Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Bula, Wakeham score in Tigers narrow loss

Young Fijian fullback Jahream Bula and Fiji Bati half Brandon Wakeham scored a try each in Wests Tigers’ narrow 20-19 loss to the Canberra Raiders in Round 14 of NRL on Friday.

The Raiders made an early start in the match in the 6th minute with a converted try from Jamal Fogarty for a 6-nil lead.

Tigers threatened to hit back in the 16th minute when Bula exploded into the backfield and found Fonua Pole in support but Raiders centre Matt Timoko ran him down.

The Tigers created an opportunity in the 29th minute on the back of a sharp run by Fiji Bati hooker Api Koroisau and a string of offloads but back-rower Papali’i was bundled into touch.

Jordan Rapana pounced for his 100th try in his career giving his side a 12-nil lead at the break.

In the opening minutes of the second half, the Tigers had a chance to hit back again but a poor pass by Koroisau saw them come up empty.

Raiders stretched their lead to 18-nil when Fogarty bagged his second converted try while the Tigers continued to mount pressure but some poor last-tackle options from Brooks and Wakeham failed to crack the resolute Raiders defence.

In the 67th minute, the Raiders were reduced to 12 players when Tom Starling was sent to the bin and the Tigers pounced, Tommy Talau creating space for Bula to score and Wakeham converted.

The Tigers then made it two tries in two minutes when Bateman surged over from the dummy half after a Brooks line break put them on the front foot.

Wakeham converted the try to close the gap to six points.

Wakeham then grabbed a four-pointer of his own from a grubber kick in the 73rd minute and the Tigers had remarkably levelled at 18-18.

An infield goal from Luke Brooks gave the Tigers a 19-18 lead for the first time in the game but their joy was cut short when Raiders was awarded a penalty which Forgarty took and sealed the win.

Romeka Romena
Romeka Romena
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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