Tigers beat themselves, and Warriors - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers beat themselves, and Warriors

By David Beniuk 19/03/2011 11:21:57 PM Comments (0)

They had to beat themselves as well as the Warriors, but the Wests Tigers somehow managed to open their NRL account with a far from convincing 20-12 victory at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday night.

With an error count that would have had coach Tim Sheens fuming, the Tigers came home the stronger in a four tries to two win that would have done little to convince the 13,161 fans on hand they are the premiership goods.

Three tries in a 12 minute burst in the final quarter of the game ensured the home side victory after they had invited the Warriors into the match by dropping balls at their own end, including a kick-off by captain Robbie Farah.

In the end, the Warriors' handling was probably even worse as the Tigers, who - minus injured forwards Bryce Gibbs and Gareth Ellis - notched the hard fought win, with centre Chris Lawrence bagging a double.

Locked at 6-6 at halftime after it had taken more than half an hour for either side to score, the Warriors took the lead for the first time in the match nine minutes after the break following some freakish work from former Parramatta winger Krisnan Inu.

Inu somehow kept the ball in play as he was tiptoeing down the left touchline before catching the Tigers defence off guard and crashing over from dummy half a play later to make it 12-6.

The Tigers got back to 12-10 when Robert Lui laid on a try for Blake Ayshford in the 62nd minute but Benji Marshall missed the relatively easy conversion attempt and then Farah dropped the kick-off.

The Tigers hung on to fight again and Farah scooted over in the 68th minute to capitalise on a Simon Dwyer bust for a 16-12 lead before Lawrence added his second in the 74th.

The Warriors might have been looking for a "please explain" from the NRL after appearing to score a fair try that wasn't referred to the video referee.

Ayshford appeared on television replays to have not grounded a 14th minute Lance Hohaia grubber kick in his in-goal before Warriors forward Feleti Mateo dived and grounded the ball.

Referees Tony Archer and Alan Shorthall were satisfied Ayshford had planted the ball and didn't refer a decision to video referee Chris Ward.

With Marshall and Robert Lui pulling out enough plays to ensure the Tigers got over the line, Sheens praised the composure of his playmakers.

"Robbie (Farah's) kicking game, Benj, young Robert Lui played with plenty of composure for a kid and Wade McKinnon was strong at the back so the spine, the key players were very good," Sheens said.

"Everyone else contributed."

But Sheens conceded he'd seen his share of coach-killers.

"It was a Panadol night, I can tell you," he said.

"Conditions were tight and tough with the rain all day and it's no secret we're down a number of senior players.

"Overall I was happy with the effort, execution can obviously be better and it will be."

Warriors coach Ivan Cleary could find no positives in his side's showing, apart from them having "a game next week".

"Unfortunately we were a bit rudderless tonight," he said.

"A lot of guys put in tonight but unfortunately we didn't get it from everyone ... when that happens it makes life hard."

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