Wests Tigers thrash North Queensland Cowboys to keep finals hopes alive

Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire has praised his team's defence after recording a thumping win over North Queensland Cowboys last night.

The Tigers sealed a 28-4 win at Leichhardt Oval to open round 20 of the 2019 NRL season.

Maguire told reporters after the game that his team did a great job to contain the Cowboys' attack.

"I was really pleased with our defence, it's something that we've been working on," he said.

"I think that was probably our best defensive effort since I've been here.

"Now it's about maintaining that [effort]."

The result means Wests have jumped into seventh spot on the ladder.

However, Maguire said the Tigers needed to stay focused.

"I don't think we need to look too much further than next week," he said.

"The reason why we play the game is to make the finals, and the boys know that. But if you get too far ahead of yourself, you fall short."

The Tigers were inspired by a strong performance from veteran Robbie Farah.

Farah was playing his last game at Leichhardt Oval after announcing his NRL retirement this week.

The Tigers jumped out of the blocks to score first through Esan Marsters after eight minutes.

Moses Mbye nailed the conversion and the home side led 6-0.

Farah dove over to score in the 16th minute to extend the Tigers' advantage to 10-0.

A Paul Momirovski try four minutes later, which was converted by Mbye, helped the Tigers skip out to a 16-0 lead.

Wests maintained that advantage at half time.

Neither side was able to add to the scoreline for the first 18 minutes before Mbye kicked a penalty goal.

Kyle Feldt finally broke through to score the Cowboys' first try after 64 minutes to cut the deficit to 18-4.

However, that joy was short-lived as Marsters dived over to score his second try in the 71st minute.

Momirosvki converted and the Tigers led 24-4.

Tigers veteran Chris Lawrence scored a try soon after to round out the 28-4 victory.

The result means that North Queensland remains in 13th spot on the NRL ladder.

North Queensland coach Paul Green told reporters after the game that it was a "very disappointing" loss.

However, Green said a couple of referee decisions in the first half proved costly for his side.

"It makes a huge difference in the context of the game," he said.

"It eats away at your confidence, particularly when you're close but not quite there as a team.

"[But] I don't feel like the final score was an accurate reflection of the game."