The New Zealand Warriors have blown the Wests Tigers off the park 38-10 for the second time in 2017 in a confidence-boosting performance ahead of the finals that begin next week.
Mason Lino was at his classy best once again for the home side, while Zac Santo was as electric as ever at fullback, and the Warriors forward pack once again went above and beyond in wet conditions.
The Tigers got off to a horror start when Mason Lino put a deft kick into the in-goal area that Ryland Jacobs could not handle, and Matt Allwood jumped on the ball to post first points for the home side.
Speed was the primary factor in the Warriors’ next try, as Santo caught a ball off Lino and showed great acceleration to take advantage of poor Tigers’ defence and pierce through a gap to score.
It was déjà vu for the Warriors in the 18th minute of the match as Lino once again put in a kick that was not cleaned up by Jacobs, but this time the crafty half-back re-gathered and accelerated to the try-line to extend their lead to 18-0.
One of the more unusual moments of the game happened 20 minutes in when the Tigers received a penalty 10 metres out, and Jack Wheelhouse made a once-in-a-lifetime error by knocking the ball immediately after the tap restart.
Allwood showed his strength to power through what was in front of him to score his second try of the afternoon, before Toafofoa Sipley crashed over off the back of a Tigers error just before half-time, and the scoreboard read 28-0 as the teams went into the sheds.
The Warriors picked up where they left off to begin the second half as two mid-season transfers combined for a try when Santo threw a beautiful pass for Bureta Faraimo to score.
Sam Cook made an important line-break to get the Warriors into optimal field position once again, which led to an Ofahiki Ogden barge-over try.
Finally, the Tigers were able to score off the back of a Luke Garner run, when Christian Yassmin completed a left-to-right shift which was a nice reward for the visitors who were constantly trying despite the heavy deficit.
The Tigers dominated the match for the final quarter of the game, and scored the final try of the game when Blake Goodman charged-down a Lino kick and Nathan Milone picked up the ball to score.
That game marks the end of 2017 for the Tigers who have had a forgettable season, while the Warriors will play Penrith in the opening round of finals next week.
Warriors 38 (M Allwood 2, Z Santo, M Lino, T Sipley, B Faraimo, O Ogden tries; M Lino 5 goals) def Wests Tigers 10 (C Yassmin, N Milone tries; V Mapesone goal)