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Tigers celebrate big win over Central Queensland Capras

Easts Tigers started their season strongly, with a second half onslaught seeing them run out 44-4 winners against the CQ Capras at Totally Workwear Stadium this afternoon.

The Capras were desperate to put their 2019 season behind them and start well this year when they took on a talented Easts Tigers side who will be looking to go a step further this season after they were knocked out in week two of the finals last year.

With the Capras side looking significantly different from the team that ran out for Round 1 last season, it was hoped that the changes would bring a change of fortune for the Rockhampton based side.

For the Tigers however, with another finals appearance in sight this year, it was a case of starting the year off with a bang under new head coach Craig Hodges.

The Tigers opened the scoring with winger Curtis Dansey Smaller scoring his sixth career try in the sixth minute, while Aaron Booth missed his first conversion attempt, giving the Tigers a 4-0 lead.

The Capras were quick to respond five minutes later however, as Maika Tudravu’s try made it 4-4 with Treymaine Brown’s conversion attempt also unsuccessful.

A tight contest ensued, and it was Dansey Smaller’s second try of the afternoon that would break the deadlock, giving Easts a narrow four-point lead with Booth’s second conversion attempt waved away.

Neither side could add to their total before half-time, with the Capras only trailing 8-4 at the break.

Going up for the kick. Photo: Mel Tabet / QRL
Going up for the kick. Photo: Mel Tabet / QRL

Like they have done so many times before, the Tigers came out of the sheds firing, with Jack Peoples wasting no time and scoring in the second minute of the half, with Booth’s conversion extending his side’s lead to 14-4.

It would then prove to be the beginning of a Tigers onslaught, as second rower Bill Cullen crashed over, making it 18-4, with Booth was successful with his conversion attempt, extending the Tigers lead to 20-4.

The floodgates then began to open as the Tigers put the Capras to the sword, with Ryley Jacks and Jack Svendsen both scoring to extend the lead to 32-4.

Dray Ngatuere-Wroe was the next to add his name to the try scorers list, when he scored in the 70th minute to make it 38-4, with Caleb Daunt’s first conversion attempt successful.

The Tigers then added one more try to their tally when centre Sam Collins scored just before fulltime in the 77th minute to make it 44-4, as Daunt nailed his second conversion.

Easts Tigers coach Craig Hodges lauded his team's ability to turn it around in the second half and to play more disciplined and controlled football. 

“I was a little disappointed with the first half, not because of the points, but I just thought we were a little impatient and sideways,” Hodges said.

“To the players credit, they adjusted that at half-time and settled into the game pretty quickly in the second half.”

Hodges credited the whole team’s ability to put the Capras under pressure in the second half, but was especially happy with the forwards contribution to the match.

“I think our forward were really strong, they rolled through and laid a platform. Even when we made our rotations, the whole group performed tonight,” Hodges said.

Looking forward to next week’s clash against Redcliffe, Hodges was keen to improvement on the team’s performance against the Capras.

“We wanted to focus on what we intended on doing in the first half, which was to set a platform through the middle third of the field…in the second half we made a commitment to be a little more patient and not push the pass” Hodges said.

“There is plenty for us to work on and improve to keep getting better.”

Meanwhile, the Capras will be looking to bounce back against the Ipswich Jets at Browne Park.