Easts have won the first ever Intrust Super Cup match played in Blackall following come-from-behind 20-18 victory over Souths Logan on Saturday.
The Country Week initiative was an overwhelming success according to Easts’ coach Craig Ingebrigsten.
“The concept is terrific,” Ingebrigtsen said. “The Blackall community were incredibly welcoming. It was great just to be able to put smiles on some kids’ faces.”
The Tigers scored four tries to two and dominated the majority of the 80 minutes, however ill-discipline and sublime kicking from Magpies’ Scott Doyle (three penalties and two conversions) kept the Magpies in the game.
Ingebrigsten was delighted with his side’s ability to perform after a disorganised preparation. He also praised the leadership shown by the Tigers despite captain Dane Hogan being absent.
“We had to make five changes from the side named mid-week and had a lot of young guys playing,” Ingebrigsten said.
“I’m really happy with the young guys on debut and the desire shown from the entire group.
“Mahe Fonua really stood up and Matthew Zgrajewski played 75 minutes at prop – that’s just unheard of!”
Before a single tackle was made, Easts hit the front as Shane Neumann burst through a gaping hole in the Magpies defence to open the scoring after 40 seconds.
Easts’ attacking dominance continued throughout the first 20 minutes, however resolute defence from Souths saw off the threat.
Momentum began to shift 15 minutes from half-time in favour of the Magpies and they capitalised just after the half-hour mark.
Replacement forward Leon Panapa stormed his way through the Tigers’ defence before offloading to half-back Rhys Jacks who restored parity next to the uprights.
Six minutes later, Panapa again broke through the Easts’ line being stopped only metres from the try-line by Tigers’ fullback Donald Malone.
The following play led to the Magpies’ second try as quick hands created an overlap for Scott Doyle to score in the corner.
Doyle then capitalised on ill-discipline by the Tigers’ to kick two penalties in the final 60 seconds to give Souths Logan a 14-6 lead at halftime.
A penalty goal eight minutes after the break were the only second-half points for the Magpies.
Ten minutes later, Easts had almost eliminated the deficit with tries from Dwayne Craft and Brentt Warr.
A terrific solo-effort at first receiver from the stand-in half-back moved the score line to 18-16 with 20 minutes to play.
Easts dominated second half territory, spending a majority of time spent camped the Magpies’ half.
The sustained pressure eventually told as Brandon Downey scored the decisive four points seven minutes from full-time.
The win solidifies the Tigers’ position inside the top six, whilst condemning the Magpies to their fourth consecutive defeat.
EASTS TIGERS 20 (Shane Neumann, Brandon Downey, Brentt Warr, Dwayne Craft tries; Shaun Nona 2 goals) def SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 18 (Scott Doyle, Jack Joass tries; Scott Doyle 5 goals) at Blackall Showgrounds.
Easts Tigers: 1. Donald Malone 2. Richard Kennar 3. Shane Neumann 4. Mahe Fonua 5. Brandon Downey 6. Shaun Nona 19. Brentt Warr 8. Brenton Horwood 9. Tommy Butterfield 10. Tom Price 11. Dwayne Craft 12. Jake Foster 13. Troy Giess 14. Mathew Pitman 15. Matthew Zgrajewski 16. Jake Hargreaves 17. Billy Walters
Souths Logan Magpies: 2. Mitchell Hallinan 3. Scott Doyle 5. David Pritchard 6. Jack Joass 7. Rhys Jacks 8. Tikiko Noke 9. Travis Waddell 10. Andrew Edwards 11. Joe Boyce 12. Daniel Tamou 13. Phil Dennis (c) 14. Ben Thorburn 15. Aotealofa Tuimavave 16. Sam Gardel 17. Leon Panapa 18. Jack Anderson 1. Ihaka Watene