Tigers 4 Roosters 48
There are no signs of Wests Tigers misery ending as the troubled club suffered their second-successive humiliating defeat in a week, slumping to a 48-4 loss to Sydney Roosters on their hallowed turf of Leichhardt Oval.
There's usually something about a waterlogged Leichhardt Oval that brings out the best in the Tigers, as both Manly and Melbourne have experienced in the past, yet they did little but sink against the Roosters on Saturday night in perhaps the greatest sign of their struggles.
There was nearly 30 minutes left to play when the first fans headed for the exits as the pain of last week's 58-point humiliation in Townsville was compounded by yet another hefty defeat for the troubled Tigers. The have now conceded 112 points in a week.
Rampant Rooster: Mitch Aubusson in acres of space against the hapless Wests Tigers. Photo: Getty Images
|View Match Statistics|
|Players||Hitchcox||Tries||1||Tries||8||Players||Jennings, Moa, Minichiello(2), Waerea-Hargreaves, Kenny-Dowall, Tupou, Pearce|
|Players||Paterson 0/1 (0%)||Conversions||0||Conversions||7||Players||Maloney 7/8 (87%)|
|Players||Penalty goals||0||Penalty goals||1||Players||Maloney 1/1 (100%)|
|Players||Field goals||0||Field goals||0||Players|
It was almost a carbon copy of their loss to the Cowboys as they looked void of morale, purpose and determination. If there was any respect in the scoreline, it was only due to the Roosters poor handling in the wet which prevented the scoreboard operator at the ground from suffering exhaustion.
A little over 5,000 of the bravest and most hopeful fans turned up desperately seeking a bounce-back but were dealt an immediate blow before they were given a chance to settle into their seats.
Two minutes into the game, Michael Jennings pounced on some hapless defending by the Tigers to run unchallenged onto a Mitchell Pearce grubber to score beneath the posts.
Michael Jennings terrorises the Tigers defence. Photo: Getty Images
It was an ominous sign that another lopsided contest loomed on a miserable night in Leichhardt yet the reigning champions struggled to get out of their own half as the rain continued to poor.
Simple errors, costly turnovers and an inability to match their defensive aggression in their attack, meant the Roosters spent almost a quarter of an hour in their own area. It was an impressive feat for the troubled Tigers but in truth, they were made to look better than they were.
For all their impressive field position, they failed to register a single point before the break and even more worrying for coach Mick Potter, they never looked close to crossing the line. Their best chance came through the Chris Lawrence on the right flank but a try in his 150th game was prevented by some stern defending by Daniel Tupou. There was solace in the scoreboard only reading 8-0 to the Roosters as the Tigers headed for the tunnels with a deficit they probably would've been happy with before the match.
Though, it didn't remain in tact much longer after the restart. A careless penalty gave the Roosters an early view of the line and that was all the invitation Sam Moa needed as he crashed his way through to score beside the upright. It proved to be the try that opened the floodgates as the Tigers appeared as sapped of morale as they were of points. This became evident as Shaun Kenny-Dowall broke through the line with ease to set up veteran fullback Anthony Minichiello to score without any pressure.
"The Count" had his second shortly after with a similar supporting run for an Aidan Guerra linebreak and yet again placed the ball under the black dot to extend the lead to 26 points. Jared Warea-Hargreaves, Kenny-Dowall and Daniel Tupou joined the scorers list as the Roosters ran riot against the deflated Tigers. A try for debutant Jy HItchcox was a mere consolation for Wests.
The result relieves some of the pressure on the Roosters' difficult run home as they open a four-point gap on the ninth placed Eels. The champions have all but clinched a top eight finish and may be assured of finals football with potentially one win against either the Warriors, Storm and Rabbitohs.