SYDNEY: Lote Tuqiri provided the dream start and his teammates the fairytale finish as the Wests Tigers came back from the dead to beat Manly 26-22 in a thriller last night at the Sydney Football Stadium.
The Tigers looked gone when trailing 20-4 just before the hour mark, but four tries in 16 minutes – including Gareth Ellis’ first for the club five minutes from fulltime – capped a stunning comeback after Tuqiri had scored with his first touch in the NRL in more than seven years.
While the cheap shots and late hits looked like something from the 1970s – with three Manly players put on report for high shots and George Rose finishing the game in the sin bin – the Tigers’ skill and razzamatazz looked like something from the future.
The Sea Eagles seemed home and hosed when leading by 16 points, but on the back of a mounting penalty count and two tries within two minutes to Blake Ayshford and Liam Fulton, the Tigers were back in the hunt.
Manly discipline went out the window after the break with Keiran Foran and Brent Kite both put on report for high tackles, while Tony Williams was lucky not to find himself in the sin bin for a late hit on Fulton in the lead up to Ayshford’s try. – AAP