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Round 8 Saturday wrap: Young Tigers lift against Cutters to secure draw

Brisbane Tigers came out firing in their clash with the top-of-the-table Mackay Cutters, but a stellar second half from the Cutters - led by captain Jasmine Peters - saw the game finish in a 22-22 draw.

Peters, captain for the first time in the absence of Tahlulah Tillett, said she had a responsibility as part of the leadership group to know her role and do her role on the field.

"I think that's all expect from my teammates and myself... to get our there and do my job," Peters said.

And that's exactly what she did, bagging a quick double early in the second half after the Tigers led 12-0 at half-time.

"Being captain... it is exciting, especially when it's a home game and I am a local girl from Mackay... I do wear it as a badge of honour... but I want to do my job first and captaincy comes second... if I do my job, that's leading the group," Peters said.

"We started slow... we didn't stick to our game plan... but when we came out, all I asked the girls to do was bring the energy, stay to our game plan and go through the middle because that's where we would win the game. 

"I'm proud of our efforts... I know it was a draw but coming back 22 points in the second half was a big ask of the girls and they did it."

Peters said she was impressed with lock Lillian Yarrow, Paityne Johns and prop Lyrech Mara. 

"Lillian Yarrow, she's come back from a year of ACL rehab... I'm really proud of her coming in, this is her first game of BMD back for the year... she came in, she brought the energy," Peters said.

Lillian Yarrow. Photo: Jacob Grams/QRL
Lillian Yarrow. Photo: Jacob Grams/QRL

"Paityne Johns, another local girl, debutant from our 19s graduating to our BMD squad... she came out, she brought energy, she is very quick off the mark... I actually used to do athletics with her... the girls who came into the squad, they stepped in and it was like they hadn't missed a thing, like they were here the whole time. 

"Also, Lyrech Mara... she came in, did her job and stopped them in their tracks, brought energy going forward, brought metres and post-contact metres."

Peters said she was confident the Cutters would "pick up momentum" going into the final round of the regular season.

"It's the last week we can sort all of our niggles out going into finals," Peters said.

"We've got momentum going in... we know where we need to be and what we need to fix, what works and what doesn't, now we're in the later half of the season, going into finals, if we do everything we ask ourselves to do, and ask ourselves 'what can I do exceptionally well for my teammates? For my team to win?' I think we will get there."

Tigers coach Paul Nieuwenhuyzen said he was proud of his side's effort against the top BMD Premiership side.

"Top side, so got to be happy with that... very proud of the effort... we've been proud of them every week... every week, their effort is good," Nieuwenhuyzen said.

"The Cutters are the top side for a reason. Obviously they've got depth. We've still got a young side... we're probably just not quite there yet with some of our decisions.

"(India Seeto), our No.7, it was her second game... No.8, Alice Shannon, it was only her second game as well, and Tiresa Elika was a debutant... they were fantastic... the future looks bright.

"It's still a bit frustrating for draw of the year but we're growing, we're developing... it's all part of learning. We'll get there."

Nieuwenhuyzen said the first half was on indication of what his side could do.

"We just held the ball... that's what we concentrated on during the week... bit more possession... that's what cost us against Souths last week," Nieuwenhuyzen said.

"Held onto it and completed and gave ourselves a chance. Obviously we were 12-0 up at half-time. Stuck to our game plan, finally, but those two tries after half-time... we knew they were going to come out hard but two lapses in concentration and they'll punish you.

"Jas Peters, she was captain today so it's an honour for her... she lifted, leading by example in that second half... those two quick tries.

"They're top of the ladder for a reason and not too many other sides have taken a point off them so we'll take that. We've got Burleigh next week without their Origin players and so we'll try and aim for a good finish to the year.

"We'll be better for it next year. We haven't had a big score put on us all year and we'll certainly be aiming to make sure that doesn't happen next week and hopefully knock Burleigh off.

"We've actually come a long way this year. We've never beaten Wynnum, Mackay or Gold Stars when they were in but we beat Wynnum, draw today, draw against Clydesdales, so we should be pretty happy with our year. Just frustrating that a (if we turned) a couple of the draws into wins and we're playing semi-finals.

"We'll learn from it for next year, build and come back."

Western Clydesdales and Norths Devils went into their game as two and three on the ladder; Devils five-eighth Georgia Hannaway had a blinder in Toowoomba, scoring four of her side's five tries to claim the two points.

Devils captain Jada Ferguson. Photo: Benny Hassam/Western Clydesdales
Devils captain Jada Ferguson. Photo: Benny Hassam/Western Clydesdales

Sunshine Coast Falcons were first to strike in their tight clash with Burleigh Bears, with Annette Brander crossing in the third minute. The two sides went into half-time at 12-12, but the Falcons managed to finish on top thanks to a Sheridan Gallagher field goal in the 69th minute.

Zahara Temara in action against the Falcons. Photo: Dylan Parker/Burleigh Bears
Zahara Temara in action against the Falcons. Photo: Dylan Parker/Burleigh Bears

Souths Logan Magpies duo Evania Pelite and Destiny Brill - both named in the Harvey Norman Queensland Maroons squad for Game I at Suncorp Stadium on May 16 - scored doubles in their side's win over Central Queensland Capras.

Tweed Seagulls and Wynnum Manly Seagulls will play the final game of Round 8 on Sunday.

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