Marshall roars as Tigers tame Warriors - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Marshall roars as Tigers tame Warriors

12/06/2011 07:17:30 PM Comments (0)

He had never beaten the Warriors in Auckland or scored a try against them, but Wests Tigers' superstar Benji Marshall ticked both off his to-do list on Sunday in a stunning 26-22 comeback NRL win.

Marshall sparked a stunning late surge as the Tigers recovered from 22-4 down, with less than 20 minutes remaining, to overwhelm the Warriors with four late tries.

The Kiwi Test skipper had a hand in all four of them - scoring two himself and setting up the others, including the match-winner for Beau Ryan with a basketball pass with just four minutes left.

"It's a big one for me. I haven't won here in Auckland against the Warriors yet - it's something I can take out of it and I hadn't scored a try against the Warriors either," said Marshall, who also added a 40-20 kick during the frantic finish.

"We felt like we were pretty much a part of that game the whole time. To tell you the truth, it felt like we dominated in a lot of facets of the game. We were just letting them out of their half too easy.

"In the end, we hung on and got away with the points."

The Warriors were left ruing the one that got away after scoring three tries in 11 minutes after the restart to turn a slender 8-4 halftime lead into what seemed a match-winning 22-4 advantage.

They hadn't counted on Marshall, however, as he opened the comeback with his first try in his eighth game against the Warriors off a Gareth Ellis offload in the 64th minute.

He then bombed for former Warrior Wade McKinnon to score, before Marshall bagged his second after a big break by Blake Ayshford.

Marshall's conversion tied up the game, but he wasn't done with yet as he found Ryan with an over-the-top pass to complete the revival.

The Warriors paid a heavy price for an off day with the boot for goalkicker James Maloney, who nailed just one of his five conversion attempts.

His four misses matched his total misses for the season heading into the game, having hit 90 per cent of his kicks over the opening half of the campaign.

"Mentally, if you lose it for a little bit, then momentum swings the other the way," Warriors' coach Ivan Cleary said.

"They just had all that possession and were scoring points and sometimes it's hard to stop.

"We just couldn't, but I think there were times in that period we could certainly have stopped it if we had been a little bit more mentally tough."

The Tigers leapfrog the Warriors into sixth spot, the late burst capping a memorable six days for the club following their golden-point win over Newcastle on Monday night.

The defeat was compounded for the Warriors with defensive stalwart Michael Luck leaving the field in the opening half with suspected anterior cruciate ligament damage to his left knee.

Cleary would have taken heart from the efforts of fullback Kevin Locke, second rower Feleti Mateo and rookie halfback Shaun Johnson, who were pivotal in the Warriors' second half onslaught in which giant winger Manu Vatuvei scored a double.

His first, eight minutes after the restart, followed a long break from Locke before he found Mateo who put his winger over.

Johnson then scored after being set free by Mateo on halfway, the second-game halfback stepping past McKinnon on the his way to the line.

Mateo and Johnson were again involved as they set up Vatuvei for his second try, with Maloney's only goal of the match giving the home side an 18-point lead.

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