Easts Springwood remain top of the table in the Rugby League Brisbane Men’s Open 3 Southside competition, with a 36-10 win over Beaudesert Kingfishers played at Tallowood Park at the weekend.
Led by inspirational captain Khanui Cox, the Tigers showed why they are undefeated in 2023, sending an ominous warning to other clubs that they are premiership hungry.
The Tigers hit the ground running, crossing in the fourth minute of play after a Kingfishers dropped ball had the home side off to a flying start.
However, the Kingfishers did not turn up to come off second best and their defensive effort early on was superb.
But with inspirational Tigers captain Cox rallying his troops, the powerfully built five eighth almost single-handedly destroyed any hopes of an upset.
Cox would be the catalyst in Springwoods next try, throwing a superb cut out pass to Kuata Matini who dived over under the sticks.
A late tackle in goal would gift the Tigers an eight-point try opportunity and Cox made no mistake with the two easy conversions to see the home side stretch out to a 14-0 lead.
After the early onslaught by the Tigers, Beaudesert shook off the cobwebs and crossed for a great try of their own.
Joel Nilon’s dash from dummy half saw the lock forward scamper his way to the line crashing over in the corner in the 33rd minute.
Cox’s vision in Springwood's next try right on halftime was immense.
The New Zealander's beautifully timed cut out pass found his prop Kurt Sparey, who was too strong for the Kingfishers and crashed his way over beside the sticks to see the Tigers go in leading 20-4 at the break.
With the resumption of the second half under way, Beaudesert came out all guns blazing early on with a new spring in their step.
However, it did not take long for the Tigers to score again when in the 39th minute of play winger Luke Allsopp latched onto a bullet-like pass to sneak in and cross out wide.
Any suggestion that the Kingfishers were done and dusted, were off the mark.
Jayden Fairhead’s enthusiasm off the bench ensured the Kingfishers were not going down without a fight when in the 51st minute he crossed beside the sticks.
At 24-10, the Tigers could not afford to take the foot off the pedal and man of the moment Cox again showed why he is one of the standout players in this competition, crossing in the 57th minute for a well-earned solo try.
A late rally from the Kingfishers brilliant five eighth Toby Campbell could have seen the visitors cross yet again, however superb cover defence by Tigers fullback De-Shaun Lifu Bray ended any hopes of Beaudesert making a final charge.
Cox would set up the last Springwood try of the match sending yet another cut out pass to winger Allsopp.
The winger made no mistake crossing for his second of the afternoon and rounding off what was a fantastic game of rugby league.
The Kingfishers face a tough ask if they are to bounce back this weekend on their home turf against a strong North Stradbroke Island side, while Easts Springwood are back home hosting Greenbank.