It may not have been pretty but given the hotly-contested race for finals footy it was definitely valuable.


In a scrappy encounter at Pizzey Park, Easts Tigers held out a determined Burleigh Bears outfit to register a 24-18 victory and secure a valuable two competition points.


Ahead 22-6 in the early stages of the second half, it looked as if the visitors were on track to rattle up a substantial score.


But on the back of ill-disciplined errors, back-to-back tries saw a plucky Burleigh side fight their way back into the contest and narrow the margin to just four points.


However, in scenes perhaps symptomatic of their year to date, the Bears were unable to execute the killer play with the game in the balance.


Easts five-eighth Cody Walker slotted a penalty goal in the final few minutes to give the Tigers their fifth win from the past six matches.


It was a bit scary at the end but we hung in and thats the main thing.

Three or four weeks ago we probably get beaten in that situation we toughed it out which was good, coach Craig Ingebrigtsen said.


We were under the pump for a fair while but I thought we reacted well. We kept turning them away and finished on top in the end.


With Melbourne Storm contracted players Mahe Fonua, Kenny Bromwich and Lagi Setu all late withdrawals, 21-year old FOGS Cup graduate Jacob Paul made his top grade debut in the centres.


He had a fair bit of traffic thrown at him and they targeted that side but he did well, Ingebrigtsen said.


Paul was ably supported by winger Ryan Pooley, who came up with a number of important reads in defence and drew specific praise from the coach.


I cant speak highly enough of Ryan today, he came in off his wing well and snuffed out a lot of opportunities.


Burleigh opened the scoring when skipper Darren Griffiths surged over but the Tigers were quick to level courtesy of a rampaging run by prop Mitch Garbutt.


They increased their lead when Walker pounced on a charge down before Maeli Seve finished in the corner on the stroke of halftime.


Seve then opened the scoring in the second before the Bears mounted a comeback thanks to Jamie Anderson and Gold Coast Titans-contracted fullback Jordan Rankin.


Coach Carl Briggs was pleased with the sides second half performance but said a lack of enthusiasm in the opening exchanges was ultimately the difference.


Second half I thought we were outstanding, but Easts are a good football team and we gave ourselves too much to do in that first half, Briggs said.


I thought we were a little low on enthusiasm in the first 25-30 minutes, which cost us a little bit. We addressed it at halftime and the players came out with an added enthusiasm.


I said to them the first 10-15 minutes of the second half will be a good gauge of where were at enthusiasm level wise and theyve responded to that really well.


I can fault the commitment, its just a little bit of execution again and a couple of things weve got to address.


EASTS TIGERS 24 (Maeli Seve 2, Cody Walker, Mitchell Garbutt tries; Cody Walker 4 goals) def BURLEIGH BEARS 18 (Jamie Anderson, Jordan Rankin, Darren Griffiths tries; Jordan Rankin 3 goals) at Pizzey Park.