WESTS Tigers defeated North Queensland 30-10 in a heated encounter at Dairy Farmers Stadium, with both sides having to be separated twice during the match.
Bronson Harrison was sin-binned for being third man in after an altercation broke out between Luke O’Donnell and Liam Fulton.
And Ash Graham could find himself in trouble with the judiciary after being put on report for a shoulder charge against Brett Hodgson with the Tigers skipper slipping over at the point of impact.
North Queensland dominated early possession pounding the Tigers line for the majority of play before the defence cracked andÂ Graham went over from aÂ Carl Webb offload.
The Tigers got on the board when Robbie Farah scooted over from dummy half for his side’s first points before Hodgson added the extras.
Hodgson then increased the lead to four points after converting a penalty awarded against Matt Scott for a late hit on Farah.
Chris Lawrence put the visitors further in front with a penalty goal before crossing for a try of his own in the 26th minute off a well-worked backline move.
With five minutes remaining in the half, the Tigers went 60 metres thanks to some good support work before Harrison pounced on the loose ball to score under the posts.
Ben Harris forced a Tigers error before crossing under the posts to bring his new side back into the contest after half-time.
Tigers five-eighth Tim Moltzen barged his way over in the 75th minute before Liam Fulton found the line in the dying stages to put the result beyond doubt.
Tigers coach Tim Sheens labelled the victory one of the best in the history of the joint venture club.
“That is one of our better wins and it’s certainly been a good start to the season for us,” Sheens said.
“We had a couple of busted key players in the side with Benji (Marshall) and now Brett Hodgson.
“The fill-in players, and by that I’m not being derogatory towards them … have done a great job.”
Sheens was impressed that his side were able to overcome the loss of Hodgson, who was forced to leave the field after suffering concussion.
“He’s got no memory of the game, he’s a tough kid,” Sheens said of Hodgson.
“He doesn’t like going off but he will probably need a week off.”
North Queensland coach Graham Murray was left to rue his team’s poor handling.
“We started off pretty good but we weren’t as sharp as I’d like us to be,” he said.
“I think we completed two out of our last nine sets. We have a lot of work to do.”