Wests and Parramatta have combined to post a total 77 points in an entertaining game of football which engulfed the 14,822 fans at Campbelltown Sports Ground.
It was a cold night out in Campbelltown but the crowd were warmed up with 15 tries in eighty minutes. It started in the 6th minute when the Tigers went in through backrower Adam Blair off a weighted Marshall pass.
This sparked the Eels into action and brought back the positive attacking football which dotted their win over Brisbane. Ben Roberts was the catalyst when he pounced on a Mannah offload to level the scores.
Roberts turned provider for the second try sending Morgan away but he was tackled short. Next tackle, Sandow put the kick in for Sio to score from a Tigers knock on.
Next it was Hindmarsh who put Moimoi into a hole to start another movement. It ended with Mullaney showing deceptive speed to cross for a try against his old side.
Mullaney had a brace after 26 minutes when he wrapped around on a second man play which passed the test from the video referee, making it 22-6 Parramatta in an open contest.
Wests weren't going to lie down though.
Thanks to some penalties they got some field possession and made it count, scoring through Chris Heighington and Matt Utai who used his power closing the gap to 22-18 at halftime and oxygen masks.
So after a spray from their coaches, surely we were going to see a much more defensive second half? Nope. Parramatta extended their lead to eight when Taulima Tautai steamed through a gap and wouldn't be denied.
Tigers needed a spark and it came through their rookie winger, Marika Koroibete. He laid a nice hit on Chris Sandow to deny him a try. This allowed Farah to send Ayshford away to find Utai for his second of the evening.
Koroibete would light up Campbelltown after a drifting run from Marshall to find a gap and evade the fullback for his first try in first grade. He added a second from a similar play again to give Wests a lead.
Once the Tigers hit the lead, they weren't headed again. Marshall was leaving defenders clutching at ghosts while sending Moltzen in for a four pointer. Marshall gave his side a cushion with a field goal at 39-26.
The try-scoring wasn't over though, Marika Koroibete equaled the Tigers try-scoring record by getting four in a game. His hat-trick was from a play from his fellow winger sending him away.
The fourth came from a beautiful cut-out pass from LeagueUnlimited Man of the Match Benji Marshall send the flying winger in for his fourth try of an entertaining evening.
Marshall with the fans chanting his name, nailed the kick from the sideline to finish an enthralling eighty minutes, 51-26 to Wests Tigers.
Next week, Wests will remain at home but in their larger home, Allianz Stadium where they host fellow top eight contender St George Illawarra. Parramatta on the same night, will host the Sydney Roosters who have an outside chance to sneak in the eight.
Wests Tigers 51 defeated Parramatta Eels 26
National Rugby League - Round 22 - Monday August 6, 2012 7:00pm
Venue: Campbelltown Sports Stadium
Referee: Jared Maxwell and Tony De Las Heras
Video Referee: Russell Smith
Touch Judges: Nick Beashel and Dave Munro
Halftime: Wests Tigers 18 Parramatta Eels 22
Wests Tigers (51)
Tries: Matthew Utai (2), Chris Heighington, Adam Blair, Tim Moltzen, Marika Koroibete (4)
Field Goals: Benji Marshall (1/1)
Conversions: Benji Marshall (7/9)
Parramatta Eels (26)
Tries: Ben Roberts, Taulima Tautai, Jake Mullaney (2), Ken Sio
Conversions: Luke Burt (3/5)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary It's a windy night in Sydney but the lights are on, the field is marked and the fans are filing in.. that can only mean one thing.. MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL! Tonight we have Wests Tigers in one of their traditional homes, Campbelltown hosting a resurgent Parramatta Eels.
TEAM CHANGES: It's an easy night for the jersey people, each side is as per program.
Earlier in the Toyota Cup, national youth competition.. Wests Tigers defeated Parramatta 26 points to 16.
Here come both sides onto Campbelltown Stadium for tonight's clash. Parramatta will kick-off and run north to south.
3 min: First penalty of the night goes to the Tigers.. for a hand on the ball.
4 min: Another penalty to the Tigers. Parramatta weren't back the ten. They are deep in the Eels half now.
6 min: TRY
From the tap, Farah juggles it but gets it to Marshall who holds it up long enough for Adam Blair to crash through the defense and open the scoring tonight. Marshall from close to the posts, sneaks it inside the goalposts.
Wests Tigers 6-0
9 min: Sandow from deep in Parramatta's territory kicks it deep and gets the 40/20.
10 min: TRY Wellington Orcas
That seemed too easy. A good charge from Tim Mannah drew defenders, he fought to get his arms free and offloads to Ben Roberts who is girt by defenders but beats them all for the TRY. Burt from besides the posts, converts.
14 min: TRY
The Eels go wide early in the count again, Ben Roberts slicing through the Tigers defense and finds Ryan Morgan who is held inches away. Next tackle, Sandow kicks for his wing, it's touched by a Tigers and Sio strolls over. Out wider this time, Luke Burt has the same result, slots it.
Parramatta Eels 12-6
16 min: TRY
Parramatta are on FIRE! Hindmarsh turns ball player for FuiFui to cruise through the gap, he's looking for his support but no one is forthcoming. Eels have the roll on, Roberts finds Mullaney who uses deceptive speed to cross against his old club. Burt converts.
Parramatta Eels 18-6
17 min: Referee is yelling held but Beau Ryan isn't moving so penalty. Here come the Eels again!
18 min: Offloads are killing the Tigers and this six again call won't help either from Marshall touching the ball.
23 min: Massive spiral bomb from Marshall leaves Mullaney unsure and he spills it.. back and Sio picks up the crumbs.
26 min: Koroibete goes crabbing across looking for the opening, maybe the one he put Nathan Smith with that fend. Unfortunately the kid undoes his good work with a knock on.
VIDEO REFEREE: Checking if Mullaney has his second from a nice second man play.
29 min: TRY
That was a lovely second man play by the Eels. Roberts holds up the pass and finds Mullaney who sweeping behind Morgan to step back in and score his second. Burt is unable to convert.
Parramatta Eels 22-6
30 min: Penalty against Parramatta for holding on too long.
31 min: Followed by another almost immedately.
32 min: TRY
Marshall from the penalty goes for the second man play, finds Heighington who squirms over through some feeble defense. Marshall converts.
Parramatta Eels 22-12
33 min: Another penalty to the Tigers, they will march upfield again.
33 min: Liam Fulton is struggling to his feet but goes too fast, loses it. That is a major reprieve for the Eels.
36 min: Eels go wide again but go one pass too long and it's intercepted by Junior Moors.
38 min: TRY
Sweeping backline movement for the Tigers.. they get Utai into some space, he steps back inside and powers over. Marshall from close to the sideline.. nails it.
Parramatta Eels 22-18
39 min: Eels are living by the sword but are also being pricked by the sword. They try an offload again and it lands into Tiger hands.
40 min: Tigers try the wrap-around on last tackle but it's knocked on. That's HALFTIME in an enthralling first half.
We're back for the second half.. can it be just as entertaining as the first? Let's find out.
Tigers kick off and here we go again.
VIDEO REFEREE: Taulima Tautai might have scored. Checking a double movement.
43 min: TRY
Well I guess we can.. Joseph Paulo puts Taulima Tautai through the hole and he has support but he runs away from them!! He is tackled no rolls over and slams it down. Too much fade from Burt and it misses.
Parramatta Eels 26-18
44 min: Last tackle.. Sandow goes the chip kick, dissects defenders, juggles the ball has it back but is leveled by Koroibete. Changeover. Koroibete is still down though.
46 min: TRY
Seems defense is non existent tonight. Farah from dummy-half, sends Ayshford away but he can't get there passes to Utai who can! Marshall from wide, puts it wide.
Parramatta Eels 26-22
48 min: Paulo is almost through the line, tries to throw the pass but it's knocked on.
50 min: TRY
Tigers won't die wondering. They keep it alive, Marshall dummying until he found the opening, passes to Koroibete who surges into the gap, beats the fullback and scores. Marshall from in front, converts.
Wests Tigers 28-26
52 min: Marshall puts in another stabbing kick which avoids Mullaney who is caught in goal. Dropout.
54 min: It's hot potato here on last for the Tigers.. Farah's kick goes backwards but it gets to Marshall who puts it in-goal. Mullaney is forced to play at it. Dropout.
55 min: Penalty to the Tigers, just holding onto Adam Blair too long.
57 min: TRY
The defensive pressure tolls on the Eels. Marshall once again shifts across field finds Koroibete who walks it in for his second. Marshall with a kick to put the Tigers out to eight.. he walks up and misses.
Wests Tigers 32-26
59 min: Eels seem to be trying to offload it too much. Hindmarsh is put under pressure and spills it.
61 min: TRY
Well Marshall has lit a fire under this Tigers side. He drifts across once again, finds Moltzen who was wrapping around, he steps inside and it's another Tigers try. An easier position for Marshall, slots it.
Wests Tigers 38-26
63 min: Eels have a rare chance with the ball and Utai is holding on for dear life but is penalised. Tigers are marched an additional ten for backchat.
64 min: Parramatta go the power route on fifth and Moimoi is tackled. A rare stop on the tryline in this game.
66 min: Tigers try the run around again, no dice. Changeover.
71 min: Tigers are allowing the Eels to inch back into the game. Another penalty for holding on too long.
71 min: Another. Here come the Eels again.
72 min: Pass goes astray from the Eels and it's picked up by the Tigers.
73 min: FIELD GOAL
Marshall decides to give the Tigers some added cushion, slotting a field goal.
Wests Tigers 39-26
74 min: Eels have to throw caution to the wind also the football but they don't need this, a knock on by Luke Burt.
75 min: Tigers look to put a definite fullstop on this game but Ayshford knocks on.
79 min: TRY
Utai darts from dummy-half finds space and draws the fullback then pass to Koroibete to stroll away for his HAT-TRICK! Marshall converts.
Wests Tigers 45-26
80 min: TRY
Tigers finish in style! Marshall chips for himself, pushes through the defense and regathers. Tigers spread it and find guess who? Koroibete who makes it FOUR tries. Marshall has a kick to make it fifty. He nails it to chants of "Benji, Benji".
Wests Tigers 51-26