Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wests Tigers defeat Penrith Panthers at Campbelltown

Wests Tigers recorded a hard fought 20-18 victory over Penrith Panthers at Campbelltown Sports Stadium tonight in round 11 of the Telstra Premiership.
In front of a crowd of 16,172, Wests Tigers fought back from an early second half deficit to secure the vital two competition points.

Centre Blake Ayshford celebrated his new contract deal with the opening try in the 6th minute for a 4-0 lead. Ayshford ran off a cut off pass from half-back Robert Lui and then stepped inside before beating three defenders to score. The try came on the back off a break by full-back Wade McKinnon. Five-eighth Benji Marshall converted the try for a 6-0 lead.

Penrith stand in five-eighth Masada Iosefa got the Panthers back to 6-4 when from a scrum win 10 metres out from the Wests Tigers tryline, stepped past Lui and second-rower Liam Fulton to score. Half-back Luke Walsh converted the try for a 6-6 scoreline after 14 minutes.

Wests Tigers jumped to a 10-6 lead in the 17th minute when second-rower Simon Dwyer hit a hole from a short ball by hooker Robbie Farah after Fulton kept the ball alive in offloading on the other side of the field. Marshall failed to convert the try.
A flick pass inside in the 36th minute by Marshall 20 metres out from the Panthers tryline went behind Lui’s back with two players in support next to the half-back.
Wests Tigers almost scored in the 38th minute when a grubber kick by Lui saw winger Mitch Brown take the ball only to lose control of it 10 metres out from the Panthers line.

Penrith turned around their good fortune when winger David Simmons scored in the 39th minute after the ball went through several hands before being touched by a Wests Tigers player for Simmons to go on to score. Walsh converted the try for a 12-10 lead to Penrith at half-time.
2nd Half
Penrith extended their lead to 16-10 in the 51st minute when full-back Lachlan Coote leapt high to take a towering bomb by Walsh to score behind the posts. Walsh converted the try to give the Panthers an 18-10 lead.

Marshall got the Wests Tigers back in the game in the 67th minute when he raced 85 metres to score near the posts after a pass from Simmons to Lewis went to ground from a bomb. Marshall converted the try to leave Wests Tigers trailing 18-16 after 68 minutes.

A beautiful pass from a darting Farah put Brown over out wide in the 72nd minute to give Wests Tigers a 20-18 lead. Marshall’s attempt hit the left hand upright.

Wests Tigers dug deep late in the game to secure a much needed victory. The win moves Wests Tigers to 12 points and in seventh position on the ladder.

By Wayne Cousins

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