Thunderbolts crack Tigers in comprehensive win
An enthusiastic and unrelenting Melbourne Thunderbolts have snapped a four-game losing streak in emphatic fashion with a 38-12 win over the Wests Tigers under-20s.
Having not tasted victory since the beginning of May, the Thunderbolts never fell behind on the scoreboard during their Round 16 encounter played in perfect conditions on the Sunshine Coast.
The comprehensive 26-point victory over the fourth-placed Wests Tigers see the Thunderbolts move temporally up two spots on the NYC ladder into thirteenth position.
The 'Bolts crossed for seven tries with backrower Charlie Galo scoring a hat-trick, while fullback Jesse Arthars found the line twice and kicked five goals for a personal haul of 18 points.
The Thunderbolts were first to strike in the eighth minute when Arthars slipped through the Tigers' defensive line for a 6-0 lead.
Wests Tigers snared their first points at the 18-minute mark after grounding a grubber kick placed behind Melbourne's line which levelled the scoreboard at 6-6.
The 'Bolts almost scored their second try in the 23rd minute,but winger Talor Walters was unable to grasp a clever offload by left-edge partner Jacob Tonge.
Melbourne kept peppering the Tigers' line and finally came up with their second when Arthars powered his way over the chalk for a 28-minute double.
The enthusiastic Thunderbolts were entrenched inside their attacking half for the final minutes until half-time but were unable to extend their lead beyond six points heading into the sheds.
It wasn’t an ideal start to the second stanza for Melbourne with Toa Mata'afa streaking down the right touchline to send Paul Roberts over for the Tigers.
Veira Mapesone converted for the visitors to tie the score up again after 42 minutes.
Melbourne enjoyed more territorial dominance following Wests Tigers' try and managed to turn pressure into points when Charlie Galo crashed over from close range.
The Thunderbolts scored again from the kick-off when Tongefinished off a left-edge breakaway to take the score out to 24-12 with 21 minutes remaining.
A mistake from a cross-field kick allowed the Thunderbolts to cross for their third try within the space of five minutes when winger Walters planted the ball down out wide for a 28-12advantage.
Further errors crept in for the Tigers as they began to chase the game and Thunderbolts made them pay with their sixth try through Galo.
Galo's third try and the Thunderbolts' seventh rubbed more salt into the Tigers' wound as Arthars nailed his fifth conversion of the afternoon to hand Melbourne a 38-12 lead inside the final five minutes.
The Purple Pride managed to see out the dying stages of the contest without drama to record their fourth win of the season.
Melbourne Thunderbolts NYC 38 (Charlie Galo 3, Jesse Arthars 2, Jacob Tonge, Talor Walters tries; Jesse Arthars 5goals defeated Wests Tigers NYC 12 (Bayley Sunen, Paul Roberts tries; Veira Mapesone 2 goals) at Sunshine Coast Stadium. Half-time: Thunderbolts 12-6.