Gaters deliver scoring masterclass

Brighton Gaters have produced one of the performances of the year, downing a hapless Easts Juniors 76-4 in the major semi-final and booking a berth in the grand final.


Easts supporters could only watch in horror as their team was methodically dismantled and crushed by a rampant Gaters attack which underlined why they have been the team to beat all year.


The Gaters hit the board in the first five minutes when Selo Mataele struck out wide to secure an easy six points for the baysiders. It was a taste of what was to come - 10 minutes later and Brighton had crossed twice more, pushing the margin to 16-0.


Easts were in bad shape. Rattled by the barrage of points and struggling to contain their opponents back line, they were barely able to secure possession to mount a counterattack.


A glimmer of hope arose for the Tigers in the form of a brain snap from one of the Gaters forwards, whose spear tackle whittled their side to 12 players while defending an Easts set in their own half.


The upshot was a painful summary of Easts entire day they knocked on a metre out from the Gaters line, spurring the opposition to punish them with a trio of spectacular tries to cap off the half with a 30-0 lead.


The eastsiders needed to come out guns blazing in the second half and stamp out the missed tackles that had plagued the first.


However, Gaters halfback Brent Boyd showed scant interest in supporting this strategy, threading his way past defender after defender to continue his streak as the competitions leading try scorer and extend their lead to 36-0. His team mates joined the party with another three before finally Easts retaliated.


In an attacking set on the Gaters line, the Easts halves threw the ball wide to star forward Victor Pei. The big man more than a match for the Brighton winger, using his size and strength to storm over the top and break the drought, giving his team a much-needed four points and the fans something to cheer about.


The Gaters shook off this lapse of concentration and returned to the task at hand almost immediately, totting up four more tries to close the game out at 76-4 with hat tricks for Selo Mataele, Sam Martin and Clint Matthews.


The loss sends Easts Juniors into the preliminary final, where they will face a Pine Rivers team buoyed by a nail-biting win over Logan Brothers.