Wests Tigers earned an impressive 28-26 victory over Newcastle Knights after coming back from an early 12-0 deficit.
The Knights scored two quick tries to start the game. Jesse Ramien pounced when Paul Momiorovski dropped the ball near his own line. Then Kalyn Ponga showed his stepping ability to score.
But Wests bounced back to level through two tries for former Viking Corey Thompson. Luke Garner offloaded to Thompson for the first then Luke Brooks broke and found the fullback on his inside.
Benji Marshall’s footwork then earned the visitors the lead a minute before the break. Hymel Hunt crossed on the left shortly after the break to bring the Knights back within two but Robbie Farah’s try on his 300th NRL game gave Wests a two-score lead.
Ponga’s kick, which deflected into the hands of Tautau Moga, helped the Knights pull themselves back into the game once again. Momirovski and Kenny-Dowall exchanged tries in the closing stages but Ponga’s sin bin for a professional foul on Michael Chee-Kam sealed the Tigers’ win with two minutes to play.
Knights: Ponga, Hunt, Moga, Ramien, Kenny-Dowall, Mann, Pearce, Klemmer, Lei, Saifiti, Barnett, Mata’utia, Glasby; Interchanges: Watson, Gavet, Ese’ese, Buhrer
Tries: Ramien, Ponga, Hunt, Moga, Kenny-Dowall; Goals: Ponga 3
Sin bin: Ponga (78) – professional foul
On report: Ponga (78) – shoulder charge
Tigers: Thompson, Momirovski, Mbye, Marsters, Nofoaluma, Marshall, Brooks, Aloiai, Farah, Clark, Garner, Chee-Kam, Matterson; Interchanges: Mikaele, Twal, Lawrence, Eisenhuth
Tries: Thompson 2, Marshall, Farah, Momirovski; Goals: Mbye 4
Full match reports of all this weekend’s NRL games will feature in Monday’s League Express.