The Easts Tigers got a desperately-needed on Sunday as they defeated traditional rivals the Souths Logan Magpies 38-32 in a scrappy local derby at Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park.
Coming off two losses and heading into the representative round and their bye, the Tigers badly needed the win; while the Magpies also needed the points to keep in touch with the top half of the table.
The first half was a scrappy affair that Souths had the better of, as the teams went try for try.
Jack Joass opened the scoring in the seventh minute off a lovely pass from Sam Scarlett, who was one of the Magpies best on the day.
Ben Jackson converted to give them the early 6-0 lead, but Tiger Billy Walters then swooped on a textbook kick into the in-goal by Brentt Warr to get on the board. Walters converted his try to make it 6-6.
Magpies skipper Phil Dennis responded for his side as he put Daniel Tamou into a gaping hole in the Tigers right side defence and Jackson converted for 12-6. Soon after, it tied up again as Warr hoisted a clever kick high into the sun which was too much for the Magpies. Dane Chang scooped up the loose ball to score and Walters converted.
Scarlett and Dennis then combined to exploit the same hole on the Tigers right edge and put Tamou over for try number two. Jackson converted the try and then he and Walters traded penalties to take the half time score to 20-14.
Souths Logan opened the second half as they had finished the first with an Easts error giving them possession 20m from the Tigers line.
A one-on-one missed tackle allowed Scarlett to score on the left, Jackson converted and the lead was out to 26-14. Looking back, the Magpies will be bitterly disappointed they were not able to maintain that lead and hold on for the win.
Easts had been their own worst enemy in the first half with plenty of penalties and dropped ball. Coach Scott Sipple’s half time message to his troops was simple – hold the ball, keep it in the middle of the field and let the forwards do their work. They responded in style with Matt White, Mat Pitman and Luke Lavelle all contributing hugely.
A White run drew four defenders too him and created chaos in the defence which allowed the opportunity for Tommy Butterfield to crash over off a Warr grubber.
In the very next set, the Tigers went 100m with Warr swooping on another dropped kick by the Magpies. Walters converted both tries and suddenly the scores were locked at 26-26 with 20 minutes to go.
Once they had the momentum, the Tigers – who had really only been hanging in the game up to this point – took complete control.
Walters (66th minute) and Butterfield (70th minute) each scored their second tries and Walters kept slotting the goals to take them to their final score of 38 points.
The Magpies chipped in with a late try to Dan Russell in the 76th minute, but was a case of too little too late.
For the Tigers Warr, Pitman, Lavelle and White led the charge, while for the Magpies it was Scarlett, Dennis, Leon Panapa and Tevita Pangai.
The Tigers will welcome their extended break as opportunity to get some of their many injured players back on the field.
They will be especially keen to get centre Shane Neumann back to sure up their defence out wide before the trek to North Ipswich Reserve in Round 11.
Next week, the Magpies face another tough away game as they head to Bishop Park to take on the Devils.
EASTS TIGERS 38 (Tommy Butterfield 2, Billy Walters 2, Dane Chang, Brentt Warr tries; Billy Walters 7 goals) def SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 32 (Dan Tamou 2, Jack Joass, Samuel Scarlett, Dan Russell tries; Benjamin Jackson 5, Jack Joass goals) at Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park.
Read all the Round 9 match wraps here: