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Tigers get NRL season back on track

Keith Lulia scores a try

Wests Tigers say they are not getting ahead of themselves after jumping to the edge of the NRL top eight with a 46-18 thrashing of high-flying Canterbury at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.
Tigers get NRL season back on track
by AAP

By Steve Zemek

SYDNEY, July 20 AAP - Wests Tigers say they are not getting ahead of themselves after jumping to the edge of the NRL top eight with a 46-18 thrashing of high-flying Canterbury at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

Winger Keith Lulia bagged a club-record-equalling four tries as the Tigers piled on 34 unanswered points from 18-12 down midway through the first half.

Lulia and young gun Mitchell Moses were front and centre in the spectacular comeback.

Moses announced himself as a star of the future, the 19-year-old fullback setting up five tries in just his third NRL game.

He also ran for 113 metres, made two line breaks, kicked three goals and was assured under the high ball despite being a specialist five-eighth.

The match was the Moses and Lulia show with the No.1 credited with the assist on three of the winger's four tries.

Lulia's haul matched the Tigers' record mark held by Kevin McGuinness and Marika Koroibete.

The Tigers jumped to ninth place on the ladder on 22 points, only outside the top eight on for and against, to get their season back on track after breaking a two-game losing streak.

"It's a step in the right direction," Tigers captain Robbie Farah said.

"The challenge for us is consistency. We need to build off that and continue to improve.

"We're still in ninth. Our for and against isn't the best, although today helped.

"We need to keep winning. It doesn't get any easier from here on in.

The result eased the pressure on coach Mick Potter, although he said the speculation on his future didn't come into his reckoning during their preparation.

"For me, it's irrelevant and I just need to get on with what I do and try not to be distracted by outside influences," Potter said.

Bulldogs back-rower Tim Browne was taken to hospital with a fractured skull, while halfback Trent Hodkinson was put on report for a lifting tackle on Luke Brooks.

Five-eighth Josh Jackson was also reported for a trip on Moses.

Bulldogs coach Des Hasler took aim at referees Ben Cummins and Chris James, pointing to the 8-4 penalty count which went against his team.

While he conceded his side was undisciplined and never going to win with such little possession, Hasler said the whistle-blowers were poor.

"I think they only refereed one side there really early," he said.

"I thought the Tigers were just as guilty in slowing the ruck down."

The Bulldogs took first blood when Krisnan Inu went over in the corner the play after Mitch Brown split the line open.

Brown went from zero to hero very quickly when he produced two mistakes which led to Tigers tries.

First he spilt the ball off the kick-off and the Tigers levelled things up through Bodene Thompson.

The Bulldogs No.1 then knocked on on the tryline with Lulia scoring the next set.

The Dogs took back the lead with two tries in four minutes through Tim Lafai and Corey Thompson.

When Lulia crossed for his double, the Dogs' advantage was reduced to just two.

Brown's horror day continued after the break when he spilt it off the kick off, Lulia grabbed his third the next set and the Tigers never surrendered the lead.

In the second half, Moses broke the game open, putting in a deft kick for Curtis Sironen, setting up Lulia's fourth before putting his former schoolmate Brooks over.

The Tigers iced the game with four-pointers to Aaron Woods and James Gavet.




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