Easts Tigers had a mixed 2019 Intrust Super Cup season. The team, led by coach Scott Sipple, proved again and again to be a handful on the field, but inconsistent form meant they did not scale the heights they did in 2018.
With the 2019 Intrust Super Cup season having drawn to a close, we take a look back through the year that was for all 14 clubs to see what went right, what went wrong, and what the clubs may focus on heading into the 2020 season.
The 2019 Year in Review series continues with the Tigers.
The season by the numbers
Final position on the ladder
- Won: 10
- Drawn: 1
- Lost: 12
Home and away record
- Home: 6-5
- Away: 4-7
- Scored: 478
- Conceded: 541
- For and against: -63
Players in focus
Sam Lavea was the standout performer for the Tigers in 2019. The prop, who took his game to the next level this year, was reliable and provided the grunt from the front. His consistent high work rate meant he put the Tigers on the front foot whenever he was on the field.
Tackle breaks: 67
Tackle efficiency: 88.4 per cent
Average run metres: 92.6 metres
Notable player achievements and milestones
- Sam Lavea - Tigers Players' Player and Best and Fairest
- Brett Greinke - XXXX Queensland Residents and Tigers Best Forward
- Jarrod McInally - Tigers Best Back
- Tom Hughes - Tigers Top Try Scorer
- Aaron Booth - Tigers Top Points Scorer
- Jack Walters - Tigers Most Improved
- Heath Wilson - Tigers Rookie of the Year
- Chris Ostwald - Tigers Loth Medal
- Billy Walters - NRL debut for Melbourne Storm and signed with Wests Tigers
- Pat Kaufusi - signed by St George Illawarra Dragons
- Scott Drinkwater - signed with North Queensland Cowboys
- Shane Neumann - 200 Intrust Super Cup games
- Marion Seve - Samoa debut
Key factor to season result
The Tigers, led by coach Scott Sipple, proved to be a handful on the field for most teams, but inconsistent form meant they did not scale the heights they did in 2018. Injuries to key players, including Albert Vete, Jake Foster, Aaron Booth and Josh Ralph, and mid-season departures - Scott Drinkwater to the Cowboys and Pat Kaufusi to the Dragons - made life difficult for the Tigers. And an inability to field a consistent halves combination, with injuries and Billy Walters being in and out of the Storm squad, also contributed to inconsistency across the park. Despite the inconsistency, Tigers made the finals and were real contenders, beating Norths Devils during the first week of finals but falling to minor premiers Sunshine Coast Falcons during the second.
Looking ahead to 2020
The Tigers have already made some big moves to improve in 2020, with a few big signings and a new coach. The Tigers will be under the guidance of Craig Hodges from the Gold Coast Titans and he will be looking to make his mark on the competition.
Following the losses of skipper Jake Foster, Shane Neumann and Jarrod McInally to retirement, Tigers have added Michael Purcell from Ipswich Jets, Linc Port and 2019 grand finalist with Wynnum Manly Seagulls Jayden Berrell to the ranks. All of them will no doubt bring some wow factor to the team.