HIGHLIGHTS: Tigers-Mounties (Rd 4)
The Mounties have maintained their unbeaten start to the season in a 26-22 thriller against Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval.
The match was a battle of the halfbacks for the entire 80 minutes, with Mounties halfback Sam Williams and Tigers number 7 Josh Drinkwater putting in outstanding performances.
The Tigers dominated the opening 10 minutes of the match, constantly attacking the Mounties line and building pressure with repeat sets.
Drinkwater eventually opened the Tigers’ account when he scored a solo try after he threw a dummy and broke through a hole to lead 4-0.
Andy Fiagatusa knocked the ball when he took a hit-up off the kickoff as the Mounties took advantage through Clay Priest, who pounced on a kick to give his side the lead after Williams added the extra two points.
A neat Drinkwater grubber saw the Tigers hit back through Chance Pen, however the lead would change for the third time in the 36th minute after Jack Ahearn held up a pass perfectly for Dave Cahalane to score on the right side.
The Mounties thought they had their second in as many minutes when Bill Tupou crossed, only for the referee to call an obstruction.
Mitch Barnett gave away a penalty on the stroke of halftime and the Tigers took the gift two points on offer, meaning both sides were locked at 10-all at half time.
The first half was a fair encounter, however the first 30 minutes of the second half belonged to the Mounties, who ran in the first 16 points of the half.
Just two minutes into the half, Williams scored a try after Josh McCrone put an optimistic kick through for Williams, who kicked for himself and scored under the posts.
A Josh McCrone kick led to a Bill Tupou try four minutes later as the Mounties found themselves with a 20-10 lead.
Sam Williams was in on the action again in the 59th minute when he threw a cut-out ball to Gus Aiga, who scored in the corner.
It was all the Mounties until the 70th minute of the game, when Peni pounced on a kick to secure his second try of the night. Drinkwater converted and it was 26-16 to the Mounties.
The Tigers hit back when Kurtis Rowe scored in the corner after a pin-point cut-out pass from Drinkwater. He then topped they try off with a wonderful sideline conversion, and suddenly there was only four points in it with two minutes remaining.
From the ensuing set the Tigers were rewarded with a penalty and went in search of a late match-winning try.
However, while attempting to score, Asipeli Fine lost control of the ball, which meant the Mounties hung on to a four-point victory.
Mounties 26 (B Tupou, G Aiga, S Williams, C Priest, D Cahalane tries; S Williams 3 goals) bt Wests Tigers 22 (C Peni 2, K Rowe, J Drinkwater tries; J Drinkwater 3 goals)