Tigers go all the way with MCK in Rabbitohs upset
A spectacular late try to backrower Michael Chee Kam has propelled the Tigers to an upset 14-9 win over Souths, condemning the Rabbitohs to their fourth straight loss.
Because the Wests Tigers have found a new game breaker.
Once again underrated utility Michael Chee Kam has produced a vital matchwinning play to secure a thrilling and vital 14-9 victory over South Sydney.
On a night when an ugly eye-gouging controversy erupted around George Burgess who looks to be facing a lengthy suspension for an incident involving Robbie Farah, the Bunnies looked home when an Adam Reynolds field goal broke an 8-all deadlock with just six minutes remaining.
But in the dying minutes Chee Kam exploded through a gap to race 50 metres to score.
Chee Kam was also the matchwinner for the Tigers back in the round five win over Brisbane.
"The boys actually said to him prior to the game, 'you have to come up with something special'. I didn't realise it was going to be that," a proud Michael Maguire said.
BIG GEORGE'S BRAIN SNAP
George Burgess is probably earning more than $40,000 a month playing football. Now he looks to have booked himself a mid-year holiday for carrying on like a mug.
With brothers Sam and Tom already missing through injury, it looks as though George has now checked in for an extra-long holiday to coincide with next week's bye.
It might be a bit of a stretch to call a full-fledged eye-gouge because it was more like a nasty poke.
But it was certainly in the Josh McGuire degree of grubbiness.
"Obviously there was a hand on the face there," Wayne Bennett conceded.
"I can't definitely say it was an eye gouge or what it was."
But what Bennett did confirm was that it showed a complete lack of discipline.
"There was just no need to put himself in that position," Bennett added.
"I'm not condemning him for it in the sense I don't know whether his fingers actually made contact with the eye or not.
"But the point is it was just totally unwarranted."
LISTEN! In a special one-on-one interview Matty sits down with Sam Burgess to talk through the highs and lows of his career, his desire to play at Manly and his venture into rugby union.
Canberra rookie forward Hudson Young had a similar charge bumped up from three weeks to five weeks because he had prior offence in the last two years.
Burgess also copped a four week ban for an eye gouge while playing for England at the end of last year.
BUNNIES IN FREEFALL
A month ago South Sydney were flying high. Now they have dropped four straight.
Does Wayne Bennett have problem?
Well, if this is not a slump it is getting awfully close.
"I know what works" Bennett added.
"I have just got to get them on board again and doing what they know works as well."
But for Maguire, last night's win keep driving the hope that a finals finish is not beyond this team.
The Tigers as a club haven't played finals football since 2011 but Maguire said tough and gritty wins like this and last round's golden point win over North Queensland should give them a sense of belief.
"Being able to find two ugly ways to win, that is what this competition is about," Maguire said.
They went to the break at 8-all despite the Tigers having a significant 59-41 per cent split of possession and the Rabbitohs forced to make a massive 74 more tackles.
TIME WASTING HAS TO STOP
NRL head of football Graham Annesley has to step up and do something about some of the time-wasting ploys teams are getting away with.
Play was held up when Robbie Farah went down with a shoulder problem right on the tryline after Souths looked to have gained a repeat set.
Farah could have quite easily have been taken behind the dead ball line to receive attention. Instead, by the time he was ready to play on the Bunker had changed its mind and gave a 20 metre restart to the Tigers.
WHERE ARE THE FANS?
The new Bankwest Stadium is undoubtedly now Sydney's best ground to watch rugby league but it is still no guarantee of pulling a big crowd.
The official figure was 9,807 which would have been disappointing for the Tigers' bean-counters given it was a dry night against an old-time Sydney rival at a wonderful new venue.
Yes, it was a Thursday night but surely the NRL should command better than that.
WESTS TIGERS 14 (M Chee Kam C Thompson tries E Marsters 3 goals) bt SOUTH SYDNEY 9 (C Allan try A Reynolds 2 goals A Reynolds field goal) at Bankwest Stadium. Referee: Gavin Badger, Adam Gee. Crowd: 9,807