West Brisbane remain atop of the In Safe Hands Cup ladder after winning an absorbing encounter against the Tigers, 18-10 at Langlands Park.
Easts had strung four wins together on the back of some outstanding defence, giving up just 24 points while scoring 154; but Sunday’s loss means they remain in equal third place on 28 competition points.
A ‘warm’ welcome was on offer for former Tiger Tommy Butterfield as he led the Panthers out on to Langlands Park.
His co-captain, Foisa Peni, was also a regular at Langlands over the past few seasons and it was both those players who led to the first try after 11 minutes.
Peni barged his way over the 30-metre line before an elegant offload allowed Shane Pumipi to roll further up the turf.
After a quick play-the-ball five metres out, Butterfield fed fellow half Joe Bond who in turn fed it to right centre Khan Ahwang to step off his right foot and score the first points. A penalty goal 10 minutes later extended the lead to 8-0.
With eight minutes remaining in the first half, Butterfield threw a superb dummy that led him through the Tigers defence before turning the ball back inside for Kyle Van Klaveren to score under the posts and take the Panthers lead out to 14-0 at halftime.
The Tigers returned to their home turf looking to score first points in the second half and it didn’t take long.
Lachlan Barr was in no mood for pleasantries as he wreaked havoc up the middle and threw a dummy that had the stiches fall out of the Steeden.
The big man then tried to march over the tackle of Van Klaveren, but the fullback hung on. A quick play-the-ball and some quick hands allowed Jaiyden Hunt to find a gap out wide for Easts’ first points.
Barr was a human wrecking ball and had a few litres left in the tank. That was all he needed as he bashed his way over the line 11 minutes later and with the conversion the Tigers were back within four points.
Both heavyweights then stood toe-to-toe looking for a way through. Finally, it came as the Panthers went wide with a lovely ball from Eddie Tautali to Campbell Mohr to score what would prove to be the match-winner in the corner.
Meanwhile, last year’s minor premiers the Redcliffe Dolphins continue to walk the tightrope to the finals of the In Safe Hands Cup after a strong win over the Wynnum Manly Seagulls.
The Seagulls led 10-0 after 20 minutes, but the Dolphins, with their season on the line, found a way to swing momentum in their favour for a vital 42-22 win.
Finally, the Diehards returned to the winner’s circle after demolishing the Magpies in a nine try to three victory, 52-18.
The win keeps Valleys in outright second place while Souths Logan have been joined by the Dolphins at the bottom of the table on 22 points, still three wins outside the top four.
In Safe Hands Cup Round 14 results
Redcliffe Dolphins 42 (Will Partridge 2, Tevita Mapapalangi, Fabien Palatua - Kiri, Faitotoa Faitotoa, Oscar Carter, Bryce Donavan tries; Oscar Carter 7 goals) defeated Wynnum Manly Seagulls 22 (Mitch McMillian, Harlan Collins, Edwin Ipape, Reece McKenzie - O’ Brien tries; Tristan Hope 3 goals)
Wests Brisbane Panthers 18 (Kyle Van Klaveren, Campbell Mohr, Khan Ahwang tries; Khan Awang 3 goals) defeated Easts Tigers 10 (Jaiyden Hunt, Lachlan Barr tries; Brandon Downey goal)
Valleys Diehards 52 (Kobe Hetherington 2, Dylan Tavita 2, Bodie Baker, Joe Bradley, Jacob Kelly, Simon Brittain – Snowden, David Fauid tries; Luke Archer 8 goals) defeated Souths Logan Magpies 18 (Lenny Magey, Phil Dennis, Kobe Tararo tries; Haydyn O’Hara 3 goals)
|1||Wests Brisbane Panthers||78||36|
|4||Wynnum Manly Seagulls||-6||28|
|6||Souths Logan Magpies||-147||22|