The Warriors knocked the Tigers out of the 2011 premiership hunt with a dramatic last-ditch try to notch a 22-20 semi-final victory at Allianz Stadium.
The Tigers led 18-6 at halftime through tries to Keith Galloway (14th minute – off a barge from close range), Benji Marshall (21st minute – sidestepping over from first receiver) and Robbie Farah (35th minute – from dummy-half), with James Maloney’s four-pointer off a Kevin Locke flick pass midway through the half the only cause for joy among Warriors fans.
Things looked brighter for Kiwi supporters when Feleti Mateo charged over on the left edge off a wonderful Shaun Johnson short ball to bridge the gap to six points with 50 minutes gone. However, a Benji Marshall penalty goal gave the Tigers breathing space and a 20-12 lead with 23 minutes to play. That buffer didn’t last long though, with Lance Hohaia scooting over from dummy-half in the 65th minute, setting the scene for a cliffhanger.
The Tigers looked like hanging on to their 22-20 lead and progress through to the preliminary final before a try was controversially awarded to Krisnan Inu with three minutes left on the clock. The Warriors’ last-ditch play involved James Maloney booting high for his right-side chasers. Inu and Lote Tuqiri contested the high ball, with Tuqiri fumbling the loose pill and knocking it backwards towards his line. Inu, prone on the ground, gathered possession, reached over and tried to plant the ball over the stripe but was blocked by Tigers fullback Tim Moltzen. Then the telling moment: without a hand laid on him to effect a tackle, Inu simply had a second go… and was given the green light by the video ref. It was one of the most dramatic conclusions to a semi-final in NRL history.
It was a cruel end of the road in 2011 for Tigers skipper Farah, who conjured two try assists to go with his try.
Shaun Johnson (two try assists), Inu (two line-breaks) and fullback Kevin Locke (137 metres) starred for the Warriors.