Played at a ground that has memories galore for many fans, Leichhardt Oval played host to the Wests Tigers v Parramatta Eels clash, with the home side coming out on top 31-18 victors.
Bursting out of the gates early on to take an 18-0 lead, the Tigers attacked wilted somewhat in the second half and it lead to a bit of an Eels resurgence that was ultimately, not enough to get back in the game and win.
With fundamental ball skills not with the Eels at times, inopportune penalties that cost them key metres and possession and a few brain explosions, it was not the Eels night tonight – with coach Ricky Stuart admitting that his side would have to learn from the mistakes they made.
“When you start a game like that with the other team having 70 per cent possession to our 30 it is always going to be hard,” he said.
“At one stage we had to defend 16 plays on our line but our defence held firm which was encouraging.”
The game was evenly poised at one stage on the back of the Eels mini-resurgence, before Jacob Miller kicked a field goal from close range to seal victory for the Tigers.
Despite the win, however, Tigers hooker and captain Robbie Farah says that his side still have a long way to go and must improve as the season goes on.
“We’re getting better but we are not where we want to be,” he said.
“But we are heading in the right direction.”
With centre Chris Lawrence scoring two tries on the Tigers right flank in attack, the plan was to target Chris Sandow in defence – a plan that worked to full effect.
“You can get that with smaller defenders and we recognise that,” he said.
“Chris did very well to get over him.”
3. Benji Marshall
2. Chris Lawrence
1. Chris Sandow