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- As it happened
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Tim Simona scored two tries in his NRL return for Wests Tigers but it was a tackle he made on Greg Inglis that had the biggest impact on Friday night's match at ANZ Stadium after the South Sydney superstar was forced from the field with concussion.
In a further blow for Souths, star hooker Issac Luke was also taken from the field with a shoulder injury suffered late in the match.
Simona, who also failed to finish the match after collecting an errant boot from Sam Burgess early in the second half, was one of five players placed on report in the drama-charged match following his spectacular fifth-minute hit on Inglis as the Rabbitohs fullback fielded the ball from a short kick-off.
Souths forward Ben Lowe, who was also involved in a controversial incident after tackling Pat Richards high as the Tigers winger dived for the try line, had just scored and Richards created plenty of hang time with an NFL-style kick-off that tested the mental toughness of Inglis as he juggled the ball with the chasers bearing down on him from close range.
Simona was travelling at full speed when he hit a falling Inglis high and the Australian and Queensland star failed to return after being taken from the field for a concussion assessment.
It is likely Simona will face a dangerous contact charge under changes to the NRL judiciary guidelines after a number of sickening incidents from kick-offs, including Kyle O'Donnell being knocked senseless while playing for Newcastle in 2012.
Wests interchange forward James Gavet was also placed on report for kneeing George Burgess, who also faces a high-tackle charge for a shot on Aaron Woods and may also come under scrutiny from the match review committee for a late hit on Tigers halfback Luke Brooks
Elder brother Sam also earned the ire of referees Matt Cecchin and Alan Shortall for sparking a brawl after he took exception to a tackle in which George fell awkwardly after being pushed backwards by Woods while Adam Blair had hold of his ankles, but they gave him the benefit of the doubt over the incident in which Simona was kicked in the head.
Cecchin issued a general caution to Souths late in the match over the number of high tackles after placing centre Bryson Goodwin on report for a high shot on Tigers fullback James Tedesco, and his patience eventually ran out when Luke Burgess was sent to the sin bin for the remainder of the match.
Boom Wests Tigers halfback Luke Brooks was also dispatched to the bin late in the match for a professional foul.
Without Inglis, the Rabbitohs posed little threat with the ball and their attack lacked any real punch as they tended to drift more sideways than forward in a error-riddled performance/
After conceding a soft try when they allowed Lowe to split the defence and stroll over in the fourth minute, the Tigers gained control of the match after Inglis's departure and eventually scored when Brooks put Bodene Thompson over in the 14th minute.
However, it took Wests until the 30th minute to hit the lead when Simona scored after stand-in Souths fullback Nathan Merritt and centre Joel Reddy messed up a towering Braith Anasta bomb and Liam Fulton regathered the ball before passing wide to the talented centre prospect.
The Tigers were denied a penalty try two minutes later after video referees Jared Maxwell and Andrew Dunemann ruled that Richards had gone into touch before being hit high by Lowe, despite replays showing otherwise.
But Simona ensured the home side went to the break with a 14-6 lead after crossing untouched following an offload by Blair to skipper Robbie Farah and Wests went further ahead when Richards returned from a concussion assesement to score in the 42nd minute.
A converted Tedesco try sealed the win in 53rd minute but Anasta made sure with a field goal 10 minutes later before Souths centre Joel Reddy scored two consolation tries in the dying minutes.