The Easts Tigers put on a strong performance against fellow finals bound outfit the Souths Logan Magpies; accounting for them 46-10 at Davies Park yesterday.
It was the second week in a row the Tigers were able to run 40 points past their opposition; last weekend it was against the Tweed Heads Seagulls.
Easts flew out of the gates early with Mark Nicholls crashing over one off the ruck in the third minute. Billy Walters made kicking look easy as he landed the first of his seven conversions of the day.
All the early possession went to the Tigers, with their forwards dominating a Souths pack. They were clearly missing Herman Ese’ese who was away on Broncos duty and had a number of young forwards step up into the Cup side to face a tough initiation.
The Magpies were made to do a mountain of defence, but twice denied the Tigers before the dam wall finally burst when Linc Port joined in as the extra man on the right edge to create space for Young Tonumaipe’a to score.
Souths defended stoutly, keeping the Tigers at bay as best they could. They gave their supporters something to cheer about in the 20th minute when Jaydn Su’A held the ball up and threw a lovely cut-out pass for Luke Archer to score in the corner.
However, the Tigers were next to score in the 31st minute, with the Melbourne connection coming to the fore. Tonumaipe’a came into midfield looking for work and, with a sharp pass, found Robbie Rochow who drew the opposition fullback before freeing an unmarked Brodie Croft to score.
At that stage, the Tigers were leading 16-4, but Souths were attacking and looking dangerous.
However, when it’s not your day, it’s not your day. They coughed the ball up 20 metres from the Tigers line, only for Tonumaipe’a to scoop it up and streak 80m to score under the posts as the siren sounded. Walters slotted the conversion and the Tigers went to the break 22-4.
The second half was essentially a carbon copy of the first, with Easts scoring early (Shane Neumann in the 46th minute) before debutant Sale Finau (51st minute) made his mark. Jarrod McInally crossed four minutes later to push out their lead.
Souths, though clearly tired from so much defensive work, never stop trying and in the 70th minute were rewarded with a try to Su’A that came from a well-worked set play off Phil Dennis.
On a day when they dominated, it was only fitting for the Tigers to have the final say and they did when Croft strolled 40m to score after running a perfect inside-out line with blistering pace.
For the Tigers, the game was a victory for the process; they rolled through their sets, completed well, took the chances they created and denied their opposition many chances. Souths however will rue 18 points they conceded in long-range tries off errors.
Tonumaipe’a thoroughly deserved his XXXX Man of the Match award and was ably assisted by Port and Croft. Travis Waddell and Jamayne Isaako were Souths best along with Brendon Gibb.
The Tigers enjoy next weekend off as they prepare for their final round encounter against Burleigh while Souths will be looking to get their finals campaign back on track when they host the Capras.
EASTS TIGERS 46 (Young Tonumaipe’a 2, Brodie Croft 2, Mark Nicholls, Shane Neumann, Sale Finau, Jarrod McInally tries; Billy Walters 7 goals) def SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 10 (Luke Archer, Jayden Su’A tries; Jamayne Isaako goal) at Davies Park.