Tigers' try of the year contender no fluke
Everyone knows that the set following points is reserved for four big runs from the forwards followed by a heaving kick downfield.
Someone forgot to tell the Wests Tigers.
Having finally converted their early dominance against the Rabbitohs into points on Friday night, the Tigers opted to throw convention out the window with a piece of attacking brilliance from the restart that is the front runner for try of the year.
Halfback Luke Brooks fielded the kick on his own goal line following a try to halves partner Mitchell Moses, but instead of finding a front-rower for an easy 10 metres, he decided to spread it right to Tim Simona.
From there, the ball was passed to James Tedesco; the livewire fullback attracting three defenders before releasing Kevin Naiqama. The high-haired right centre put on the afterburners to take advantage of a Greg Inglis slip, and while he was reeled in, he had time to manage an offload back to Moses.
By this stage the crowd were well and truly on their feet expecting something special to take place, and with support inside and out, Moses looked left and dished it off to Simona who was never going to be caught; even if Alex Johnston did get close.
It was a try you'd expect from a team desperately chasing points at the death, similar to the one the Rabbitohs produced back in 2012 with a final-minute miracle against the Roosters.
But there was nothing frantic about this play. The Tigers had been planning it all week after assistant coach Craig Sandercock noticed something in the video room about South Sydney's chase from kick-offs.
Speaking after his side's 30-14 win at ANZ Stadium, try-scoring hero Tim Simona said the length of the field effort was anything but a fluke.
"It was a set piece that we prepared all week," Simona told NRL.com on Friday night.
"We knew that the Rabbitohs get really aggressive and they sort of tighten their line up.
"We said that we'd do it not at the first kick-off, but definitely at the second or third kick-off. Once we knew that it was on, everyone knew what to do.
"'Woodsy' (Aaron Woods) called it and then everyone else just got ready and luckily we executed it perfectly.
"It's definitely one of the best tries that I've scored."
It was very nearly the best try never scored after Simona had initially juggled the final pass.
"The ball was pretty slippery so thank God I caught that pass from Mitch. If I dropped it they would have been filthy," the relieved centre said.
"Josh Addo-Carr had that chance in the first half when he dropped it over the line so there was no chance I was going to do something similar."
Simona was right; his teammates would have been livid had he put the ball down.
"I saw him juggle it and I thought 'don't you drop it'," Moses said.
"He did it the week before as well when 'Teddy' (Tedesco) hit him on the inside. Once you give Timmy a bit of space, he's gone. You're not catching him."
While obviously thrilled with his side's execution on the night, Moses said the most pleasing aspect of the 16-point win was his side's resolve in defence.
The Tigers missed 24 tackles on Friday night and conceded just 14 points – their third best defensive effort of the season.
"We can play that attacking footy, but it showed tonight that we can play that attacking footy but also grind out games pretty well," the Tigers five-eighth continued.
"We were a bit upset about that try at the end. If we cut that out then we'll be alright."
Simona's try wasn't the only bit of brilliance on the night with David Nofoaluma also crossing for a first-half classic that involved eight sets of hands.
When asked which was better, Simona diplomatically said he couldn't split them. But when pushed: "Mine was definitely better."