The Wests Tigers face the prospect of losing another player to a long term injury after winger Marika Koroibete dislocated his elbow in a gutsy 20-18 win over the Penrith Panthers.
In the 25th minute and with the Panthers leading 12-4, Koroibete was trying to make meters from within his own ten meter line when he put a huge fend on Panthers forward Sika Manu. Manu was put on his backside but Marika Koroibete immediately fell to the ground himself with his elbow clearly dislocated.
It was a bitter blow for the Tigers who have had to deal with more injuries than any other team in 2013.
The Panthers were expected to rack up a big win against the under strength Tigers side. In the first half there were a few moments when it looked like the Panthers were about to run away with the game but the Tigers kept fighting their way back into it. The halftime score line of 18-8 to the Panthers could have easily been a lot bigger.
The second half started off as a scrappy affair for both teams but it was the Tigers that struck first with a try in the 53rd minute. The conversion cut the Panthers lead to 18-14, and the Tigers were once again right back in the contest. They would go on to take the lead after a length of the field effort in the 69th minute. The conversion from Penrith Marshall gave the Tigers a 20-18 lead. A lead they would hold into until full time.
Some good news for the Tigers is the return to form of Benji Marshall. Marshall was at his dangerous best throughout the game and led from the front all day. He made the players around him better, and you can’t ask for much more than that from a star player in a line up that has been decimated by injury.
This was a great win by the Tigers. The experience their youngsters got out of this game will be invaluable as the team continues its rebuilding efforts.
As for the Panthers, this was a pretty bad loss. They had the game under control early on and just invited the Tigers into the contest time and time again. One positive note was the strong crowd of 16,827 that turned up to Penrith Football Stadium. It has been a while since the Panthers have drawn a crowd that big at home.
Wests Tigers 20
Tries: Nofoaluma 2, Seumanufagai, Simona Goals: Marshall 2
Tries: Simmons, Masoe, Whare Goals: Walsh 3
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Apr 22, 2021 0