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Brooks stars as Tigers pip Sharks

Brooks stars as Tigers pip Sharks

The Wests Tigers have done just enough to secure a scrappy 22-20 win over the Cronulla Sharks on Saturday in front of 15,869 fans at Remondis Stadium.

While Todd Carney saw out the game after returning from his troublesome hamstring injury, the Sharks fell to their eighth loss of the season.

With the Tigers recovering from their flogging at the hands of reigning premiers the Sydney Roosters in their last match, they now find themselves placed firmly in the top eight after 10 rounds.

In good news for the Tigers and NSW, captain Robbie Farah returned from a dislocated elbow in good fashion, the rake continuously busy in the Tigers win.

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In what could prove to be a concern though, Wests winger David Nofoaluma may find himself in trouble after being accused of biting Sharks vice-captain Wade Graham in the first half.

While he had a reasonable opening half, Sharks captain Paul Gallen jump started Cronulla into life in the second stanza. Complimenting his huge line break minutes earlier, Gallen crossed for his team's first points of the second half.

It would soon create a domino effect for Cronulla, with Michael Gordon scoring a long-range try three minutes later as the Sharks went up 18-10 with 28 minutes left on the clock.

That was until Tigers back-rower Cory Paterson scored one of the softest tries you're ever likely to see in the 55th minute to bring the deficit back to two points as he sliced through terrible Cronulla defence.

The defence again opened up when Chris Lawrence crossed for his third try of the season three minutes later as the Tigers reclaimed a two-point lead.

With the game becoming a penalty-fest, neither side managed to garner any momentum in the final 20 minutes. While each side had their moments, the game amounted to nothing more than a scrap in the second half but the Tigers managed to do just enough to secure their sixth victory of the season.

With the Sharks kicking off proceedings with a successful Gordon penalty goal in the fourth minute, heavy hits from both sides soon became common. Carney and Tigers fullback Kurtis Rowe felt the full force of their opposition as the game levelled out into a competitive first 15 minutes.

A string of penalties saw the Tigers again in great field position. With captain Farah refusing to level the scores at two, winger Nofoaluma crossed the white stripe in the 19th minute, the Tigers going up 4-2.

Seven minutes later Wests’ other winger Pat Richards scored on the opposite side of the field following a pressured Luke Brooks pass in a quick passage of play that also involved Farah. Richards converted his own try as the Tigers went up 10-2.

Returning from a one-game suspension, Sharks forward Sam Tagataese signalled his intentions with a vengeance with nine minutes left in the half. With three men trying to tackle the giant Samoan international, Tagataese bullocked his way towards his second try of the season.

With mere minutes remaining in the half, the Sharks worked their way downfield chasing more points, thanks to poor discipline from the Tigers.  In promising field position, Tigers winger Richards picked up a loose ball and ran 90-metres for an apparent try.

With the play sent upstairs for adjudication, video referees Steve Chiddy and Steve Folkes deemed Tigers centre Lawrence was the cause of the ball going to ground in the lead-up, ruling a knock-on against the Tigers.

In positive news for both teams, there were no injury concerns to come out of the game.

Wests Tigers 22 (Nofoaluma, Richards, Paterson, Lawrence tries; Richards 3 goals) defeated Cronulla Sharks 20 (Tagataese, Gordon, Gallen tries; Gordon 4 goals) at Remondis Stadium. Crowd: 15,869.

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