The Easts Tigers put themselves back into Intrust Super Cup finals contention with a 44-10 win over the QCCS Mackay Cutters at BB Print Stadium tonight.
Already reeling from a heavy defeat one week ago, Mackay’s season slumped even further as Easts’ piled on nine tries to two, with wayward goal-kicking the only thing preventing the night from getting any worse for the hosts.
The alarm bells for a disastrous contest were ringing right from the outset for Mackay, as Marion Seve turned defence into attack in the blink of an eye, swooping onto an errant Mackay pass just metres out from his own line and racing the length of the field to open the scoring for the Tigers.
A perfect cross-field bomb kick had halfback Conor Carey flying high for the Tigers second try, snatching the ball from the grasp of a Mackay player to score on the right flank to continue Easts’ momentum.
Nicho Hynes kept the hosts in the contest for the time being as he latched onto a brilliant short ball and threaded through the Tigers defence to dot down under the posts, but his hard work was soon undone as Mackay spilled another cross-field kick; the ball deflecting down to Shane Neumann who scored in the left corner to extend Easts’ lead beyond a converted try.
Ill-discipline from the now frustrated hosts helped the Tigers to easy attacking field position, with simple catch-and-pass football seeing Carey strolling over untouched for his second try of the night, before Patrick Kaufusi steamrolled down the park and linked with Jarrod McInally to give Easts a clean 20-point buffer at halftime.
A pinpoint 40/20 kick got the Tigers rolling again to the start of the second half, capitalising with another simple display of catch-and-pass football that had McInally practically walking in to score his second try of the evening.
Linc Port burrowed his way under Mackay’s goal-line defence to score in the left corner, before slick ball movement and a shifty wraparound play had McInally sealing his personal hat trick of tries down the left edge.
Seve found himself doubling up on the scoresheet as he showed enough strength to break the weary tackle attempts from the exhausted hosts.
One final gasp of life from Mackay saw Bennett Leslie post consolation points adjacent the uprights just before fulltime, but the damage well and truly done as the Tigers left town with a crucial two competition points.
EASTS TIGERS 44 (Jarrod McInally 3, Marion Seve 2, Conor Carey 2, Shane Neumann, Linc Port tries; Billy Walters 4 goals) def MACKAY CUTTERS 10 (Nicho Hynes, Bennett Leslie tries; Nicho Hynes goal) at BB Print Stadium, Mackay.
*John Bartley is a QRL Correspondent covering the Mackay Cutters