The Wests Tigers travelled to the table-toppers Penrith Panthers knowing that a win would keep their finals hopes alive.
After holding the Panthers out in the opening stage, a moment of Benji Marshall opened the scores for the Tigers
His chip kick over the top bounced perfectly for David Nofoaluma to gather who then ran round to the posts and score.
After a physical encounter earlier in the season, it was no doubt that both sides would be putting their bodies on the line to get ahead.
Both teams were going back and forth for the next ten minutes but the Panthers were not lying down.
Adam Doueihi dropped a high-bomb to put the home side on the front foot and Jarome Luai stepped off his left foot and burrowed his way under the posts.
Nathan Cleary converted to level the scores.
The Panthers clicked into gear following the try, and Tyrone May broke through the middle and looked to race over in the corner.
However, Doueihi made a try-saving tackle in the corner and then cleaned up Cleary’s fifth tackle kick to keep the scores at 6-apiece.
In the 36th minute, Penrith did hit the front and this time it was a sleight pass from Cleary to put Liam Martin through a gap and score.
In the final minute of the half, Doueihi was sent to the sin-bin as he conceded a professional foul by interfering at the ruck after being offside.
Cleary converted the two points to make it 14-6 at the break.
HALF-TIME: Penrith Panthers 14-6 Wests Tigers
With the Tigers a man down, they had lots of work to do in order to keep the Panthers from extending their lead.
Tyrone May was close to going over after breaking down the right but was dragged into touch by numerous Wests defenders.
It was once the Tigers returned to 13 when another score came though, but it was for Penrith.
Tyrone May threw a looped pass out to Brian To’o, who brushed off Tommy Talau and ran over Luke Brooks to score.
Despite the Panthers dominance, the Tigers were still only 12-points down.
That was until the 68th minute when Zane Tetevano offloaded to Spencer Leniu who got underneath the tacklers to ground the ball.
However, Leniu was penalised was double movement and the score remained 18-6, with ten minutes to go.
Joey Leilua once again made a crucial error to gift the Panthers the win, just as he did earlier in the year.
Luai’s kick was being chased by Stephen Crichton but Leilua took his opposite number to off the ball.
The Panthers had the ball in hand in the final minute and pushed the ball out to the left edge once again, with Josh Mansour cutting back inside David Nofoaluma and getting through the tackle of the winger to score.
FULL-TIME: Penrith Panthers 30-6 Wests Tigers
Edwards, Mansour, Naden, Crichton, To’o, Luai, Cleary, Tamou, Kenny, Fisher-Harris, Martin, May, Yeo
Interchanges: Leota, Leniu, Burns, Tetevano
Tries: Luai, Martin, To’o, Crichton, Mansour
Goals: Cleary (5/6)
Doueihi, Nofoaluma, J. Leilua, Mbye, Talau, Brooks, Marshall, Mikaele, Grant, Eisenhuth, Garner, L. Leilua, Twal
Interchanges: Taylor, Liddle, Blore, McIntyre
Goals: Marshall (1/1)
Referee: B. Cummins
Touch Judges: D. Munro, M. Noyen
Video Referee: B. Galea
Image Source: @NRL (twitter)