Tigers stun Sea Eagles in crazy NRL comeback

NRL: The Wests Tigers have snuck home with a late
try to defeat the Manly Sea Eagles.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 13: Malakai
Watene-Zelezniak of the Tigers celebrates with his
team mates after scoring the winning try during the
round 23 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the
Manly Sea Eagles at Leichhardt Oval on August 13,
2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty
Images)

STANDOUT performances from their halves on a day when
it was announced club legend Benji Marshall was returning
home propelled Wests Tigers to a stunning 30-26
come-from-behind NRL win over Manly on Sunday.

The Tigers trailed 20-6 at halftime at Leichhardt Oval after
first-half try doubles to Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans and
winger Akila Uate. The home team roared back after the break
and completed a stirring recovery with winger Malakai
Watene-Zelezniak, playing opposite Uate, crossing for the
winning try with less than two minutes to play.

If the halftime margin had been maintained, Manly would have
finished the round in fourth spot on the ladder and the Tigers
would’ve been last below Newcastle. Instead, Manly remained in
seventh and coach Trent Barrett admitted the loss could have
devastating consequences for his side’s top-four aspirations.
The comeback rounded off a great day for the Tigers, who
earlier announced playmaker Marshall would return next season
to the club he played just over 200 games for in 11 seasons and
helped to their 2005 premiership. Halfback Luke Brooks and
five-eighth Tuimoal Lolohea showed Marshall might not get a
saloon passage back into the side as they were at the forefront
of the Tigers’ second-half revival.

They were part of a first half effort Tigers coach Ivan Cleary
described as “all over the shop” but lifted noticeably after
the break.

Huge.

Huge.Source:Getty Images

“Tui when he scored, that’s his thing,” Cleary said.

“I think if he understands that when he does that more, good
things are going to happen, so hopefully (that’s) a great
breakthrough for him in that regard. “But I thought Luke today
was really good. Just about every play he did had meaning to
it, and he was composed more than I’ve seen before, so
hopefully that’s a bit of a go-ahead game for him as well.”
Both coaches felt Manly’s halftime lead flattered the visitors,
who scored 20 unanswered points after the Tigers led 6-0 and
dominated early on. “We just kept inviting them back into the
contest,” Barrett said. “The crowd gets behind them and in the
end it just felt like that was coming and it did.” The Tigers
got late momentum after David Nofoaluma intercepted two Tom
Trbojevic passes.

What happened, boys?

What happened,
boys?
Source:Getty Images

Their revival started when centre Kevin Naiqama and Lolohea
crossed for tries. However Tigers fullback James Tedesco
dropped the restart kick after Lolohea’s try and Manly
capitalised to post another try.

The Tigers rallied again and cut the gap to two with 18 minutes
to go after Sauaso Sue charged over the line.

Manly centre Brad Parker suffered an anterior cruciate ligament
knee injury near the end, while the Tigers played much of the
match without hooker Matt McIlwrick, who suffered concussion.

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