Tigers guarantee home final

Wests Tigers moved into second position on the Premiership ladder with a 26-14 victory over Melbourne Storm, in front of a sell-out crowd that guarantees them a home final in the play-offs.

But there’s a bit of bad new for the Tigers as Chris Lawrence received a broken jaw in the 4th minute.

The Storm opened the scoring in the 7th minute when a drop ball by Marshall saw the visitors toe the ball through. It was then regathered before the ball was spread left through several hands before winger Justin O’Neill dived over for a 4-0 lead.

Hooker Cameron Smith failed to convert the try from out wide.
Marshall then got the Wests Tigers faithful on their feet when he produced some sheer individual brilliance to set up and score a fine try in the corner.

From a standing start, Marshall stepped inside prop Brett White to find open space. He then produced an inside pass to replacement centre Mitch Brown who offloaded a pass to half-back Robert Lui who sent the final pass for Marshall to score in the corner in the 13th minute.

Marshall failed to convert his own try from the sideline for a 4-4 scoreline.
Andrew Fifita crashes over from close range off a Robbie Farrah pass in the 21st minute. Marshall makes no mistake with the conversion from close range as the Tigers lead the Storm by six points.

Referee Gavin Badger penalised Wests Tigers for a deliberate forward pass from centre Mitch Brown to winger Lote Tuqiri after a towering bomb by Marshall was allowed to bounce by full-back Billy Slater.

In the ensuring set of six, the Storm threw the ball right to leave Tuqiri stranded for Willie Isa to dive over in the corner in the 31st minute. Smith failed to convert for a 10-8 scoreline.

The referees then missed a deliberate shepherd when winger Beau Ryan was blocked from tackling Dane Nielsen in goal in the 39th minute. Fortunately for the Wests Tigers, a drop ball by Ryan Hoffman let them off the hook, much to the relief of the Wests Tigers players and supporters.

Wests Tigers jumped to a 14-8 lead when a Ryan grubber kick 10 metres out saw Marshall pounce on the ball to score his second try.
Marshall then converted his own try from the sideline to give Wests Tigers a 16-8 lead after 48 minutes.

The Storm got back to 16-12 when Hoffman dummied and show the ball before crashing over to score in the corner in the 58th minute. Smith converted the try from inside the sideline for a 16-14 scoreline after 59 minutes.

Video referee Phil Cooley was called upon in the 68th minute to rule whether hooker Robbie Farah had grounded the ball in diving over for a try next to the posts. It was ruled refs call with referee Alan Shortall ruling a try. It was a classic Farah special from dummy half to give Wests Tigers a 20-14 lead.

Marshall converted the try for a 22-14 lead after 69 minutes.
Wests Tigers secured victory in the 77th minute when a drop ball by Hoffman saw Farah pick it up to race downfield before linking up with Marshall who raced more than 30 metres to score in the corner for a 26-14 lead.

Marshall’s conversion attempt from the sideline was on target but fell short.

Buford Balony says: What a great victory for the Tigers. Outright 2nd on the ladder with a big game next week which could determine 2nd spot. A bit of Benji magic sure goes a long way. Go the Tigers.

NRL Ladder

Round 25 (Updated Aug 30)
W L D B +/- Pts
1 Dragons 16 7 0 2 205 36
2 Tigers 15 8 0 2 37 34
3 Titans 14 9 0 2 19 32
4 Panthers 13 9 0 2 112 30
5 Warriors 13 10 0 2 39 30
6 Roosters 13 10 0 2 39 30
7 Sea Eagles 12 11 0 2 41 28
8 Raiders 12 11 0 2 4 28
9 Rabbitohs 11 12 0 2 31 26
10 Broncos 11 12 0 2 -25 26
11 Knights 10 13 0 2 -40 24
12 Eels 10 13 0 2 -64 24
13 Bulldogs 8 14 0 2 -45 20
14 Sharks 7 16 0 2 -217 18
15 Cowboys 5 18 0 2 -232 14
16 Storm 13 10 0 2 96 0
  • Melbourne Storm have been stripped of all premiership points for the 2010 season
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