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Tigers steal late win from Panthers

By Brisbane Rugby League Media John Devine

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West Brisbane Panthers travelled to Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park on Sunday afternoon hoping to repeat their first round Brisbane Rugby League A Grade In Safe Hands Cup win against the Tigers.

All was going to plan for the Panthers who held a healthy lead with less a quarter of the game remaining – however, the Tigers had the final say in the match and stole the game away.

At 36-16 with 16 minutes left on the clock, Tiger Brandon George went over after a flick pass from Maeli Seve found Brandon Downey, who then passed to Linc Port who sent it to the rampaging second rower to score.

To follow that up, Chris Otswald made a half break and threw a blind pass which was picked up on the shoelaces by Seve, who followed that up with a pin-point kick in the corner for Downey to score his second try of the game.

However, despite the rumblings of a comeback, surely even the staunchest of Tigers fans thought all was lost when Ashley Harawira scored a brilliant solo try in the 70th minute to give the visitors a 14-point lead. The second rower had moved to halfback in the first half after Ollie Olds left the field with a knee injury.

Already in the action, Port then created mayhem in the final seven minutes.

The former Northern Pride and Queensland Residents utility rushed to the line before offloading to Seve who then moved the Steeden on to Downey for him to score his third try untouched in the corner.

The Panthers right side defence was in tatters and Port sliced through for a 40m-carry to then give it on to that man Downey again to score his fourth between the posts.

 With less than two minutes remaining, Port fired a long pass from the right side of the ground to Kevin Bell and from there on to George, who fed that to the thundering Gene Ropoama, but he was cut down a metre short.

Dummy half Otswald gave a bullet-like flat pass to Michael Pouhila to score under the crossbar to give the Easts Tigers an unbelievable win.

“The boys dug deep and I was really proud of them in the second half,” Tigers coach David Krause said.

“We cut out the penalties in the second half and went back to doing what we said we were going to do.

The Tigers now have back-to-back wins and will head to Emerson Park to take on Valleys this weekend; while the Panthers – who now have posted successive defeats – will play Redcliffe this Sunday at Dolphin Oval.

In other Round 8 games, the Dolphins powered out to a 32-0 halftime lead over Valleys – but a contested second half saw the match finish with a 38-6 victory to the home side.

Earlier at Civic Park, Logan Brothers threatened to halt Wynnum Manly’s winning streak and they led 6-4 at halftime, but they were unable to prevent them from taking the two points with a 20-14 win. Wynnum Manly, Redcliffe and West Brisbane Panthers are now equal top of the In Safe Hands Cup competition ladder. 

BRL A Grade In Safe Hands Cup - Round 8 results

May 13-14, 2017

Wynnum Manly 20 (Hayden Crowley, Aaron Booth, Mitchell Moore, Wayne Kennedy tries; Paora Kemp 2 goals) defeated Logan Brothers 14 (Kieran Batterley, Nick Doyle, Evander Cummins tries; Cameron Boga goal.

Redcliffe Dolphins 44 (Curtis Johnston 2, Zach Strasser 2, Kyle Van Klaveren, Hugh Pratt, Danny Bridge, Joe Bradley tries; Kyle Van Klaveren 6 goals) defeated Valleys Diehards 6 (Dylan Smith; Paul Ivan goal).

Easts Tigers 44 (Brandon Downey 4, Michael Pouhlia, Kevin Bell, Chris Ostwald, Brandon George tries; Brandon Downey 6 goals) defeated West Brisbane Panthers 40 (Michael Pearsall, Shaun Tupou, Josh Afoa, Kalolo Saitiia, Ashley Harawira, James Sharkie, Jake Kelly tries; James Sharkie 6 goals).

Ipswich Jets – bye