Pat Richards and Keith Galloway were playing their last game at the venue and Aaron Woods was playing in his 100th game, and it was the perfect way to cap off all three milestones, as the Tigers upset the Storm with a comprehensive 34-16 win.
Once again led by James Tedesco who has been a shining light for the club this season, it was the collective effort of the Tigers team that saw them get over the line.
Exploiting the defensive weakness of former Tiger Marika Koroibete on the wing, the Tigers ended up scoring four tries down his side, with David Nofoaluma grabbing a double on that side.
The Tigers are now finding form at the right time and coach Jason Taylor knew that a good performance was never too far away.
“It was very good, very pleasing. It was a really strong performance,” Taylor said.
“We were behind early and that wasn’t great but I knew the guys weren’t going to give up. We have gone to another level the past few weeks – it hasn’t looked like it on the scoreboard – but the last fortnight against two of the absolute top teams we have had some really great periods and we were really strong for most of the game on the back of that.”
There was some hands in mouths, though, when James Tedesco went down with what looked like a serious knee injury – his past injuries have been well documented – but he sprang straight back up and played the ball.
Despite the Storm’s best efforts and a monumental performance from prop Jesse Bromwich, they were ultimately outdone by a Tigers side that wanted the victory more.
Speaking about James Tedesco post-game, Tigers captain Robbie Farah praised the ownership and responsibility that the live-wire fullback has taken on board.
“He’s a threat every time he gets the ball â€“ he has genuine pace out the back, he’s an instinctive player, he always seems to turn up in the right spot and he has good hands too,” Tigers captain Robbie Farah said post-game.
“We need to give him as much ball as we can because every time he touches it the opposition defence worries about him.”
With a fair bit of travel over the last month or so, the Storm have struggled at times but coach Craig Bellamy refuses to buy into that.
“At the end of the day, we had a couple of long trips where we went to New Zealand twice in three weeks. But after the first [NZ trip] we came back and we won by 50,” Bellamy said post-game.
“It’s just an excuse. We didn’t look tired at the start of the game so to me we just got soft mentally, decided to take the foot off the pedal and received our just desserts.”
3. Jesse Bromwich
2. James Tedesco
1. David Nofoaluma
Wests Tigers 34 (James Tedesco 2, Dene Halatau, Kevin Naiqama, Pat Richards, David Nofoaluma Tries; Pat Richards 4 Goals) defeated Melbourne Storm 16 (Marika Koroibete 2, Jesse Bromwich Tries; Cameron Smith 2 Goals) at Leichhardt Oval. Crowd: 7,419. Half-time: Tigers 18-10.