Thunderbolts fall to Tigers
Not even a huge downpour just before kick-off could dampen the Tigers' comfortable 44-12 win over the Melbourne Thunderbolts at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday afternoon.
Nine separate players crossed for the hosts in a performance that will see them remain in the Holden Cup top eight for a least another week.
Tigers No.6 Veiru Mapesone had a brilliant first half with a try and two assists, while Jacob Liddle looked all class in his second NYC game of the season.
After piling on 44 second-half points against the Bulldogs last week, the Thunderbolts quickly picked up where they left off, with No.9 Sam Burns doing it all himself from dummy-half to open the scoring inside five minutes.
But that's where the joy ended for the visitors, with the Tigers piling on three tries in seven minutes to take complete control of the contest.
Veiru Mapesone got their first in the 11th minute courtesy of some lovely work down the right edge by Samuel DeFiddes.
From the next set, Jacob Liddle took full advantage of a quick play the ball to split Melbourne's ruck defence before linking up with fullback Luke Sharpe to cap off the 70 metre effort.
Having scored their first, Mapesone turned provider moments later; the Tigers five-eighth chipping early in the count for Obed Karwhin to score out wide.
The scoring procession continued in the 27th minute as Liddle set up Mark McCormack despite Jack Wheelhouse slipping over twice with the line wide open the previous play.
The Thunderbolts had a chance late in the half to narrow the deficit, but Brodie Croft's grubber was scooped up by Mapesone off his own line, and two plays later Moses Suli streaked away down the right to make it 22-6 at the break.
The second stanza couldn't have started much worse for Melbourne, with Joel Gittins bundled into touch after just four plays, before McCormack set up centre Ryland Jacobs for a simple try.
Errors dictated the next 10 minutes with neither side able to complete a set of six until a cross-field kick from Croft was batted back by Angelo Leaupepe for Drinkwater to score.
Sadly for the Thunderbolts that try only proved to be a mere consolation as Esan Marsters juggled his way through the line before crashing over to make it 34-12 after 61 minutes.
Big Taniela Paseka barged his way over from 15 metres to score another Tigers four-pointer before fullback Luke Sharpe set up his No.7 for the try of the day.
The Tigers custodian sliced straight through some tired defence before stepping past the fullback, drawing the cover defence and sending his halfback over to seal the crushing 32-point win.
Wests Tigers 44 (Veiru Mapesone, Luke Sharpe, Obed Karwhin, Mark McCormack, Moses Suli, Ryland Jacobs, Esan Marsters, Taniela Paseka, Thomas Bartley tries; Thomas Bartley 3, Veiru Mapesone 1 goals) defeated Melbourne Thunderbolts 12 (Sam Burns, Scott Drinkwater tires; Jesse Arthars 2 goals) at Leichhardt Oval. Half-time: 22-6 Tigers.