Dragons beat Tigers, book NRL finals spot

Shattered after conceding the penalty in golden point which handed St George Illawarra victory and secured them a spot in the NRL finals, Robbie Farah wasn’t keen on discussing whether he’d played his final game for the Wests Tigers.


Farah, who was told a couple of weeks ago his services were not required at the joint venture beyond this season, fronted media after the Dragons survived an almighty comeback from the Tigers on Saturday night to prevail 32-30 at ANZ Stadium.

The representative hooker, who won a premiership with the Tigers in 2005, had been informed if he wanted to remain at the club, he would play reserve grade.

“Mate, I’m just looking forward to a beer, to be honest,” said Farah when asked if he thought he’d played his final game for the Tigers.

“A nice cold VB would be good right now. That’s all I’m looking forward to.”

Matt Cecchin did something referees just don’t do – he penalised somebody during golden point.

Unfortunately for Farah, he was the one pinged for not being square at marker on the stroke of halftime of golden point.

Josh Dugan stepped up and slotted the penalty from in front and 18 metres out.

“It’s pretty tough considering the circumstances. I’ve seen a lot of them go unnoticed, so it’s a tough call in the circumstances,” Farah said.

Dragons coach Paul McGregor applauded the referee.

“I think you’ve got to encourage referees to call what they see,” he said.

Leading 30-8 with 20 minutes remaining, the Dragons fell in a hole as the Tigers powered to the line with four quick tries, including an intercept to winger David Nofoaluma with a minute remaining, shortly after fullback James Tedesco crashed over.

In a frantic golden-point shootout, Benji Marshall and Tigers winger Pat Richards both missed shots at field goal.

In the end, Marshall was the star for the Dragons, helping his side to a first finals appearance since 2011 against his former team.

Marshall had a hand in several tries, steering his side to victory in the absence of halves partner Gareth Widdop, who McGregor said was a chance of returning next week from a quadriceps injury.

The victory locked in eighth spot for the Dragons to set up an elimination final next week with the fifth-placed side – Cronulla or Melbourne.

McGregor was surprisingly relaxed after the game, despite the capitulation and was full of praise for his side.

“We probably got comfortable in our position … we know in semi-final footy, you can’t do that, so that won’t even come into our game,” he said.

A bright note for the Tigers was departing winger Richards scoring two tries, taking his tally to 17 for the season in his final game for the club before continuing his career overseas along with fellow Tigers stalwart Keith Galloway.