NRL: Wests Tigers come from behind to beat Titans

Mahe Fonua.
Mahe Fonua. Photo credit: Image: Sky Sports

A Mahe Fonua hat-trick and some Esan Marsters magic have helped the Wests Tigers come from behind to beat the Gold Coast 30-14 in Tamworth.

After the Tigers trailed 14-0 following just 20 minutes, Michael Maguire's men put on six unanswered tries to lift themselves back into the NRL's top eight.

But the win may have come at a cost, with five-eighth Josh Reynolds suffering a possible medial ligament injury to his left knee early in the first half.

That blow formed part of a horror start to the night for the Tigers, after Reynolds also dropped the ball from the opening kick-off before Marsters was penalised for running in front of a restart.

However, just five days after copping a 51-6 flogging at the hands of Parramatta, the Tigers showed all the resilience asked of them by Maguire.

Man of the match Ryan Matterson impressed filling in for Reynolds at five-eighth while Luke Brooks and Robbie Farah stepped up with the boot at the end of sets.

Marsters kickstarted their revival in the 24th minute when he collected an offload from Matterson and got a one-handed basketball style pass away for Fonua to score.

The Tigers centre also had one of his own before the break, stepping and pushing his way through three Titans defenders to help his team to an unlikely 16-14 halftime lead.

Fellow centre Robert Jennings too had tries either side of the break. His first came after Michael Gordon fumbled a Moses Mbye kick while his second after the break was straight out of dummy-half.

Brooks then put Fonua over for his two second half tries.

The Tigers halfback threw a long cut-out ball from a rebounded kick to give the Tigers a 26-14 lead, before grubbering for the chasing winger on the siren.

Just as impressive was the Tigers' defence though. They held out five straight sets late in the match to hold on for their fourth win of the year.

In contrast, the Titans barely fired a shot after the opening 20 minutes, where Anthony Don scored in a fifth straight game from a cross-field Tyrone Roberts bomb.

Winger Dale Copley was also forced from the field early in the first half with a quad cork, summing up an unhappy night.