The Wests Tigers have fumbled their way to a 20 points to 18 win over Penrith at home, in front of 16,172 fans.
It looked like it would be a long day at the office for the Panthers. The tigers absorbed four sets on their own line and scored on their first possession when Ayshford found himself in a hole. Marshall put it through the posts for maximum points.
After the try though, it was a case of dropsies for Wests. An error deep in their own half, allowing Masada Iosefa to step past two defenders and level proceedings after Luke Walsh took up kicking duties due to Michael Gordon's absence.
Penalties and repeat sets gave Tigers enough field position for them put on the short ball for Simon Dwyer who was too powerful and slammed the ball down, making it 10-6 after twenty minutes.
The remainder of the first half though, belonged to Penrith.
They were offered repeated possession, after the Tigers dropped it in their own end. It would take a long range effort for David Simmons and Walsh to convert, giving Penrith an unlikely 12-10 lead at oranges.
Tigers continued their fumbling ways early in the second half, just offering Penrith more opportunities to extend their lead. In the 51st minute they did, when Lachlan Coote lept over the pack to touch down, with Walsh making it an eight point lead.
A silly error though and a swooping Benji Marshall reduced the lead to two when he recovered a bomb and ran 85 metres to score besides the posts. He would be involved again, with a runaround play to send Mitch Brown in for the match winning try.
Wests will have to improve remarkably before next Sunday, when they travel to Kogarah to face ladder leaders, St George Illawarra. Penrith will rue the one that got away but host the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Centrebet Stadium.
Wests Tigers 20 defeated Penrith Panthers 18
National Rugby League - Round 11 - Saturday May 21, 2011 7:30pm
Venue: Campbelltown Sports Stadium
Referee: Ben Cummins and Brett Suttor
Video Referee: Paul Simpkins
Touch Judges: Daniel Eastwood and Jason Walsh
Halftime: Wests Tigers 10 Penrith Panthers 12
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Robbie Farah
2 Points - Benji Marshall (1 Try, 2 Conversions)
1 Point - Luke Lewis
Wests Tigers (20)
Tries: Benji Marshall, Mitch Brown, Blake Ayshford, Simon Dwyer
Conversions: Benji Marshall (2/4)
Penrith Panthers (18)
Tries: David Simmons, Masada Iosefa, Lachlan Coote
Conversions: Luke Walsh (3/3)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to Campbelltown Sports Stadium, for Tradies day but more important, the battle of the two cats, Tigers v Penrith. The Tigers will be searching to rectify the hammering they got last week against Souths while Penrith are coming off a huge victory against Brisbane.
Earlier in the Toyota Cup, Wests scored 30+ points for the fourth time in 2011, defeating Penrith 44 points to 16.
Wests: Beau Ryan is out, replaced by Bryce Gibbs on the bench. Tim Sheens has gone for the power of four forwards on the bench.
Penrith: There was originally only one change, Iosefa dropping off for Matthew Bell but Travis Burns has withdrawn at the last minute, Iosefa will now play.
Lastly before the players run out, if you are on twitter, tag your tweets and discussion for tonight's match with #NRLwespen. Help us, to get it trending like #NRLcancan last night.
Penrith have hit the field, led out by Luke Lewis in Petero Civoniceva's absence. Tigers follow next, to a roar from the crowd, with Liam Fulton leading out the troops in his 100th game.
1 min: Marshall gets boot to ball and here we go!
1 min: Fifteen seconds in and we have a penalty for the Panthers.
2 min: Walsh goes high on last, to Brown who takes the jumping catch. Tigers fans are screaming for a penalty but it'll only be a drop-out.
4 min: More pressure on the Tigers here, Brad Tighe has nowhere to go and stabs it behind for another drop out.
5 min: It's come to naught for Penrith, they go Tighe for the third time within two minutes but he tries for the speculator offload and it goes over the touchline.
8 min: TRY
TRY Wests Tigers
Scored by Blake Ayshford. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall successful.
Dwyer starts a lovely movement, with an offload to McKinnon who speeds downfield before being wrapped up. Next play, Lui gets it to Ayshford who fools two Penrith defenders with the step and scores. Marshall converts for the maximum.
Wests Tigers 6-0
10 min: Penrith compound their mistakes, with back to back penalties which march Wests to their twenty metre line. On the first play though, it's dropped cold by Fifita.
11 min: Referee's liking the sound of the whistle early. Another penalty, this time for Penrith, for a Tigers player slapping at the ball.
12 min: After the early promising start for the Tigers, they have fallen away, two drop balls in the last two sets.
14 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Masada Iosefa. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh successful.
Masada Iosefa goes for a run off the scrum, steps Lui who made the initial mistake to score. In Gordon's absence, Luke Walsh will convert and his first successful one of 2011.
16 min: The whole set, the Tigers fans were baying for a penalty and they were rewarded there, with one. Tigers go on the attack!
17 min: Robert Lui takes on the defence before almost putting Liam Fulton in for a try on his 100th but Luke Lewis bats the ball down to save the day.
19 min: TRY
TRY Wests Tigers
Scored by Simon Dwyer. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall unsuccessful.
They didn't learn. Wests try the exact play, which earnt them the repeat set. This time, it was on the right, with Robbie Farah sliding sideways until he found a rampaging Dwyer who takes two defenders over with him. Marshall with his second from a similar range, puts it to the left.
Wests Tigers 10-6
21 min: Penrith are penalised again, it's no surprise, they are the most penalised side in 2011. They survive this raid though, with Lui's grubber bouncing into Purtell's hands.
26 min: Aaron Woods has a sneaky peek at the defensive line before juggling the ball and dropping it. Penrith have a chance, to hit back but get a penalty first for offside.
26 min: Another penalty! This time for Woods slowing down the play the ball. That is number eight for the evening, McKendry almost barges over on first.
27 min: Coach killer right there, Penrith had the overlap ready but it didn't go any further than Kevin Kingston who drops it at dummy half.
29 min: Penrith playing some second phase footy from their own line, sending Purtell down the field. On last, Walsh throws a speculator to Tighe who chips one for his winger but it's recovered by Mitch Brown who mimics a touchdown but he's ruled to be in field of play.
33 min: Tigers love to play some football from their own end but it's not working at the moment. The ball is spilled straight into Purtell's hands.
37 min: Case of the dropsies thus far for the Tigers, only completing 12 of their 19 sets. Penrith need to capitalise on these errors but not with dump passes like that by Walsh to Weston.
37 min: Good metres here by McKinnon. He's laid a platform for Marshall who finds some space and has thoughts of re-creating his flick pass from 2005, sadly Pat Richard's isn't there to accept the ball in 2011 and it hits the floor.
39 min: After spending most of the first half on their own line, Wests have a chance to attack. Lui puts a kick through the line for Brown who has acres of space and picks the ball up, only to fumble it and get hammered by Lachlan Coote in the process.
Checking a great passage of play from Penrith, where it went through several sets of hands after an offload from Nathan Smith.
40 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by David Simmons. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh successful.
Penrith have bodies in motion and are through! Lachlan Coote throws it out to Simmons but Marshall touches the ball, allowing it to bounce for Simmons who wrong foots two Tigers defenders to level the score. Luke Walsh adds the two, to give Penrith a slim lead going into halftime, while the crowd boo Penrith off the field.
Penrith Panthers 12-10
Both sides are back on the field, Tigers ear's stinging after a spray from Tim Sheens. Penrith will kick off.
41 min: Here we go again!
41 min: Someone change the track, Tigers ruck it out from their own. Sadly, a simple error has gifted Penrith an early opportunity to increase their lead.
42 min: Tigers survive this raid though, with a Penrith knock on on last. They get a piggyback, after a Penrith player is pinged for hanging on too long.
44 min: An error again from the Tigers, this time though it was due to a good hit from Nigel Plum.
46 min: Offside penalty against the Tigers, referee says he's not going to talk all night but he is enjoying the sound of the whistle.
47 min: Kevin Kingston scoots from dummy-half, offloads to Walsh who throws a horrible ball which is knocked on.
49 min: It's been all downhill since the early try for Wests, another fumble here in their own half.
51 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Lachlan Coote. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh successful.
Luke Walsh evades Robbie Farah and puts one high across the goalmouth to where three chasing Panthers are approaching. Lachlan Coote leaps high above the other chasers and the Tigers players to catch it and score. Luke Walsh adds the extras.
Penrith Panthers 18-10
53 min: Let's see how Tigers go attacking, after they forced an error from Penrith.
55 min: Farah emulates Walsh's kick from the other end but there is only Fifita chasing, who comes down with it somehow but offloads it straight to Luke Lewis.
56 min: Old fashioned Shepard here by Walsh, relieves the Tigers who look tired.
58 min: Great effort from Luke Lewis. Carrying a shoulder injury, he tackles Marshall who was looking for a gap then pounces on the kick.
59 min: Penrith throw one pass too many, Lewis putting it into Utai's hands. He steamrolls a few defenders but Purtell is there to wrap him up. Penrith were never onside, thus penalised. The Tigers chant goes up..
61 min: Tigers have held onto the ball, sadly are lacking the finishing touches currently. It was spilled again, on fourth.
63 min: Here they come! Tigers are making some inroads in the Penrith defense now. McKinnon almost through but Lui on last dinks one through for a dropout.
64 min: Farah is loving the short ball for forwards tonight. He had Dwyer through the hole but he tried the one handed offload and dropped it cold.
65 min: Uh oh! Luke Walsh is jammed down the sideline and puts one out on the full.
66 min: Marshall is starting to interject in the play more now, creating an overlap for Utai but he can't handle it.
Checking if Benji Marshall has touched the chalk on an 80 metre sprint to the line.
68 min: TRY
TRY Wests Tigers
Scored by Benji Marshall. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall successful.
A bad pass proves costly for Penrith. A Walsh bomb is caught by Simmons who flings one back for a support runner but there is only Marshall there, who steps past two defenders and streaks away for the try. He steps up to convert his own try and squeezes it within the posts.
Penrith Panthers 18-16
70 min: Tigers are steaming home now! That try has lifted them, they are making metres at will and the stadium is rocking in Campbelltown.
71 min: Penalty Wests Tigers, Brad Tighe never onside.
74 min: TRY
TRY Wests Tigers
Scored by Mitch Brown. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall unsuccessful.
Panthers have defended valiantly for this set but it's come unstuck on last. Farah plays the ball and wraps around Marshall to give a beautiful ball to Brown who just walks it in. Marshall with an important kick to make it four the difference, hits the post and it goes out.
Wests Tigers 20-18
76 min: Penrith have to play catch up footy now, forcing passes they shouldn't. Luke Lewis can't hold on, after a massive effort tonight.
78 min: Tigers look to ice the game, with a wide spread but Lui drops it. A chance for the Panthers to steal the game.
80 min: Wade McKinnon saves the day for Wests on last, when Coote launched it high for his chasers.
80 min: Despite a looping pass from Marshall almost going wrong, Tigers play out the final set and win a scrappy game.