fall. Some fans already clearing out early, but 16,311 are here. What a turnout. Richards grabs a penalty goal 10m out in front of the sticks.

74: UNFORCED ERROR MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Matt Ballin makes an unforced error.

Manly make awesome metres but Ballin's let it slip, his opposite number picks it up on his own 10m.

76: Tim Simona down injured after an error. Manly scrum on the Tigers 30m.

77: TRY MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Scored by Steve Matai. Kick to come.

Same side, same result for Matai. The left side attack has been a happy hunting ground for the Eagles on an otherwise forgettable afternoon at a wet Leichhardt Oval.

78: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.

Lyon converts, reducing the margin again for the Sea Eagles.

79: Last real change for Manly comes and goes, a long kick from Lyon finds Nofoaluma at the back, but he's safe with it and the Tigers will play this out.

80: That will do us from Leichhardt, an outstanding, dominant performance from the Tigers, who played the conditions perfectly.

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