NRL: Tigers defy injury toll to claw win

Sika Manu of the Panthers looks to offload. Photo/ Getty Images
Sika Manu of the Panthers looks to offload. Photo/ Getty Images

The Wests Tigers have defied a crippling injury toll to chalk up one of their best NRL wins - coming from behind to beat in-form Penrith yesterday.

The joint-venture, who had a dozen first graders unavailable including skipper Robbie Farah, trailed 18-4 at one stage, but held on bravely to see off the Panthers, who went into the game on the back of four straight wins.

Penrith came racing out of the blocks and forced the Tigers to defend four successive sets before David Simmons broke the deadlock in the sixth minute, when he touched down after Kiwi Dean Whare patted back a crossfield kick.

The early signs looked ominous for Mick Potter's side but they fought back when wing David Nofoaluma caught the hosts napping and darted over in the right corner to score.

That setback didn't seem to unduly concern the Panthers. They continued to dominate and extended their lead through Mose Masoe's barnstorming run, and then the excellent Whare went over with the reliable Luke Walsh adding the extras.

With their medical room already bursting at the seams, the Tigers then lost wing Marika Koroibete with a dislocated elbow, but on the stroke of halftime they gave themselves some hope when Nofoaluma scored again.

Standoff Benji Marshall found the wing with a bullet pass to close the gap to 18-8 at the interval.

The second half was low on quality but high on excitement. The longer the game progressed, the more the Tigers' confidence grew.

Giant forward Ava Seumanufagai cut the deficit midway through the second stanza when he touched down millimetres inside the line for his first NRL try with Marshall adding the conversion.

Penrith continued to press but looked bereft of ideas, and eight minutes from time Tigers centre Tim Simona broke free from a 20m tap, left four defenders in his wake and scored between the posts. Marshall's successful kick set up a tense finish, but his side held on to claim their second successive win.

Tigers 20
Panthers 18

- AAP

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