Coach's simple message pays off
Souths Logan did exactly what their coach Jon Buchanan asked of them in the halftime break at Suzuki Stadium, Langlands ParK; and in doing so, outscored the Easts Tigers 19-6 in the second half to record a 19-12 victory.
The Tigers scored the first try of the match when debutant James Salter sent the balling spinning to Billy Walters who dropped a lovely cut-out pass on to the chest of the ever-reliable Shane Neumann.
Neumann ran to the line and with a deft two-step shuffle was through the line and over to score. Adam Crear surprised everyone, except his team-mates, when he stepped up and calmly levelled the sideline conversion to take the score to 6-0.
Buchanan had a simple message to his troops at halftime: “Be patient, control the ruck and the result will come.”
His team responded with a try in the 48th minute when a Jamayne Isaako grubber bounced off the upright and Aotealofa Tuimavave was Johnny on the spot to ground the ball. Isaako, who was the best player on the field, slotted the first of what would be three goals on the day.
It was the Crear show in the 53rd minute. He ran a beautiful line on to a precision pass from Tommy Butterfield and was too big and fast for the Souths defence. He also slotted the conversion to complete the Tigers scoring for the day.
Easts were their own worst enemy with dropped ball, missed tackles and a poor completion rate leaving them a big hill to climb. Conversely, the Magpies improved their performance noticeably in the second stanza and reaped the rewards.
The Magpies scored in the 68th minute when Isaako was at it again. He cut back against the sliding Tigers’ defence and found a gap with centre Conor Carey sliding and the inside defender moving up too fast. He scored behind the sticks and slotted the goal to level the score at 12-12.
The scores may have been level, but the momentum was flowing all one way. The Souths pack were making plenty of metres with ball in hand were and, almost at will, setting up the second-phase play they are becoming known for.
It was Rhys Melville and the seemingly ageless Phil Dennis bending the Tigers defence, before Joe Boyce got on the end of a Tevita Pangai offload to crash over beside the posts and seal the win.
Matt Minto calmly slotted a 72nd minute field goal to round out the scoring for the day.
For the Magpies Isaako was the best on the field, while Connor Toia regularly tested the Tigers with his high and well-placed bombs. Pangai was their best forward.
In a day of few highlights for the Tigers, Walters tried hard, Crear was as dangerous as any and James Salter made a respectable showing in his first Intrust Super Cup outing.
The Magpies return home to Davies Park next weekend to welcome the Burleigh Bears while the Tigers make the trip to Cairns to take on the Pride.
SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 19 (Aotealofa Tuimavave, Jamayne Isaako, Joe Boyce tries; Jamayne Isaako 3 goals; Matthew Minto field goal) def EASTS TIGERS 12 (Shane Neumann, Adam Crear tries; Adam Crear 2 goals) at Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park.