Tigers cruise to a well-earned victory at home.
A deluge, a streaker a silent siren at half-time and an attacking effort by the Wests Tigers that left the normally stingy Manly Sea Eagles defence in tatters.
They were the talking points from the Tigers impressive 34-18 victory at Leichhardt Oval against the Sea Eagles in round five of the NRL.
From the outset the Tigers forwards took to the fight to the Eagles as Robbie Farah led from the front in a sensational performance.
Down by 26 points in the first-half, the error-prone Manly side did save some face in the second half, but not enough to see them avoid their second loss for the season to see them slip to seventh on the ladder.
The home side grabbed an early lead when Farah crashed over for the trip after just six minutes, with Pat Richards adding the extras.
Torrential rain and wind hit the ground, with a strong wind at the backs of the Tigers helping them at the end of their sets of six.
After Anthony Watmough gave away a penalty for not being straight at the ruck, Wests opted to take the easy penalty from right in front of the posts.
Richards slotted the goal and the home side took an important 8-0 lead.
After Manly gave possession back to the home side, the Tigers extended their lead when they spread the ball to the right wing with David Noafoaluma sliding over before both sides clashed.
The coming together came from Adam Blair giving a few choice words to Manly’s Jason King with Steve Matai taking exception and both sides coming together.
In spite of the flair in tempers, the try stood and Richards slotted the conversion and the lead grew to a handy 14 for the joint-venture club.
Matrin Taupau, who was in the middle of the mini-brawl after the last try, continued to set the tone for the home side when he took the ball off the kick-off before surging through several Manly defenders on a 50 metre run.
Daly Cherry-Evans was then placed on report in the 26th for a hit on Liam Fulton, as the Sea Eagles continued to have plenty to worry about.
The scoreboard turned over again in the set after the penalty, with Chris Lawrence showing great desperation to get to the line, and the Tigers had the Sea Eagles on the ropes at 20-0 after just 28 minutes.
Manly continued to be blown off the park with Aaron Woods barging his way over the line, as the margin continued to blow out with the Sea Eagles’ defensive line left in tatters at 26-0.
After Farah was able to scoop up a loose ball just three meters from the Sea Eagles line, Woods grabbed his second for the game sending the Tigers into raptures as they all but sealed victory.
However, an accidental off-side was found in the lead-up to the play and the soon to be six points were taken off the Tigers.
Regardless, they still had their foot on the throats of the Sea Eagles.
Jamie Lyon scored under controversial circumstances when the Sea Eagles were able to get in an extra tackle despite the crowd and the Tigers hearing the half-time siren.
The extra tackle allowed the away team to take some of the shine off Wests’ stunning first-half performance as they led 26-6 at half-time.
Steve Matai botched a certain try for the Sea Eagles when he was ruled to have been held up in-goal, when a pass to his outside would have seem score for sure.
James Tedesco left the game after he rolled his ankle in the first half, with pain-killing injections at half-time not working in what was a huge blow for the Tigers moving forward.
With another six-point to Wests, the margin was about out to 26 points as they continued to push for territory, field position and ultimately points.
Matai scored his side’s second try for the game as he crossed in the 60th minute, making up for his mistake earlier in the half, but with the margin still at 20 they still had plenty of work to do.
Farah tried to take the bruises out of the game and took a penalty to take the score to 34-12.
Matai scored his sixth try for the year in what was a consolation effort for the Sea Eagles.
However, the big win was soured by the loss of Ava Seumanufagai, who left the field late with a shoulder injury.