If there was ever a time when a rugby league miracle took place, it is likely to have been yesterday afternoon when, against all the odds, the Wests Tigers miraculously defeated the much more fancied Sydney Roosters.
It was a fairytale finish as the Tigers raced up the other end with minutes on the clock and it all led to an acrobatic finish from new recruit Corey Thompson.
The Tigers win spoiled the party for James Tedesco, who was booed every time he touched the ball against his former club.
Perhaps, in hindsight, the Roosters will regret taking the penalty goal to lock the scores up at 2-all when they had a man advantage after Luke Brooks was sent to the sin-bin.
The game also saw the return of the Wests Tigers prodigal son, Benji Marshall. Initially slated to play off the bench, he was thrust into the starting five-eighth role when Josh Reynolds was ruled out pre-game.
The first half was a rather dour and scrappy affair as both teams tried to make the most of their chances but lacked execution and the application.
Two tries would follow in the second half; the first on a simple overlap to Roosters winger Blake Ferguson before the magic happened for the Tigers via Thompson.
With a new team and a new culture, Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary praised recruit Corey Thompson for his role in the win.
”I think he epitomises what we’re trying to build here,” Cleary said
Cleary said that Thompson’s form and attitude go all the way back to November when he began training well and then playing well in the trials to justify his selection.
”The way he played today is basically the way he started training back in November. He’s done well in the trial games,” Cleary continued.
Although his side did lose, Roosters coach Trent Robinson was not too displeased but he would like to see the new club combinations click sooner rather than later.
”I thought we tried to do what we wanted to do in attack but there wasn’t enough combinations and high errors,” he said.
”I thought they worked hard to get some stuff on. We were building as the game went on in that second half.”
Player of the Game:
3. Corey Thompson
2. Blake Ferguson
- Elijah Taylor