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Pictured: Tigers coach Craig Ingebrigtsen at the 2014 grand final press conference.

HAS Craig Ingebrigtsen been studying Des “mad scientist” Hasler?

Ingebrigtsen, a known Bulldogs tragic, has succeeded in piloting his Tigers team under the radar this season.

Easts have made successive grand finals. They should have won the 2013 grand final, but lost to a star-studded Mackay Cutters side that featured Jason Taumalolo and Michael Morgan.

They were always up against it last year against a dominant Northern Pride and they entered the decider with several players carrying injuries and requiring needles to play.

This year, Ingebrigtsen has told anyone who will listen that a premiership is probably out of their reach.

Last week, on the eve of their elimination final against Wynnum Manly he spoke about how his side was “tired”, “out of gas”, “busted” and needing to draw on every ounce of strength they had just to be competitive against the Seagulls.

What happened? They led 20-0 in the first half.

This is not a side out of gas, this is a side that has mimicked the best of the Canterbury Bulldogs mantra and kept their best hidden for most of the season.

Hasler prefers to have an up-and-down season, content to make the finals as a team no one is talking about and then shock sides with a much greater intensity and new set plays in the finals.

Last year, they finished seventh, went down to Melbourne and eliminated the Storm from the finals.

The Tigers followed a similar path in their impressive win over Wynnum Manly at Kougari.

Do not make the mistake I did and take Ingebrigtsen’s words too seriously. This Tigers team are a premiership threat.


IT IS a shame that we will lose the Walker brothers to the NRL soon.

The Jets win over Northern Pride on Sunday was the best advertisement the competition has had all year.

The Jets are the most fascinating team in rugby league and their incredible tries last week broadcast to a huge Channel 9 audience will ensure even more people watch this Sunday match against the Tigers.


HOW classy is retiring Pride centre Brett Anderson.

Interviewed just minutes after a heartbreaking defeat, Anderson thanked the Jets and said he hoped they won the competition. Anderson leaves after a glittering career in the Intrust Super Cup and was always an underrated player.


SURELY, an NRL club will sign Rod Griffin next season when the interchanges are reduced.

Read these numbers courtesy of Jets statistician Michael Nunn.

In 66 minutes, Griffin made: 21 hit ups, 308 metres, three offloads, 26 tackles and zero misses.

He is an 80-minute forward who can save an NRL team two interchanges next year.

Blake Leary, an underrated forward from the Pride, has been one of the Manly Sea Eagles best this season.

Griffin could provide the same impact for an NRL club.