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Tigers snatch late victory against gutsy Magpies

In Round 15, Brisbane Tigers were looking for two wins in a row after coming back against Northern Pride last week while Souths Logan Magpies were looking to turn things around after last week’s big loss to Townsville.

When you get beaten 72-0 questions are raised, and the only people who can provide the insight and answers are the players involved.

The Magpies did their best to respond in this game from the kick-off when they forced a Tigers mistake and from that turnover; a nice kick from Tristan Sailor brought the Tigers up and turned them around, finding an enthusiastic chase from Cole Waaka to score his second try for the Magpies.

It was the positive start the team would have dreamt about all week and they kept it going early, with five-eighth Harradyn Wilson going to Sailor who looped it over to an unmarked Jack Smith scored in the corner.

At 8-0 the Magpies were singing, but the Tigers got back into the game through Jayden Nikorima.

After a dash from dummy half that got the Tigers some set momentum - and a run from Dan Russell that took the Tigers in the area of the field where they could execute an attacking kick - Nikorima placed it down in the in-goal and Souths Logan came up with a fumble that was dived on from Bernard Gregorius.

The Tigers liked what they did, so they repeated it again when they next went down there, and a great run from Bennett Leslie got the Tigers pointing in the right direction and hooker Haele Finau dove over for the Tigers to take the lead after 25 minutes.

It was a big day for the Finau family, with Sione Finau on debut for the Tigers and Haele scoring a great try.

However, the Magpies showed their first and Sailor showed great reaction time when his side appeared to be in disarray, but their attack flourished under the confusion, with Sailor rolling it through for Fe'ao Maka to score.

The try right on halftime to take the lead again would have pleased the Magpies, but the same try right on halftime to lose the lead meant it was now the Tigers seeking answers.

The Tigers went further on the back foot when the Magpies scored in the first minute after the break.

The Magpies were on their way to turning things around when Waaka went in for his second try nearly untouched in the 41st minute to put the Magpies up 18-10.

Russell was putting the orange in the orange-and-black of the Tigers when they came right through the hands and found long striding Kumul who stepped back inside to score and get the Tigers back to within two points of the Magpies.

Then a scrum.

The Tigers had more metres to cover than seconds left in the game when they packed a centre scrum 90 metres from home. When the ball came out of the scrum, the Tigers were staring down the length of the field and 20 seconds to get the job done.

Enter fullback Tony Pellow and Nikorima.

Pellow split the Magpies down the right and kicked in-field with for a flying Nikorima to give the Tigers a dramatic 22-18 win.

The Magpies hadn’t scored after the 41st minute and the Tigers had finished with two tries in the last 20 minutes.

Tigers hooker Finau scored a try and watched his brother Sione debut for the Tigers.

“We knew this wasn’t anything we hadn’t done before, we just kept coming through the middle today,” Finau said.

“We came back last week and now this week.

“We have a real faith in our players and Tony Pellow and Jayden Nikorima got the ball and did their thing.

“It was really proud family moment to watch Sione debut, our parents came down from Melbourne and it was very emotional moment.

“I scored a try too so that was a big moment.”

Next week, the Tigers will play the Hunters in Cunnamulla.

The Magpies travel to Thursday Island to play Northern Pride.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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