The Tigers have revived their In Safe Hands Cup finals chances with a big win over the defending champions in Round 11.
They have spent the majority of the season on the bottom of the ladder, but after putting 60 points on the magpies in Round 10, they went back-to-back with a convincing 38-12 win over the Diehards on Sunday afternoon.
For the first 13 minutes it was dog fight between two brutal packs until Intrust Super Cup player Brayden Torpy showed his class, taking the ball to the defensive before a nifty short ball to a rampaging Jack Anderson who went over for the Tigers.
The arm wrestle continued until Torpy again created space, putting Connor Jones through a gap on the right side. Jones had the wheels to go all the way but decided to turn the ball back to the flying Brandon Downey who went over untouched under the cross bar.
With minutes remaining before half time, Easts were in again after some slick passing from right to left found Harry Pondekas, extending the lead to 18-0 at the break.
Valleys needed to score first in the second half to mount a challenge, but it wasn't to be as the Tigers went on with the job in the second half.
Jones made another long break, and while he was cut down, the Diehards were reduced to 12 men following a professional foul on their tryline.
The Tigers went for the throat instead of the uprights with the resulting penalty and James Salter delivered with a dart from dummy half, stretching the lead to 22-0.
Easts took advantage again of the depleted Diehards as Leon Ellia-Nuikore crossed and halfback Josh Ralph, who had a hand in most of the Tigers tries, backed himself and went solo to register another four points.
Jones also decided to go on his own and crossed out to the right side untouched as Easts turned Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park into a Tigerland Colosseum feasting on the withering Diehards defence.
Finally, after 69 minutes, some joy for the premiers as fullback Kegan Tuhega muscled his way over with three defenders on his back.
As he does every game, Diehards skipper Liam Herrington never stopped competing. He managed somehow to get an offload close to the line to prop Stephen Coombe who scored to bring some more respectability to the scoreboard.
In the end the Tigers were far too strong on the day, winning 38-12 and with big wins in back-to-back weeks find themselves just three points adrift of the top four.
Elsewhere, the Panthers defeated the Seagulls 26-18 to hold their place atop the competition ladder, while Redcliffe's 44-28 win over the Magpies extends their unbeaten run to six.
In Safe Hands Cup Round 11 Results
Panthers 26 (Sam Collins, James Olds, Gavin Causer, Adam Harris, Che Marion-Faalafi tries; Kane Zalewski 3 goals) defeated Seagulls 18 (Jack Goodsell, Jacob Tonge, Matt Milson tries; John Te Reo 3 goals)
Tigers 38 (Brandon Downey, Connor Jones, Joshua Ralph, Jack Anderson, Harry Pondekas, James Salter, Leon Ellia-Nuikore tries; Brayden Torpy 5 goals defeated Diehards 12 (Kegan Tuhega, Stephen Coombe tries; Brett Doherty 2 goals).
Dolphins 44 (Jedidiah Simbiken 2, Rinsma Saueha, Josh Fauid, Dwight Saueha, Michael Walit, Agassi Stowers, Jordan Pinnock tries; Reece Brawn 6 goals) defeated Magpies 28 (Jarvan White 2, Cameron Booth, Justin Fai, Cody McIntosh tries; Tanah Boyd a goal, Brad Frith 3 goals)
|In Safe Hands Cup Ladder|
* John Devine is a QRL correspondent covering the BRL A Grade