Easts Tigers have broken their five-game losing streak by upsetting the white-hot Valleys Diehards 28-26 in Round 8 of the In Safe Hands Cup.
Tigers coach Jason Di Lizio seemed composed prior to kick off, but was surely harbouring a flock of busy butterflies in the belly as his troops were staring down a sixth straight loss when they marched on to Emerson Park.
After the traditional opening ten minutes of solid contact, the Tigers were first to post a four-pointer when Jack Peoples barged over on the right edge.
Valleys hit back four minutes later as some clever footwork from half Dylan Tavita had him waltz over to open the home side’s account.
It was tit-for-tat as Easts replied when an unmarked Connor Jones scored on the left side to break the deadlock with 20 minutes gone.
Some quick hands to the right side started by Chris Otswald and the Tigers had back-to-back tries with right winger Keenan Yorsten touching down.
Easts led 16-6 with eight remaining in the first half and when Valleys went in search of points, showing their catch and pass skills to send Fruen Easthope into the clubhouse corner.
Luke Archer followed that try up with a beautiful sideline conversion, then blew a kiss to his legion of besotted fans on the sideline.
With the halftime bell sounding, Valleys went hot potato. After a Brittan-Snowden chip was allowed to bounce, the Diehards regathered and what followed had the football going from one side of Emerson Park to the other via six sets of hands. Eventually it was finished off by left centre Jack Paterson, bringing the scores level as they went to the sheds.
Valleys produced another try eight minutes after oranges through a thunderous run from bench player Miller Leilua.
The Tigers threw a wall of cats at the big fellow but he wasn’t to be denied, putting Valleys ahead by a converted try.
Momentum continued to swing, as Easts hooker Otswald called on one of the Tigers biggest humans in Lachlan Barr to charge over and bring the scores to 22-22.
Valleys centre Paterson scored his second in the left corner to put the Diehards in front by four, but the Tigers had one last twist.
With less than two minutes remaining, Justin Fai took on the Diehards pack all on his own, carrying four of them over the line with him next to the posts.
The conversion was successful and the Di Lizio’s butterflies had been put to sleep, as Easts secured their third win of the season and Valleys their third loss.
Earlier in the day, Souths Logan headed to Civic Park at Logan to prove their Round 7 win was no fluke, as they piled on another 42 points to hand Redcliffe their sixth loss.
Jacob Tonge’s incredible form continued, as he crossed for five tries to go with his four meat pies last week.
Later on Saturday afternoon, the Panthers produced a near flawless second half to run down the Seagulls and claim top spot on the ladder with a 32-24 win.
In Safe Hands Cup Round 8 results
Magpies 42 (Jacob Tonge 5, Josateki Lalagavesi, Lenny Magey, Tommy Sau tries; Hayden O’Hara goal, Josh Bowyer 4 goals) def Dolphins 34 (Will Lousick, Justice Utatao, Harrison Smith, Taylor Brown, Ben King, Tevita Mapapalangi tries; Harrison Smith 5 goals)
Tigers 28 (Connor Jones, Keenan Yorston, Justin Fai, Jack Peoples, Lachlan Barr tries; Nathan Brown 2 goals, Matthew Ruthenberg 2 goals) def Diehards 26 (Jack Paterson 2, Fruen Easthope, Dylan Tavita, Miller Leilua tries; Ethan Richards goal, Luke Archer 2 goals)
Panthers 32 (Eddie Tautali 3, Campbell Mohr, Wayne Kennedy, Khan Awang tries, Kyle Van Klaveren goal, Khan Awang goal, James Olds 2 goals) def Seagulls 24 (Edwin Ipape 2, Matt Milson, Jacob Paulo tries; Tristan Hope 4 goals)
|1||West Brisbane Panthers||14||20|
|3||Wynnum Manly Seagulls||30||18|
|5||Souths Logan Magpies||-57||14|