Tigers surge up NRL ladder - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers surge up NRL ladder

By Steve Jancetic and Laine Clark 12/06/2011 07:48:34 PM Comments (0)

A dramatic seven days revitalised Wests Tigers NRL premiership hopes with the pre-season fancies performing back-to-back escape acts to surge up to sixth on the ladder.

After pipping Newcastle thanks to a dramatic Robbie Farah golden point field goal on Monday night, it was Benji Marshall's turn to be the hero on Sunday as he engineered a stunning come-from-behind win over the Warriors in Auckland.

Marshall was at his mesmerising best as he pulled the Tigers back from 22-4 down with just 16 minutes remaining to run out 26-22 winners - the Kiwi Test skipper scoring two tries and setting up another two in an amazing performance.

In a day of thrilling comebacks Canberra almost outdid the Tigers as they came from 24-0 down to send their game against Brisbane in extra time, with Broncos halfback Peter Wallace breaking Raiders hearts with a 40 metre golden point field goal.

The win moved the Broncos to 20 competitions points, but they will be looking nervously over their shoulder at a Tigers side which put consecutive wins together for the first time since round three.

Tigers coach Tim Sheens described the victory as one "that can define a season".

"So while you're ticking away and staying in the mix, you're still there," Sheens said.

"You come out of the bye in two weeks time with enough rounds not to have to win eight out of nine or something."

The Tigers started the season as second favourites for the title behind premiers St George Illawarra, but they've struggled for consistency in the wake of a high injury toll.

The Warriors seemed almost powerless to stop them during their barnstorming finish, but Sheens gave the indication there was still plenty to work on.

Asked if there was anyone who could stop the Tigers when they were in that sort of mood, Sheens said: "Plenty, because we'll throw it over the sideline as well.

"That's us, however in saying that we're working harder and harder at making sure we don't shift the ball for the sake of shifting the ball and throw it around for the sake of throwing it around."

While the Tigers are on the way up, the team they eliminated from last year's finals don't appear headed for another finals campaign with the Raiders now outright last after their tenth loss from 13 games.

Consecutive wins and a bye had given the Raiders some hope of repeating their late season heroics of 2011 when they stormed into the finals, but they now appear dashed after a second gut-wrenching loss in as many weeks.

Last week they capitulated after leading 22-0 against North Queensland to lose 40-24, while on Sunday all the valour of their comeback against the Broncos was quickly forgotten after Wallace's late strike.

"The last two weeks some of the tries scored against us is not our standard (defence)," coach David Furner said.

"Whether it is a cold drop or a missed tackle - it's not good enough for NRL, last week was the same.

"We are probably a team at the moment that can't have 15 switched on and others clock off, we can't do that.

"I am happy how we got ourselves in the game, I know what the team is capable of, but it's disappointing - that's two games we could have won."

Melbourne have a chance to join Manly just one point behind the Dragons when they host Sydney Roosters on Monday night, but the Storm will do it without influential trio Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater.

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