Four tries to star five-eighth Cody Walker has helped the Easts Tigers romp to a 48-20 win over the Burleigh Bears at Langlands Park.
In a dominant display the reigning Courier Mail Medal winner was in everything, scoring four tries and throwing the last pass in three more.
He was the leader of a left side attack that produced nine of the 10 Easts tries scored on the day.
“It’s a pretty good side of the field when you’ve got Cody Walker, Donald Malone, Hymel Hunt and Dane Hogan all together,” Tigers coach Craig Ingerbrigtsen said.
“They’ve all played NRL at some stage except Cody, so they’re all really quality players.”
Add in fullback Eddie Tautali, who scored twice on the left side of the field, and the Bears simply had no answers.
It was Walker who opened the scoring for the Tigers in the 12th minute. Donald Malone found space on the outside and kicked inside for the supporting Walker.
Six minutes later the roles were reversed with Malone on the end of a beautifully placed chip kick from Walker to extend the lead to 10.
When Malone scored his double off an Eddie Tautali pass in the 21st minute the flood gates looked to be open.
But to Burleigh’s credit they hung in and once they got some possession started to claw the lead back.
A short side play between Henare Wells and Khan Ahwang which led to a Steve Michaels try in the 25th minute got Burleigh on the board while Ryley Jacks’ try five minutes later cut the margin to just four points.
Easts however regained momentum in the shadows of halftime when Eddie Tautali crossed out wide.
Immediately after the break the Tigers snuffed out any hope of a Burleigh fight back with two tries in the first five minutes.
First it was Shane Neumann out on the right hand side who beat several en route to the tryline, before a Tautali line break led to Cody Walker’s second.
Bears winger Siuatonga Liki Liki charged 35 metres to score in the 55th minute, but the joy was short lived.
Walker did it himself in the 60th minute to grab his third try before combining with Hymel Hunt to score his fourth shortly after.
Tautali’s second and a late try to Hunt completed the rout for the Tigers while a consolation try to Bears halfback Matt Beddow after the final siren saw the final score of 48-20.
It was a crucial win for the Tigers and gives them some much needed momentum after an extended period away from football.
Last weekend’s clash with the Northern Pride was postponed due to Cyclone Ita and in round 6 they had the bye meaning this was their first game since March 30.
“That was a good response from our blokes today,” Ingerbrigtsen said.
“We worked our butts off during that period to be honest. We trained really hard during that period.
“The most pleasing thing today was our execution. I thought we executed our game really well and we were pretty faultless in the back end of that second half.”
For Burleigh it was another indicator of how inconsistent they’ve been in the opening eight games.
After two strong wins in their last two games they were completely outplayed by the Tigers.
“Halftime we were in it. We weren’t overly great in the first half but we were in it at 18-10,” Bears coach Carl Briggs said.
“We’ve come out after halftime knowing we had to start well and Easts blew us off the park. They were a far superior team than us today ... the first five minutes of the second half turned this game and they wanted it more than we did.”
EASTS TIGERS 48 (Cody Walker 4, Eddie Tautali 2, Donald Malone 2, Hymel Hunt, Shane Neumann tries; Donald Malone 4 goals) def BURLEIGH BEARS 20 (Siuatonga Likiliki, Steve Michaels, Matt Beddow, Ryley Jacks tries; Khan Ahwang 2 goals) at Langlands Park.
Easts Tigers: 1. Eddie Tautali 2. Hymel Hunt 3. Shane Neumann 4. Donald Malone 5. Jarrod McInally 6. Cody Walker 7. Grant Giess 8. Steven Thorpe (c) 9. Tom Butterfield 10. Felise Kaufusi 11. Troy Giess 12. Dane Hogan 13. Jacob Ling 14. Liam McDonald 15. Foisa Peni 16. Christian Welch 17. Joel Romelo
1. Henare Wells 2. Siuatonga Likiliki 3. Jamie Anderson 4. Khan Ahwang 5. Steve Michaels 6. Matt Beddow 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Luke Page 9. Matt Keating 10. Mark Ioane 11. Jesse Malcolm 12. Louis Fanene (c) 13. Kyle McConnell 14. Nafe Seluini 15. James Dunley 16. Chris Kitching 18. Matt Bell