A mighty effort from Wests Tigers – and their vocal fans

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West Tigers
With seconds left on the clock James Tedesco scores a try, determined as such by the NRL bunker, and the crowd goes wild at Campbelltown. The Tigers beat the Warriors 24-26.

What is there to say after the Wests Tigers almost lost a match they led 28-4 at half time and should have won by 50 at the end of 80 minutes of footy?

If you’re a Wests fan you won’t give a damn because they have never won easy since Balmain Tigers and the Western Suburbs Magpies got “married’’ way back in 1999.

Oh, there have been one or two exceptions, mainly in that magical year of 2005, when Benji and Hodgo and Rabbie Farah were tearing defences to shreds.

But other than that, the Wests Tigers do not win in the 40th or 50th or even 70th minute.

No, sir.

For 16 years the Tigers have been winning in the 78th, 79th or 80th minute.

Sometimes they even need to utilise golden point to win – or lose.

So in the heat at Campbelltown, old Orana Park looking a picture – well done Campbelltown City Council – Jason Taylor’s boys had almost the perfect first half of football in front of almost 11,000 excited fans who provided a tremendous atmosphere.

They sounded like a 20,000 crowd and really got behind the home time, something that was acknowledged by Tigers coach Jason Taylor.

The Tigers hardly made a mistake in the first 40 minutes, but forced the team from across the ditch to make plenty.

As a result all the momentum was with the home team as they piled on the tries.

An error of judgement from centre David Nofoaluma, who otherwise had a tremendous game, opting to take a bomb but failing led to the only points for the visitors from across the Tasman Sea.

It was 28-4 at half time but so easily could have been 40-0 and game over, but as suggested above, that’s not Wests Tigers’ way.

In the first 10 minutes of the second half the Tigers had two golden opportunities to finish off the opposition but both times pulled the trigger a little early nd ended up letting the opposition off the hook.

Inevitably, momentum swung around the 50th minute and the Warriors piled on four tries to all of a sudden be just two points in arrears at 28-26.

West Tigers
The weary players from both teams leave the arena after a tremendously entertaining game of rugby league.

This seemed to be the wake up call Wests Tigers needed and they reasserted their dominance before James Tedesco pounced on a loose ball to race away for a try under the posts.

To the loud boos of the vocal home crowd, the referee sent the try to the NRL bunker.

But when they put up TRY on the big screen for the final score of 34-26 the crowd went delirious.

There were good signs in the win for coach Jason Taylor, but he would have learned more about his team from their second half performance.

“We did some very good things and played very well, especially in the first half,’’ was Taylor’s match summation in the media room.

“We hung in there and got there in the end and I think the crowd played a big part in that, we’d like to thank them for that,’’ Taylor said.

In round two, the Wests Tigers will host Manly at Leichhardt Oval in Monday Night Football.




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