Tigers keep finals hopes alive - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers keep finals hopes alive

By Darren Walton 31/07/2004 09:34:08 PM Comments (0)

Wests Tigers kept their finals hopes alive with an unconvincing 18-2 win over Parramatta in a low-quality National Rugby League derby at Parramatta Stadium.

The class of Scott Prince ultimately proved the difference between the two struggling teams, the Queensland State of Origin halfback setting up all three tries in the match.

With the season on the line for both sides, it was the Tigers who lived to fight another day, moving to within striking distance of the top eight while Parramatta slip into a dogfight to avoid its first wooden spoon since 1972.

Should Manly beat Canberra and South Sydney defeat Newcastle in home games, the Eels would find themselves equal last with the New Zealand Warriors.

Parramatta went perilously close to opening the scoring in tonight's game, only for video referee Mick Stone to spot Luke Burt just edging into touch when the Eels centre pounced on Lee Hopkins' grubber-kick into the Tigers in-goal area after eight minutes.

A Burt penalty goal five minutes later gave Parramatta a 2-0 lead but it was all downhill from there.

Wests capitalised on a rare piece of good fortune from the ensuing kick-off in a passage of play that was to sum up the Eels' night.

Brett Hodgson's kick hit the post on the full and rebounded for the Tigers, who scored four tackles later when centre Shane Elford dived on Prince's grubber into the in-Parramatta in-goal.

Hodgson, playing with the Tigers after leaving the Eels at the end of last season, received a mixed response from the crowd after landing the conversion from near the right-hand sideline to give the visitors a 6-2 lead.

Wests stretched their advantage to 10 points four minutes before the break when interchange forward Robbie Mears scored off Prince's cross-field kick and Hodgson again converted.

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