The New Zealand Warriors completely blew the Wests Tigers away in sweltering conditions with a comprehensive 38-6 victory at Leichhardt Oval.
Ali Lauitiiti wound the clock back and put in a scintillating performance, scoring a try, setting up another, plus making a 60-metre linebreak against the run of play.
Warriors halfback Ata Hingano was in control for the entire 80-minutes, while Matthew Allwood impressed with a two-try performance. Albert Vete and Upu Poching did a fantastic job in the front-row, especially considering the tough conditions.
On the other hand, the Tigers had an afternoon to forget, as they looked nothing like the team that defeated the heavily experienced Manly side just last weekend.
The opening 10 minutes saw a scoreless game, but that nil-all score-line did not reflect the actual contest. The Warriors were all over the Wests Tigers, playing percentage and error free footy while dominating field position.
Deservedly, the Warriors opened the scoring in the 12th minute after Ata Hingano took on the line before a late pass allowed Matthew Allwood to crash over.
Perhaps the sweltering heat can be used as an excuse for the following events that took place at Leichhardt Oval, as Hingano took a long time to attempt his conversion after not being able to find a ball, before Josh Drinkwater could not find his tee for the kick-off.
The Tigers earned back-to-back penalties that finally gave them decent field position, but the chance was blown when Rod Griffin could not handle a Drinkwater short ball close to the line.
If the fans in the stadium were upset with the previous spoiled chance, the next one a matter of minutes later would have had them fuming.
Jeremy Marshall-King made a linebreak with Drinkwater in support, which created a two-on-one. Marshall-King drew in the fullback and passed, but Drinkwater dropped what was a certain try in front of an open goal-line.
Things went from bad-to-worse for the Wests Tigers, when Chance Peni dropped a bomb while looking into the sun from the following set, before Jazz Tevaga took advantage of some poor marker defence by darting over untouched from dummy half.
The Warriors were further rewarded for their continuous field position and discipline, when a massive overlap allowed Hingano to pass for the veteran, Lauitiiti, to extend the lead to 16-0.
Konrad Hurrell stamped his authority in the match when he picked up a loose ball and ran 80-metres against the run of play, and passed the ball for 14 to score due to speed-star Josh Addo-Carr being hot on his tail.
That try was on the stroke of halftime, and they went into the sheds with a 20-point lead.
It was incredibly hot and he’s 36-year-old, but that did not stop Lauitiiti picking up a rebounded ball and making a 60-metre dash downfield before being caught by Drinkwater. This led to another four-pointer when Erin Clark kicked for an un-marked Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad on the left wing.
Lauitiiti was involved again off the kick-off set when he gave a ball for Allwood to run away and step through some fractured Tigers defence and score his second try of the afternoon to increase the lead to 32-0.
The Wests Tigers finally restored some pride through Jacob Liddle, when he showed tremendous speed to break through the line and score a run-away try.
With just his second touch of the ball, Patrick Sipley showed incredible strength to score his first try of the season under the posts while carrying defenders on his back.
Another big Warriors forward refused to miss out on the points flourish, as with just under nine minutes remaining, Vete crashed over and put the ball down almost exactly where the last try was scored to make the final score 44-6.
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