Tigers sneak past Panthers into eighth
Sat, 14 Jul 2012 11:39p.m.
Wests Tigers found their feet after a mid-season stumble to sneak back into the NRL top eight with a 26-18 win over a stubborn Penrith at Campbelltown Stadium.
Having dropped to ninth on the back of three consecutive losses, the Tigers leapfrogged the Warriors into eighth spot as they ran out five tries to three winners.
But they were hardly convincing against a Penrith side which had spent a week engulfed in turmoil, the Tigers recovering from 18-14 down with two late tries to Ben Murdoch-Masila and Chris Heighington.
The late double took the heat out of a controversial try to Penrith No.7 Luke Walsh on the hour, when Tim Moltzen - who showed more intent to argue with the referee than tackle Walsh - appeared to be taken out by Shane Shackleton in the lead-up.
Back after missing last week's loss to Canterbury due to a concussion suffered in State of Origin III, Robbie Farah took just five minutes to leave his mark as he burrowed over from dummy-half.
His opposite number Kevin Kingston answered in kind to lock it up at at 6-all before Liam Futon and Josh Mansour scored for either side as the Panthers appeared headed for a surprise 12-10 lead at the break.
Rookie Curtis Sironen then delivered a deft ball for Chris Lawrence to run 30 metres untouched, the news getting better for the home side when Keith Galloway returned for the second period after going off with a shoulder injury.
Twice Michael Jennings made long scything runs to get Penrith into decent attacking position, the visitors showing their intention to go for broke as they ignored a gift two points via a penalty goal.
It almost paid dividends only for Moltzen - who earlier gifted Mansour's try when he dropped a simple bomb - to knock the ball out of Luke Lewis' hands as he reached out to score.
But he quickly went from hero to villain with Walsh's try, although another obstruction controversy lessened when Murdoch-Masila crashed over 17 metres from time.
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