Rugby League

Tigers roar on sacred turf to snap losing streak

June 16, 2024 6:49 am

[Source: NRL]

A Justin Olam double and an inspirational display from skipper Api Koroisau led Wests Tigers to a drought-breaking 18-10 win over the Titans at Leichhardt Oval.

In front of a boisterous home crowd the Tigers savoured their first win since Round 4, digging deep in defence in the second half to stave off Des Hasler’s men.

On the back of a 40-20 kick by Jayden Campbell in the fifth minute it was the Titans snaring first points when Jojo Fifita crossed in the right-hand corner for his third try of the season. Campbell’s conversion made it 6-0.

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The Tigers hit back seven minutes later when returning five-eighth Aidan Sezer sent a long ball to a rampaging Olam who left three defenders in his wake to make it 6-6 with Koroisau’s conversion.

Midway through the half the Titans regained the lead when Kieran Foran strolled through a Fonua Pole tackle and set up Campbell to stroll over for a try that made it 10-6 to Gold Coast.

A mistake by the Titans on a right-side shift in the 25th minute gave the Tigers good field position but the home side failed to get a kick in on the last tackle and the opportunity was lost.

Both sides had a late shot at points as the opening stanza drew to a close but were unable to make the final pass stick and the Titans headed to the sheds ahead by four.

The second half developed into an arm wrestle as the sides traded field position before a barnstorming run by Samuela Fainu set up Olam for his second try and the Tigers had the lead 12-10 with Koroisau’s conversion.

With 16 minutes to play Olam came close to his hat-trick but he was denied by desperate defence from Titans fullback Keano Kini.

The Titans had a golden chance of their own with 12 minutes to play when they kept the ball alive on the last and created space for Fifita wide out but the winger put it down.

A clever grubber by Campbell earned the visitors a repeat set but the Tigers’ scramble defence came to the fore as they clung to their two-point lead.

With the Leichhardt Oval faithful in full voice the Tigers made their way down field and Koroisau put in a deft grubber for Pole to follow through and scoop the ball up to score. The skipper added the conversion for an 18-10 lead.

The Titans looked to have posted a late try through Fifita with 60 seconds to play but the try was ruled out due to obstruction in the lead-up.