Scully Park plays host to a Tigers comeback win over Titans

Wests Tigers centre Esan Marsters

Coming back from a 14-0 deficit, the Wests Tigers have defeated the Gold Coast Titans at Scully Park in Tamworth. 

Running out 30-14 winners, it was a performance that was a marked improvement on their heavy loss at the hands of the Parramatta Eels last week.

As the old rugby league adage goes, this was, in many ways, a game of two halves.

The Tigers started out rather poorly and their woes began from the opening kick-off, dropped by Josh Reynolds.

The Titans first try after this would not come straight away but the pressure eventually proved telling.

Anthony Don soared highest to grab a Tyrone Roberts cross-field kick before marching up the field to score yet again.

This time, it was a lovely pass from Bryce Cartwright that put Tyrone Peachey through a huge gap to score.

An offside penalty in the Titans favour gave them another chance to score points, and they opted for a penalty goal to go up 14-0.

Not going for the kill may have cost the Titans, as the Tigers slowly found their way back into the contest.

Mahe Fonua would grab the first of his three tries, with the Gold Coast Titans left edge finally beaten.

Two further tries in five minutes gave the Tigers a surprising lead at the half-time break.

Robert Jennings was the scorer of the first, capitalising on a Michael Gordon spill from a Moses Mbye grubber.

Then Esan Marsters proved that he has not forgotten how to score tries, beating several defenders to score.

Jennings would then grab his second when he caught the markers asleep.

Fonua rounded up his hat-trick with the last two tries of the game, as the Tigers get their season back on track.

Momentum can be a cruel beast in rugby league and Titans coach Garth Brennan admitted that it turned on his side.

“There was a bit of a momentum swing in that first half and we just didn’t handle it real well,” Brennan said.

“A string of penalties against us, weight of possession against us, and we didn’t handle it well enough.

“I wasn’t surprised [we were down at the break], we just didn’t handle that period in the first half well enough.”

Brennan was also disappointed with his side’s attack.

“We just didn’t execute well at all, we were too sideways, we were trying to force things, kicks on play three, offloads, things that weren’t part of our processes,” he said.

Despite their poor start, self-belief is what got the Tigers through in the end in the eyes of coach Michael Maguire.

“The thing about this group is I have a lot of belief in them and it was great to see they showed the belief in each other,” Maguire said.

“From five or six days ago [after losing 51-6 to Parramatta], it wasn’t a nice place as a team but to see them climb out and do the things we’ve been practising for some time now, that was the key.

“Our big one now is building consistency around that performance.”

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Esan Marsters

2. Robert Jennings

  1. Mahe Fonua

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