Last played: Eels v Wests Tigers
The year was looking much rosier for both these clubs heading into their last meeting back in Round 3 at Leichhardt.
It was clearly the Tigers’ night on that occasion and despite the Eels several times threatening to mount a second-half comeback, they managed to shoot themselves in the foot frequently enough not to trouble the Tigers.
It was close to all over at half time with the Tigers up 18-0 and utterly dominant, leading the yardage 817 metres to 361 metres, and Chris Lawrence having twice run over the top of Eels have Chris Sandow to score. The Eels had made more than double the Tigers’ 97 tackles and had just 12 possessions to 24 for Wests.
They finally got on the scoreboard shortly after the resumption through centre Ryan Morgan before Benji Marshall snuffed out any thought of a comeback through one of the most brazen plays of 2013. The Tigers playmaker opted for a quick tap from a penalty, as oblivious Eels defenders, expecting a touch-finder, trudged back to get ready for a Tigers set of six.
Marshall streaked through a bunch of Eels and by the time they realised what was happening the crafty playmaker was celebrating a try under the posts!
The match looked to be over when Tim Moltzen jumped on a loose ball in the Eels in-goal a few minutes later but in a frantic passage the Eels went over through winger Vai Toutai and centre Jacob Loko to make it 30-18 with 10 to play. However, a potential comeback was snuffed out for the final time when young Tigers half Jacob Miller calmly slotted a field-goal five minutes from time.
For the Tigers, Farah racked up 45 tackles and a try assist, Aaron Woods was huge with 133 metres and 24 tackles while winger Marika Koroibete busted seven tackles on his way to 134 metres.
For the Eels, Hayne was by far the best of a beaten bunch with two try assists and a match-high 153 metres.