Rugby League

Aidan seizes the moment to help Tigers go back-to-back

April 1, 2024 6:55 pm

[Source: NRL]

An Aidan Sezer field goal has helped the Wests Tigers secure a 17-16 win over the Eels in a thrilling Easter Monday clash.

After the visitors skipped out to a one-point lead with 30 seconds on the clock, an offside penalty set up a grandstand finish with Clint Gutherson handed a chance to steal the victory from almost 40 metres out.

But with the ball falling left of the uprights, Benji Marshall’s side celebrated back-to-back wins for the first time since Round 10 last year.

Article continues after advertisement

The Round 4 victory came on the back of an impressive defensive performance from the Wests Tigers, with Parramatta having over 53 per cent of the football and rookie Lachie Galvin sent to the sin bin in the second half.

Galvin made an early statement against his junior club, punting a perfectly weighted grubber through the line which bounced up perfectly for a powering Justin Olam to score on the left edge.

Parramatta centre Morgan harper went close to getting his side on the board in the 11th minute but was denied after putting his foot into touch in the left corner.

A string of errors from the Wests Tigers invited the Eels into their half and the visitors were made to pay when Maika Sivo went over on the left edge thanks to some nice lead up work from Harper and Gutherson on the inside.

With possession creeping into Parramatta’s favour, the home side continued to throw everything at the Wests Tigers but Marshall’s side showed great defensive resolve to hold onto their two-point lead.

With Parramatta struggling to find a way through on the line, Gutherson opted to take a two-point penalty goal on the back of an offside penalty to level the scores 6-6 at the break.

Parramatta came out firing in the second half and skipped out to the lead when J’maine Hopgood broke through the line and into space before finding his skipper Gutherson in support. Gutherson converted to make it 12-6.

Galvin was sin binned three minutes later for a hip drop and Gutherson knocked over another penalty goal to give Parramatta a 14-point lead.

Back to full-strength, the Wests Tigers wrestled back momentum and forced Parramatta to defend their own line for several sets before Justin Olam found an overlap and powered over the line for a double.

Come the 69th minute and Galvin came up with a superb play, fooling former schoolmate Blaize Talagi before finding Jahream Bula in support to put the Tigers back in front 16-14 with ten minutes to play.

After a captain’s challenge for a Sezer escort penalty was denied, the Eels slotted their third penalty shot for the night to lock the scoreboard 16-16.

A frantic final moment then unfolded with Super League recruit Sezer slotting a field goal in the final minute before the Eels were handed a chance to steal the victory with a two-point field goal.

But with the ball going wide and not a second left on the clock, the Wests Tigers celebrated their first back-to-back win under their new coach.