Luke Brooks masterminded Wests Tigers’ 25-16 victory over Newcastle Knights that keeps their playoff hopes alive.
The Tigers responded well early to their performance last week. Russell Packer spun out of Lachlan Fitzgibbon’s tackle to score after Esan Marsters had opened the scoring with a penalty.
After a poor start, the Knights were ignited after the first try. They replied through Sione Mata’utia who took Mitchell Pearce’s kick.
Plenty of Tigers pressure followed, however. Ken Sio spent time in the bin and Marsters added a further two penalties. Then, Luke Brooks sliced through the defence just before half-time to extend the lead to twelve.
Brooks then set up Robbie Farah with an excellent offload after the break. But, Kalyn Ponga replied with a try featuring a brilliant step off his right foot.
The game was suddenly interesting with 15 minutes to play when Aidan Guerra managed to get the ball down, reducing the arrears to only six. But Brooks stepped up to seal it with a field goal.
Knights: Ponga, Sio, Mata’utia, Denniss, Kenny-Dowall, Coger, Pearce, King, Levi, Saifiti, Fitzgibbon, Barnett, Guerra; Interchanges: Ese’ese, Buhrer, Heighington, Felise
Tries: Mata’utia, Ponga, Guerra; Goals: Sio 2
Sin bin: Sio (27) – professional foul
Tigers: Mbye, Nofoaluma, Marsters, Naiqama, Thompson, Marshall, Brooks, Packer, Farah, Matulino, Chee-Kam, Taylor, Eisenhuth; Interchanges: Garner, Twal, Sue, Liddle
Tries: Packer, Brooks, Farah; Goals: Marsters 6; Field goal: Brooks (75)
Full match reports of all this weekend’s NRL games will feature in Monday’s League Express.