EASTS Tigers travelled to Browne Park to confront one of their bogey teams, the Central Queensland Capras on Sunday; and this time were able to turn around their previous form against the side to post a comprehensive 34-4 win.
There were a number of changes on game day for the Tigers with Storm youngster and former CQ Capra Cameron Munster coming back into the team after making his NRL debut last weekend and Shane Neumann also returning. Cody Walker was also a late scratching with Liam Tyson coming off the bench to replace him. Matt Zgrajewski made his return from a broken leg suffered in round 1.
The Capras showed their intentions early; and off the back of two penalties, spun the ball to either side of the field trying to stretch the Tigers defence. However crunching tackles, particularly from Grant Giess and captain Steven Thorpe, kept them at bay.
After repelling the Capras, the Tigers struck straight back after only four minutes. Donald Malone bought up his 100th Intrust Super Cup try following some lovely lead up work by youngsters Tyson and Jarrod McInally.
Malone converted his try and then with four minutes remaining in the half, added a penalty and that was all the scoring in the first half, with the two sides going to the sheds with the score 8-0.
Between Malone’s try in the 4th minute of the half and his penalty in the 36th minute, there were 32 minutes of, at times, sparkling football.
The XXXX man of the match was Tigers prop Felise Kaufusi, who constantly threatened the defence with his powerful runs and with his ability to keep the ball alive. His ability to hold the ball in one hand and pass it around the tacklers created a plethora of opportunities for second phase play for the Tigers. He capped off his game scoring his second Cup try in the 51st minute with brute force.
Man of the match honours could just have easily gone to Grant Giess who had another virtuoso performance. All of the strengths of his game were on display; short kicks, running the line, linking with his forwards and crunching defence. His try early in the second half was a classic halfback’s try where he ran at the Capras line with the ball in both hands, holding the defence held off as they mistakenly waited for him to pass.
The second half was full of points for the Tigers, with winger McInally scoring two tries. One was a lovely effort where he swooped on a Jacob Fauid kick to score out wide.
Not to be outdone by his fellow halves, Tyson scored his own try in the second half. Harking back to his days as a hooker, he took the ball from dummy half and strolled through a gap wider than the Sydney heads to score untouched.
For the Capras, Marco Delapena made some probing runs before going off injured with what looked to be a serious knee injury; while Brent Crisp showed off his years of experience with some lovely runs at the defensive line and on a number of occasions all he lacked were the support runners running the right line.
Rugged prop Peter Gallen was always prominent in the middle of the park and the Capras definitely lacked some go forward when he was off the field, but Marlon Doak was the Capras best on the day.
The Capras sole try came after a loose pass from McInally to Munster fell to the ground and was picked up by veteran Guy Williams, who sprinted down the field before linking with Welsh Dragon Rhys Williams to score in the corner.
Both sides will be looking for improvement next week as the Tigers face the daunting task of taking on the table topping Northern Pride, and the Capras take on the Souths Logan Magpies in Gladstone.
EASTS TIGERS 34 (Jarrod McInally 2, Donald Malone, Grant Giess, Felise Kaufusi, Liam Tyson tries; Donald Malone 5 goals) def CQ CAPRAS 4 (Rhys Williams try) at Browne Park.
1. Reece Baker 2. Ha'ofanga Rabakewa 3. Marco Delapena 4. Smith Samau 5. Rhys Williams 6. Brent Crisp 7. Marlon Doak 8. Arlin Paki 9. Theeran Pearson 10. Peter Gallen 11. Mitchell Zornig 12. Guy Williams 13. Gavin Hiscox (c) 14. Mark Johnstone 15. John Clayton 17. Matt Mizzi 21. Andrew Dale
1. Shane Neumann 2. Cameron Munster 3. Hymel Hunt 4. Donald Malone 5. Jarrod McInally 6. Jacob Fauid 7. Grant Giess 8. Steven Thorpe (c) 9. Tom Butterfield 10. Felise Kaufusi 11. Dane Hogan 12. Tim Glasby 13. Jacob Ling 14. Liam McDonald 18. Matt Zgrajewski 16. Christian Welch 17. Liam Tyson