Tigers' late roar signals Eels' end

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 25 August, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 25 August, 1996, 12:00am

THE Sydney Tigers moved to within one game of a fairytale top-eight finish with an upset 26-14 defeat of Parramatta in yesterday's Australian Rugby League premiership round.

Considered a team of also-rans when the season kicked off six months ago, the Tigers have proved the dark horses in the race for finals honours.

Written off by even their own coach a fortnight ago, the Tigers have struck back and can clinch eighth spot with a win over Sydney City next week.

'Two weeks ago I thought we were gone,' Tigers coach Wayne Pearce admitted. 'But the boys have turned it around and other results have also gone our way.

'It all comes down to next week and if we play as well as we did today, we will take some beating.' The Tigers ended Parramatta's finals hopes yesterday.

Parramatta dominated the early stages of the game and held the ball for virtually the entire opening 10 minutes, charging to an early 4-0 lead when winger Shane Russell crossed.

But two tries from star full-back Tim Brasher, the Tigers' lone current international, turned the tide of the game.

Brasher scored his first try with a solo burst and his second from a bomb as the Tigers went to half-time leading 10-4.

After the break, the Tigers went on with the job, with quick tries to star import Ellery Hanley and second-rower Mark Stimson giving them a commanding 22-4 lead.

The Tigers must now beat Sydney City next week and hope Wests lose their final game to climb into the top eight.