Tigers through in thriller

Wests Tigers progressed through to the NRL preliminary final after claiming a dramatic 26-24 victory over Canberra.

Raiders winger Jarrod Croker missed a late penalty attempt which could have sent the game into extra time, but the Tigers were deserved winners.

A piece of Benji Marshall magic saw Chris Heighington cross for the Tigers’ first try but Bronson Harrison burst over soon after to level the scores.

Marshall was involved again to send Gareth Ellis over before Lote Tuqiri showed his has pace to burn by racing over from a scrum move.

The Tigers conceded a soft try when Joel Monaghan sprinted over from Bronson Harrison’s break, but the visitors still had the lead at half time 18-12.

Chris Lawrence crossed soon after the restart to put the Tigers in pole position but the Raiders hit back with a Trevor Thurling score.

Despite losing lynchpin Terry Campese and workhorse Sean Fensome to injury, fit-again skipper Alan Tongue showed his resilience to wrestle over for the Raiders and make the score 26-24.

With just minutes remaining, big-hitting Tigers forward Simon Dwyer was penalised for a high tackle on Scott Logan.

Croker, who had kicked for goals from four, stepped up confidently but dragged his penalty attempt wide, leaving the Tigers to claim the spot in next weekend’s preliminary final with St George.

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