ISP NSW Report: Wests Tigers v Newcastle
Led by Fox Sports Man of the Match Jack Littlejohn, the Wests Tigers put forward a dominant display over the out-of-form Newcastle Knights at Campbelltown Stadium.
Both sides were hampered by a high amount of late changes, but that did not faze the home side in their 38-10 romping of Newcastle.
Chance Peni delivered some incredible match-sealing plays near the end of the game, while Watson Heleta and late inclusion Veiru Mapesone both performed extremely well.
The game started at a lightning pace, but it was the Knights who posted first points when Kurt Aldridge put up a towering attacking bomb that deflected backwards off Matt Soper-Lawler and trickled into the in-goal area allowing Braden Robson to pounce.
On the back of a forced dropout, Mapesone sold a huge dummy to his left, darted through a hole, and beat the fullback to get the Wests Tigers on the board, and his conversion scraped in to take a 6-4 lead after 14 minutes.
Off the ensuing set, left-winger John Tohi made a dart down the sideline, and as he was getting tackled, through a perfect offload to Ryland Jacobs, who was steaming through on his outside, and he eventually over-head passed it for Manaia Cherrington to score.
Some brilliant second-phase play extended the West Tigers lead to 16-4, after the ball was shifted to the left sideline, before the Tohi drifted right and put Littlejohn through a massive hole.
Alike the previous try, a massive hole opened up for Heleta to simply show the ball to his left, and aggressively plant the ball down while being brought down by Blake Donovan, which extended the Tigers lead to 22-4.
Lack of communication by the Knights gifted Jeremy Marshall-King the next try, after Mapesone put a neat grubber into the in-goal that went uncontested, resulting in a simple try for the try-scorer.
The Knights bombed a certain try just moments later, with a beautiful right-to-left shift in the lead-up creating an overlap, but the last pass by Henry Penn went well behind Soper-Lawler and the ball trickled into touch.
The Wests Tigers went one better soon after when Littlejohn threw a wonderful cut-out ball to Peni, who got an arm free in the tackle to gift a magic offload into the chest of Jayden Wheelhouse, increasing their lead to 32-4.
Peni did it all himself for the Tigers’ next try, powering through the Knights’ defenders on the first tackle of a scrum to score, before Soper-Lawler scored a consolation try near full-time to make the final score 38-10.