The Observer - - RUGBY LEAGUE -

THEY held off Pen­rith in the fight to keep their coach. And yes­ter­day af­ter­noon the Wests Tigers en­sured they re­main in the fight for a top-eight fin­ish with a heart-stop­ping 22-20 win over Can­berra.

Af­ter lead­ing 16-0 mid­way through the first half, the Tigers went into the fi­nal quar­ter up 22-20 and it looked like the Raiders were com­ing to get them. But the Tigers held on for a valu­able win to put to bed what would have been a test­ing week for the club with all the talk about Pen­rith’s in­ter­est in Ivan Cleary.

The Tigers moved to 24 com­pe­ti­tion points with re­main­ing games against St Ge­orge Illawarra on Sat­ur­day fol­lowed by Manly and South Syd­ney.

Bris­bane are in eighth spot on 26 points with re­main­ing games against South Syd­ney this Thurs­day and then the Syd­ney Roost­ers and Manly.

The Raiders made nu­mer­ous mis­takes in the first half but some­how only trailed 20-10.

It was four tries to two with three of the Tigers’ tries com­ing in a 10-minute pe­riod when Joey Leilua was in the sin bin for a pro­fes­sional foul.

Can­berra ab­so­lutely self-de­struc­ted early on but as is their way, found a way back with tries to Joe Tap­ine and Josh Pa­palii be­fore the break, re­duc­ing the mar­gin to 10 points.

Fur­ther tries to Leilua and Tap­ine set up a thrilling fi­nal quar­ter but the Tigers were able to hang on.

Photo: Lukas Coch

TIGER TIME: Michael Chee Kam cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing against the Raiders.

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