A week of off-field gossip and stories has meant little for the Wests Tigers after they stole an 18-12 victory over the Canterbury Bulldogs in front of 19,303 fans at ANZ Stadium.
The first half saw both sides try to crack the other and it was the Bulldogs who were cracking just it was their bodies that were cracking with plenty of blood flowing from the Bulldogs players.
The Tigers looked to have first points through Michael Chee-Kam but after the bunker referral knocked it back it was a long ball from James Tedesco that set up the first try for the Tigers when David Noafaluma scored in the corner.
Canterbury were then hitting back soon after when Marcelo Montoya who looked to have been stopped had the strength to get the ball down and after Holland's conversion the scores were level.
The Bulldogs then peppered the Tigers line until an intercept by David Noafaluma put the Tigers into what looked to be a certain try until he was chased down by Josh Morris and despite a set on the line the Tigers couldn't get it over.
Another penalty goal at the stroke of the half time break gave the Tigers a 10-6 lead at the main break.
An amazing passage of play from the Bulldogs came with both controversy and amazement with Kerrod Holland on the end of an amazing play from the Bulldogs though it did come with some controversy when Adam Elliott looked to have been tackled the ball came free and despite a no try call from referee Gerard Sutton the try was given. The Bulldogs then hit the lead through a penalty goal from Kerrod Holland.
The scores remained level until a professional foul from Brenko Lee left the Bulldogs in a bad way when the Tigers slotted a penalty goal after Lee was binned after the bunker ruled he held back Chris Lawrence in a try scoring opportunity.
The Bulldogs were looking likely to survive until a dumb kick from Greg Eastwood gave possession straight back to the Tigers and from the ensuing set a the Tigers got downfield and after a late switch from a field goal play the Tigers got a deflection that bounced perfect for Kevin Naiqama who ran around to score under the sticks. The Bulldogs then had a last crack at scoring and they attacked the Tigers line right until after the last second but it wasn't to be and the Tigers took the win.
Next week the Bulldogs return to the home sheds at ANZ Stadium with a clash against the Canberra Raiders meanwhile the Tigers have a clash at Leichhardt Oval against the defending premiers the Cronulla Sharks.