A 38-20 scoreline appeared to indicate a convincing victory to the Knights in their Round 16 clash last season – although the home side had to bounce back from conceding 14 unanswered points through just a quarter of the game.
Robbie Farah, returning from compassionate leave after the death of his mother, engineered the visitors’ first try in the eighth minute when he gifted Chris Lawrence passage to the line, before Lote Tuqiri capitalised on an Akuila Uate error when attempting to field a grubber kick to post the Tigers second four-pointer. When Benji Marshall added a penalty goal in the 22nd minute the Knights had it all to do.
However, three tries in nine minutes – including back-to-back efforts by Timana Tahu – saw the Knights grab a shock 16-14 halftime lead.
The Knights went on with the job after the resumption, with Tahu strolling over on the left edge to complete a hat-trick in the 45th minute, before Chris Houston’s determined drive to the line saw them grasp a 28-14 lead with just 20 minutes remaining.
Incredibly, Beau Ryan’s sin-binning for a professional foul stemming the bleeding, with the Knights unable to cross the stripe while the Wests Tiger was sidelined. However they offered the scoreboard attendant one final piece of involvement when James McManus finished off a left-side raid in the 74th minute – completing a whirlwind passage that saw them compile 38 unanswered points.
Tahu had his best game in Knights colours since returning up the F3, scoring three tries, making three line-breaks and a whopping 11 tackle-breaks. On the other edge of the field Uate chimed in with 17 runs for 169 metres.
Farah tried his best for the beaten side, making three offloads and five-tackle-breaks in a determined effort.
Tackles – and missed tackles – told the story of the evening: the Tigers were forced to make 76 more tackles than their opposition, and ended up missing 25 tackles more.
They were smashed in the line-breaks category 9-3, while the Knights offered them nothing in breakdowns (just four errors).