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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 October 2005, 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
Prince steers Wests to NRL title
Wests Tigers captain Scott Prince lifts the NRL trophy
Prince was man-of-the-match
Wests Tigers won their first National Rugby League (NRL) title by beating North Queensland Cowboys 30-16 in the final at Sydney's Olympic Stadium.

Captain Scott Prince's tactical kicking inspired the Tigers, an amalgamation of the Balmain and Western Suburbs clubs in Sydney at the end of 1999.

Three of the five Tigers tries, scored by Bryce Gibbs, Anthony Laffranchi and Daniel Fitzhenry, came from his kicks.

They led 12-6 at half-time and went on to win handsomely before 82,453 fans.

The highlight came four minutes before half-time when exciting New Zealand youngster Benji Marshall beat several tackles in a 50m sprint before delivering an audacious flick-pass to winger Pat Richards.

The feeling is unbelievable
Wests captain Scott Prince
Richards, in doubt for much of the week with an ankle injury and playing his last match before leaving to play for Wigan, swept on to the ball and scored to give the Tigers the half-time lead.

The Cowboys, playing in their first grand final after 10 seasons in the NRL, never gave up and pulled back to 18-12 midway through the second half after skipper Travis Norton scored a converted try.

But the Tigers finished with panache, winger Daniel Fitzhenry scoring after smart work from Prince to give his team a 12-point buffer heading into the final 15 minutes.

The Cowboys finally broke through for a try to winger Matt Sing two minutes from time.

But Prince, named man-of-the-match, sealed it on full-time when his grubber-kick was pounced on by replacement forward Todd Payten.

"The feeling is unbelievable," Prince said. "Words can't describe what I'm feeling at the moment and I'm so proud of the boys and of their efforts over the last 30 weeks."

"Wests Tigers have been proven to be tough comeptitiors for us all year and tonight was no different so congratulations to them," said North Queensland captain Travis Norton.

"Tonight wasn't our night but I'm sure we'll be even better next year."




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