Wests Tigers reinforced their standing at the top of the NYC ladder by overpowering the Junior Warriors 54-12 in Saturday night’s NYC clash at Leichhardt Oval.
The performance was one of the Junior Warriors’ least impressive since the competition started in 2008, evoking unwanted memories of a trouncing they suffered against Manly in 2009.
While the Tigers provided ample evidence of why they lead the competition, it still didn’t totally explain the drop-off in the quality of the Junior Warriors’ effort.
One factor was certainly the loss of outstanding hooker Siliva Havili with an ankle injury in the opening minutes of the match. Without his explosive presence and influence from dummy half, the Junior Warriors faced major challenges which they never overcame.
After conceding two early tries, they had actually worked their way back into contention with a Carlos Tuimavave try converted by Mason Lino yet, in the last 19 minutes of the half, they then let in four more tries – six in total in the spell – to trail 6-32 at halftime.
There was nothing redeeming about the performance and there would be no respite in the second 40 minutes as the Tigers managed four more tries against a solitary effort to David Fusitua for the Junior Warriors.
In all Wests Tigers scored 10 tries, three to fullback Manaia Rudolph who also kicked seven conversions for a total of 26 points. They dominated the line breaks 11-1 against a defence that gifted too many tries in an extremely disappointing display.
The result enabled Wests Tigers to climb to 18 points with the Junior Warriors slipping to fifth after one of their worst defensive displays.
At Leichhardt Oval, Balmain
Wests Tigers 54 (Manaia Rudolph 3, Curtis Sironen 2, David Nofoaluma 2, Asipeli Fine, Jesse Sue, Marike Koroibete tries; Manaia Rudolph 7 conversions).
Junior Warriors 12 (Carlos Tuimavave, David Fusitua tries; Mason Lino 2 conversions).
Halftime: 32-6 Tigers.
Referee: Alan Shortal.