The Souths Logan Magpies celebrated their Old Boys day with a 30 – 22 victory over the Easts Tigers at Davies Park on Sunday
Rarely has the saying ‘a game of two halves’ rung truer. The Magpies opened the scoring in the 4th minute when Phil Dennis took the ball at first receiver and barged over. The Tigers defense, assuming Dennis would pass, had eyes for the outside men and left him free to score.
The Tigers struck back through a well worked try to Cheyse Blair. Brayden Torpy converted and the scores were locked up at 6-6.
Souths then went on a scoring rampage, with tries to Doyle, Seve and Waddell, all converted by Guy Hamilton, to take a 24-6 lead into half time.
They had the benefit of a strong breeze in the first half and certainly made the most of it. Guy Hamilton’s kicking game was superb, he repeatedly sent the Tigers back to their own line to retrieve long raking kicks. The Magpies defense would then crunched the Tigers and kept them trapped in their own half for the majority of the first forty.
The Tigers played well but with limited opportunities, though, they would have expected to do better with Scott Drinkwater and Billy Walters making their returns from injury.
Both were prominent in the second half revival along with Torpy. Drinkwater’s speed and footwork were at times dazzling; while Walters footwork and tactical kicking game were first class. Both showed enough to give encouragement that when fully recovered and match fit they will return to being the match winners they looked early in the season.
Tries to Torpy, Drinkwater and Walters along with two conversions saw them pull to within two points of the Magpies at 24-22 and that is how the score remained till the 73rd minute.
Young Bronco Thomas Flegler (widely tipped to replace injured fellow young gun Payne Hass in the Broncos) firstly initiated a Magpies raid with a powerful charge into the Tigers line and then stayed alive to take the last pass and crash over for the match winner. Guy Hamilton slotted the conversion to take his team to an 8 point lead which, with 6 minutes to go, proved too much for the Tigers.
For the Tigers Torpy, Linc Port and Brett Grienke, looking more and more at home in his new role as a middle, were the best. While for the victorious Magpies halves Hamilton and Sam Scarlett along with George Fai and Sam Lavea were very good.
Amongst all the talk about possible Queensland Residents halves Hamilton’s name has not been mentioned. He made a strong case today, in front of Residents coach Jon Buchanan, that he should at least be considered. His long kicking game was inspired and was a key reason why Easts were 18 points behind at the break.
Both teams have byes next weekend, before the Tigers have a tough away trip to face the Bears at Cbus Stadium, while the Magpies have a slightly easier assignment – the Cutters at Davies Park. Though after the Cutters accounted for the Devils this weekend how much tougher will it really be?