Wednesday, February 28

Hastings field goal sinks Eels in Easter Monday classic

A 39-metre field goal with 10 seconds left on the clock to Jackson Hastings has delivered a performance to remember for Michael Maguire and the Wests Tigers, who came from behind to beat the Eels 21-20 in a classic at CommBank Stadium.

Hastings slotted the monster kick and ran another 40 metres to celebrate as the Wests Tigers secured their first win of the season in front of over 28,000 on Easter Monday.

Earlier, the Wests Tigers led Parramatta 14-10 at the break after a Luciano Leilua try and first half double to David Nofoaluma shocked the home side, who completed at 55 percent early before improving as the match went on.

Leilua hit a hole on the right edge with Luke Brooks sending the Cowboys-bound forward over the line before the Eels hit back through skipper Clint Gutherson off a Mitchell Moses grubber.

The visitors were having success through the middle of the field with quick men Jake Simpkin and Daine Laurie causing damage.

Brooks, who switched to five-eighth this week to cater for Jackson Hastings’ return, delivered a pass for Nofoaluma to strike on the right edge before club’s try-scoring record holder crossed for another three minutes later.

Nofoaluma grabs a double

Parramatta were having some success of their own on the edges and hit back before half-time with Isaiah Papali’i charging over from close range off a Reed Mahoney short ball.

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An overturned captain’s challenge in Parramatta’s favour looked to have swung momentum after the break but the Eels were caught napping at the scrum with the Tigers winning it against the feed.

From there the visitors extended their lead with Hastings and Laurie sending Ken Maumalo over in the left corner.

Dylan rocks CommBank Stadium

Not to be outdone by his opposite numbers, Dylan Brown injected himself into the game in the 52nd minute with a light-stepping effort to get past Zane Musgrove and find Reed Mahoney in support for his third of the season.

A try to Marata Niukore in the 68th minute, which went unconverted by Mitchell Moses in the right-hand corner, set up the grandstand finish with scores tied at 20-all. 

The Tigers got a chance after Parramatta’s try with Nofoaluma going close to grabbing a third, only to be held up in desperate defence.

With scores locked at 20-20 with 10 minutes to play, Jackson Hastings had a five-minute period to forget, knocking back two chances at a field goal to come up with coaching-killing plays.

Match snapshot

  • The Wests Tigers’ win over the Eels was their first in eight attempts.
  • Wests Tigers forward Kelma Tuilagi was placed on report for a late shot on Mitchell Moses in the 36th minute.
  • David Nofoaluma’s first half double was the second of his career against the Eels.
  • The official Easter Monday crowd was 28,336.
  • Wests Tigers hooker Jake Simpkin was taken from the field in the second half with a lower leg injury.
  • Jackson Hastings played his 50th NRL game while departing forward Luciano Leilua played his 50th game for Wests Tigers
  • Parramatta centre Tom Opacic was next to leave the field with a neck concern.
  • Eels forward Nathan Brown played his 100th game for the club.
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Play of the game

Cometh the hour, cometh Jackson Hastings! The Wests Tigers playmaker’s efforts on the stroke of full-time stunned the crowd to give the away side a stunning upset.

Incredible Hastings wins it for the Tigers

What they said

“The last five weeks haven’t been good enough but there’s only one way to go out and show you care about something. It was one win out of six so we’ve got to get back on the horse, but I can’t wait to give Madge a big hug.” — Wests Tigers halfback Jackson Hastings

What’s next

A road trip to Newcastle is the next task for the Eels, who have won their last two games against the Knights in the Hunter. Brad Arthur will have Junior Paulo back for the clash with the NSW prop returning from suspension.

The Wests Tigers have a six-day turnaround ahead of them before they return to CommBank Stadium for their match against the Rabbitohs.

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