The Penrith Panthers have claimed their sixth win of the season against the West Tigers in a spiteful clash at Bankwest Stadium.
A late field goal and try sealed the 19-12 win for the Panthers, the first time the side have lost just one game by the eighth round since their 1991 premiership season.
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The match was in the balance throughout but the blood was boiling as it exploded late in the game.
Seemingly stemming from a moment when Luciano Leilua was hit high when falling to ground with 22 minutes remaining.
While it led to a penalty goal that evened the scores at 12-all, his brother and Tigers centre Joey was showing clear concern and anger after the incident.
But it saw an ugly moment when Api Koroisau went to apologise to Luciano and started some push and shove with his brother.
“There’s no need for that,” Anasta said. “I understand it’s your brother BJ but come on mate.”
Joey Leilua was clearly furious and it spilt over late in the game.
With two and a half minutes left, Leilua hit Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards with a high shot off the ball in an ugly moment.
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Joey Leilua coathangers Dylan Edwards off the ball.Source:FOX SPORTS
“Jeez he comes up with some dumb plays BJ,” Anasta said. That is just so unnecessary.”
“That’s just crap,” Voss added.
“He needs to settle down, he has to go for that,” Anasta added. “He does some stupid things and he doesn’t need to. It’s been his achilles heel his whole career Joey, he just can’t control his temperament.”
Leilua was sent straight to the sin bin.
The match boiled over several times in the closing stages as the spite overflowed.
Post-match, Edwards said he was fine despite the ugly incident.
“There was a bit of emotion, I mean, two teams battling out for a win and Joey just had a brain snap there but what happens on the footy field stays on the footy field,” he said of the incident.
Leilua was slammed for the act, although Edwards bounced back.
Just because your brother copped an unlucky (unintentional) high shot doesn’t give you the right for a proper dog shot.
BJ. If that’s not a send off, what is? 🤦🏽♂️ #NRL
Joey Leilua. How predictable. Gifted talent but a liability to any team with that nonsense. #NRLTigersPanthers
BJ Leilua is an idiot but this has to be the worst take ever. https://t.co/yQ43WaZQ63
I liked you until 60 seconds ago Leilua #NRLTigersPanthers
While the spiteful end got the fans off their seats, it was a brilliant match as sides from Sydney’s west put in a thriller.
Although the Panthers scored in the first minute through Stephen Crichton, the Tigers were never going to hold back, hitting back with two tries of their own before halftime.
When Crichton scored his second, it was ripe for eruption when the powder keg moment happen for Leilua.
But when it came to finishing the game off, Nathan Cleary was mature, kicking the winning field goal before Edwards got the cherry with a long distance try to wrap up the win.
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