Tigers hold on to deny the Jets
The Intrust Super Cup’s XXXX Rivalry Round brought them together for clash number 42 with only one win separating them after all this time.
The Tigers were flying high after taking down the competition heavyweights in Townsville and Redcliffe; while Ipswich were waiting to give their season another kick with a win.
It only took five minutes for the Tigers to find the competition’s prolific try scorer Linc Port. On tackle four, the Jets gave the Tigers a penalty on their right hand side, and they took advantage through a good run from Dean Britt. They then went to the left-hand wing for Port to put the ball down despite the attention of several Jets in the corner.
Billy Walters missed the kick and the Tigers led 4-0.
The Jets then settled and for 18 minutes, there was no scoring.
However, in the 23rd minute, the Tigers spotted a tired Billy McConnachie defending his line after making three tackles in a row and experienced campaigner Tommy Butterfield took advantage and scored in his 100th game for the Tigers.
The Jets finally got on the board through Michael Purcell with his fifth try for 2017. The Jets had kept the ball alive looking for an opening and the Tigers got a hand to the ball and that was all Purcell needed to score under the posts. Wes Conlon converted to reduce the Tigers’ lead to 10-6.
Just before halftime Jets centre Nemani Valekapa scored try number 41 for the Jets off the back of great runs by Tyson Lofipo and Nat Neale. Conlon converted and the score at the break was 10-10.
The Tigers looked to be in for the first try of the second half when Gerard McCallum was over the line, but a great tackle from Nat Neale denied the Tigers.
However, Walters stepped up to have a big impact on the game and when the Jets dropped the ball and from the scrum, the Tigers went the short side with Walters getting over the line to put his side up 14-10.
McConnachie’s under-utilised kicking game came into play in the 52nd minute when he rolled one in for Conlon to score under the posts. He then converted his own try to have the Jets in front 16-14.
Easts then took the two on offer and Walters slotted the kick to draw scores level 16-16 with 15 minutes left in the game.
In a costly error, the Jets kicked out on the full and gave away a penalty to gift the Tigers prime field position and fullback McCullum scored to give the Tigers a lead of 22-16.
The Jets weren’t done with yet though; and with only seconds remaining in the game, Richard Pandia scored to give the Jets the chance to salvage a draw. However, the Conlon conversion attempt after the siren sailed wide of the posts and the Tigers had prevailed 22-20.
Next weekend, Ipswich will travel to Cairns to take on the Pride, while the Tigers will play Wynnum Manly.
EASTS TIGERS 22 (Linc Port, Tommy Butterfield, Billy Walters, Gerard McCallum tries; Billy Walters 3 goals) def IPSWICH JETS 20 (Michael Purcell, Nemani Valekapa, Wes Conlon, Richard Pandia tries; Wes Conlon 2 goals) at North Ipswich Reserve.