The Wests Tigers have reeled off three wins in a row for the first time under coach Michael Maguire after trampling over Canterbury 34-6 at Western Sydney Stadium.
- Wests Tigers moved to sixth place on the ladder following their convincing win over Canterbury
- Wingers Tommy Talau and David Nofoaluma both scored doubles for the Wests Tigers
- Cronulla scored seven tries to four in the 40-22 victory over Manly
In what was arguably the Tigers’ best performance of the season, wingers David Nofoaluma and Tommy Talau shone with two tries each.
The victory lifts the Tigers to sixth spot on the ladder, and goes a long way to justifying Maguire’s decision to axe Benji Marshall and Chris Lawrence in recent weeks.
The win also marked Maguire’s 100th NRL win as a coach, while Bulldogs counterpart Dean Pay will again come under pressure for their latest heavy defeat.
The Bulldogs remain rooted to the bottom of the ladder with just one win.
Pay’s men were barely in the contest from the moment they lost Will Hopoate to an ankle injury in just the fourth minute.
And while they scored the opening points through Reimis Smith in the 18th minute, the Tigers replied almost instantly through Harry Grant.
The Tigers were rarely threatened thereafter, taking the lead when Talau made the most of a dropped Luke Brooks bomb to post his first career try.
The four-pointer came 22 years after his father and former Bulldogs centre, Willie, scored the first try of his career against Western Suburbs.
Tigers centre Joey Leilua made it a two-try lead at the break when he crashed over from close range, before Talau produced the highlight of the night.
The 20-year-old had almost his entire body airborne over the sideline but planted just inside the corner post with his left hand for a memorable moment.
The Bulldogs were cannon fodder for rest of the match, with Nofoaluma putting their opposition away with two tries in the space of seven minutes.
The first came when he intercepted a Kieran Foran pass to race 30 metres, before he finished off a Luke Brooks line break in the 61st minute.
Tigers fullback Adam Doueihi, who was denied twice in the second half, put the finishing touches on with their seventh try in the 74th minute.
Sharks decimate undermanned Sea Eagles
Cronulla overturned one of the biggest hoodoos in the NRL, scoring a thumping 40-22 win over Manly in Gosford.
It was just the third time in 12 years the Sharks tasted victory over the Sea Eagles but they looked a class above in miserable conditions this afternoon at Central Coast Stadium.
And while the Sea Eagles were without stars Tom Trbojevic and Dylan Walker, their defence did not shape up against a Sharks spine that found its groove.
Shaun Johnson, Matt Moylan and Chad Townsend all set up tries in the first half to lead 18-6 at the break and — between them — had a hand in all seven of the Sharks’ four-pointers.
Townsend had the best of them in the 54th minute with a miraculous catch and pass while falling, setting flying winger Sione Katoa up for his second try of the match.
Katoa’s put-down while in the air was inch-perfect, demonstrating the skills which had landed him eight tries from seven matches this season.
The Sea Eagles had won 17 of their past 19 matches against Cronulla dating back to 2008 for the equal-best winning record of any NRL team against any opponent.
Nothing went right for Des Hasler’s side in Gosford, however, as they struggled to find potency in attack without their full-back Trbojevic scoring or setting up tries.
Before Sunday, Trbojevic had set up or scored 11 of Manly’s 14 tries this season and with the Australia international sidelined with a hamstring injury for another two months, the Sea Eagles will need to look elsewhere for their points.
Addin Fonua-Blake, Jorge Taufua and Tevita Funa were the lone try scorers for the Sea Eagles, the former scoring through lax defence twice in the second half.
The Sharks opened the match in the 14th minute when Braden Hamlin-Uele burst onto a short ball from Townsend close to the line.
Manly hit back shortly after when stand-in five-eighth Lachlan Croker set up Taufua on the wing, but the energy went out of the Sea Eagles soon afterwards.
The win was the third of 2020 for the Sharks and their first back-to-back, raising hope their season can recover from early challenges.