Wests Tigers too strong for Cowboys - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wests Tigers too strong for Cowboys

By Adrian Warren 19/07/2009 08:39:36 PM Comments (0)

NRL boss David Gallop surely wouldn't approve, but a bit of old fashioned biff provided the spark for the West Tigers' 34-14 home win over North Queensland at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday.

Conceding a try to North Queensland's Matt Bowen after just 44 seconds, the Tigers trailed 8-0 after 10 minutes against a Cowboys side making plenty of easy metres.

But momentum changed after punches were thrown at two scrums five minutes apart.

Tigers captain and hooker Robbie Farah was struck by Cowboys counterpart Antony Watts.

In the next scrum, the Tigers got square with Watts with the North Queensland rake on the receiving end of a number of blows.

Both hookers were sin-binned, but it was the Tigers who prospered most, racing to a 16-8 halftime lead.

"The first scrum, he hit me, I don't know why, I didn't do anything to him, it was a bit of a king hit," Farah said.

"The refs did nothing about it. I wanted a bit of a square up.

"The second scrum, the ref told me to keep it short and sweet and it was."

Watts, who set up the Cowboys' opening try, said he recalled being struck by an elbow.

"I'm not sure if it was Robbie, but it came towards me and I just reacted," Watts said.

Asked what happened at the second scrum, Watts replied: "I don't know if it was Robbie or not because there was a fair few of them hitting me."

Five-eighth Benji Marshall scored a solo try after the first scrum eruption.

Subsequent razzle dazzle tries to centre Chris Lawrence and winger Taniela Tuiaki set up the Tigers' eight-point halftime buffer.

Tigers coach Tim Sheens and his players were adamant the old fashioned bust ups helped turn around their performance following their lacklustre start.

"That was a bit of a turning point for us, because it certainly got our adrenaline levels up," Sheen said.

The Tigers' Great Britain Test forward Gareth Ellis agreed.

"When you see one of your blokes on the floor with a split eye, it does rally the troops and I thought we responded pretty well," he said.

Wests appeared to be in control when fullback Shannon Gallant crossed nine minutes into the second half, but some turnovers and penalties against the home team switched the momentum.

A converted try to forward Carl Webb got the Cowboys to within six points with 13 minutes remaining.

However, a quick tap and 60m bust from Marshall set up a try to Corey Payne and Farah added another one in the closing moments.

Sheens was adamant teams were continuing to target Farah around the ruck.

"It's very obvious to me that sides are doing everything they can to take Robbie out of the game," Sheens said.

Cowboys coach Neil Henry said his team paid the price for not being alert enough around the ruck at a couple of key moments including when Marshall took his quick tap.

"Some behaviours out there were unacceptable for first grade, you can't let someone just run past you," Henry said.

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