By Lars Roy at Campbelltown Sports Stadium
After a mixed month of footy, the Wests Tigers have found themselves back in the winning circle after defeating the North Sydney Bears 30-22 at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday.
Despite a strengthened Bears side that included the return of many Rabbitohs players, the opening 15 minutes of the game was shaky by the visitors.
The Tigers were gifted opportunities on the Bears’ line and eventually capitalised through, John Sila, who opened the scoring in the 17th minute with a bulldozing run close to the line.
The conversion attempt from the sideline was waved away leaving the score at 4-0 to the Tigers.
The Bears were next to post points however, through a spectacular putdown by Curtis Johnston only four minutes later. An equally impressive conversion from the sideline by Apisai Koroisau, gave the Bears a two-point lead at 6-4.
A costly offside penalty on last tackle marched the Tigers upfield and closer to their second try. A well-waited cross field kick was caught and planted down by John Sila, who bagged himself a first-half double 28 minutes in.
The seesawing affair at the end of the first half continued, through Joe Uluibau, who received a good short ball from Koroisau five metres out from the line.
The pass combined with late footwork proved too much for the Tigers’ edge defenders, whose lapse in concentration cost them the lead on the stroke of half-time.
The Tigers came out of the break energised however, posting the first points of the second half through Jarred Farlow in the 47th minute.
Farlow got a hand to a Stevens grubber which looked to be going dead-in-goal, highlighting the importance of not giving up on the play.
Johnston raced over in the corner five minutes later for yet another double, the last pass again coming from Koriosau. With the scores locked up at 14 apiece, another sideline conversion from Koroisau brought the Bears back in the lead at 16-14.
Back-to-back penalties to the Tigers resulted in a try to front rower, Jack Buchanan in the 58th minute, whose awareness from a quick-tap close to the line got the Tigers in front.
A three-minute double to Tigers winger, Setefano Taukafa, blew out their lead to 14 points after two inspiring runs down the far sideline.
A positional change saw Bears five eighth, Jordan Worboys, move to fullback where he picked up the last try of the match in the 78th minute.
The conversion attempt was successful from Koroisau, leaving the final score at 30-22 and the Bears with their ninth straight loss.
Next week the Tigers will travel to Henson Park to take on Newtown, who are coming off a 38-22 win over the Bulldogs and are only one win out of the top eight.
The Bears however, will be heading to Belmore Oval to verse the Bulldogs in a bottom of the table clash.
Wests Tigers 30 (J Sila 2, S Taukafa 2, J Farlow, J Buchanan tries; J Farlow 2, M Stevens goals) def. North Sydney Bears 22 (C Johnston 2, J Worboys, J Uluibau tries; A Koroisau 3 goals) at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.