Wests Tigers have secured a tough 16 to 4 victory over a errant North Queensland Cowboys in front of 6,456 at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.
Coming into tonight - Wests had been the surprise packet of 2014 thus far belittling the pre-season prediction of being in the lower reaches of the table. They were sittting in fifth with a 3-2 record while North Queensland were the reverse sitting, 2-3 desperately looking for some consistency in the form guide.
It was the visitors who were first on the board, albeit a tad later than they expected, Johnathan Thurston missing an early penalty goal. They rectified this when Brent Tate finished off a fortunate effort in the corner.
The 2013 guise of the Wests Tigers were a much more steeled outfit, as they put the flash plays into the locker for the simplistic option of going through the middle. They got reward for this effort just before the halftime siren as Robbie Farah spied the defenders too deep and darted in the space to score. Pat Richards added the conversion for a 6-4 lead at half-time.
Once again after the resumption, Farah was central to the action before he was assisted from the field in the 76th minute. He refiled a grubber into Ashton Sims before it hit the posts and into the waiting hands of Blake Austin, who is gaining a reputation for being the saviour for the Wests Tigers (He scored the match winner twice for the NSW Cup Tigers this season.)
Following the Austin try - the game fell into a static pattern. North Queensland were stacking up chances like a Jenga tower but just like the tower they fell down at the final hurdle. Johnathan Thurston spilling two efforts that were presented to him almost on a plate, the Cowboys just can't get it done on the road.
Pat Richards put the Cowboys out of their misery as who else but Farah drifted left, looking for a runner and found his 2005 premiership winning team-mate to walk it across in the corner for a deserved 16 points to four victory. It also sets up a mouth watering clash with fellow resurgent side, Parramatta next weekend.