Wests Tigers have kept their season alive with a 28-26 victory against Newcastle Knights tonight in front of 20,029 fans at Hunter Stadium.
The Tigers showed some grit after falling behind 12-nil, led by a Corey Thompson double alongside tries to milestone man Robbie Farah, Benji Marshall and Paul Momirovski that has kept their faint hopes of finals football alive.
After the early season promise, the Knights have fallen to four straight losses now which throws them right into the pack. It had all started so well after early tries to Kalyn Ponga and Jesse Ramien but another game where the Knights fumbled, bumbled and watched the game pass them by.
Much of the coverage in the post-match will focus on the late sin-bin of Ponga, after his challenge on Wests Tigers forward Michael Chee-Kam which was placed on report. The superstar fullback faces an anxious wait now, while coach Nathan Brown promised changes post-match after another weak effort from his side.
Back to the victors, the Tigers have been up-and-down like a yo-yo in 2019, but tonight was a throwback to 2005. Marshall and Farah directed play well and got themselves on the scoresheet as the Tigers bucked a trend that saw them defeated in most of the pairs milestone contests.
At 12-nil, the Tigers looked shot but a pair of efforts from Thompson got them back into the contest. The Tigers leading try-scorer supported well for both tries and took his tally to eight for the season, as a bright spot in another middling year.
Tigers took the advantage into the sheds after Marshall decided to go alone. The veteran half kept the legs pumping, evaded defenders then stretched out to make it 18-12 at the break.
Both sides traded tries in the opening stages of the second half. Hymel Hunt brought the Knights within two before it was the man of the moment, Robbie Farah with a trademark burrowing effort to bring them back ahead by eight.
Two desperate sides kept wrestling for control - Moga scored then Momirovski struck back. With ten to go, Shaun Kenny-Dowall brought the 20,029 fans at Hunter Stadium to their feet after he strolled across to make it 28-26.
The late drama denied the Knights a chance but the story remains that the season is quickly going down the drain for the Knights side after their promising start to the season which a lot of questions are left hanging over their talented and expensive roster.