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Young winger sparks Tigers NRL win

Two extraordinary long distance runs by unheralded winger Tim Simona provided the spark for lowly Wests Tigers to beat second-placed Melbourne 22-4 on Saturday at a rain-sodden Leichhardt Oval.
Young winger sparks Tigers NRL win
by AAP

By Adrian Warren

SYDNEY, June 29 AAP - Two extraordinary long distance runs by unheralded winger Tim Simona provided the spark for lowly Wests Tigers to beat second-placed Melbourne 22-4 on Saturday at a rain-sodden Leichhardt Oval.

Simona scored one try and set up another for Blake Ayshford in the first half, while fellow winger David Nofoaluma smashed his way over with 11 minutes to go.

Five-eighth Benji Marshall capped a memorable victory when he toed ahead a loose Melbourne pass and scored the Tigers fourth try.

The young wingers were brilliantly backed up by NSW State of Origin forwards Robbie Farah and Aaron Woods.

Prop Woods ran for 181 metres while hooker Farah pulled off 52 tackles.

It was a fourth win in their past five starts for the Tigers, who produced their best defensive display of the season, as they kept the opposition to single figures for the first time this year.

The committed Tigers bustled Melbourne into a host of uncharacteristic errors in the treacherous conditions.

The result meant Melbourne suffered successive losses and could drop to third if the Sydney Roosters beat Manly on Monday.

The Tigers had the Storm on the back foot for most of the first quarter, but Melbourne scored on one of their first forays into the Tigers 20 after 23 minutes.

A perfectly timed pass from veteran five-eighth Brett Finch set up a try to centre Maurice Blair.

The Tigers finally had some reward for their efforts, with 21-year-old New Zealand born Simona at the forefront.

On the half-hour, Simona ran 80 metres to score after swooping on the ball when winger Sisa Waqa dropped a pass from fullback Billy Slater.

Seven minutes later, Auckland-born Simona set up one of the tries of the NRL season.

Collecting a Slater kick in his own in-goal area, Simona charged 60 metres into Storm territory and linked with Farah and Marshall to set up centre Ayshford for a top-drawer four-pointer . Veteran Storm prop Jason Ryles left the field within the first 40 seconds of the second half with a suspected medial ligament knee injury.

The Tigers extended their lead to eight points in the 48th minute, when Marshall kicked a close range penalty after Melbourne were caught offside.

Without their injured skipper Cameron Smith, Melbourne lacked direction and Nofoaluma killed them off with his try.




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