Easts finished off a great 2017 regular season with a good 32-12 win over a Burleigh Bears side who were one of the form teams of the last part of the season on Saturday evening. Their win wasn’t enough to give them a top two finish, as the Redcliffe Dolphins got the win they needed, but it was enough to leave them third after the regular season has ended, and they get to play at home in the first week of the finals against Townsville next weekend.
The home side got off to the best possible start with a try within two minutes to skipper Jake Foster, and they followed it up in the 18th minute to lead 12-0. The Bears hit back through the first of two tries to Jamal Fogarty in the 26th minute, but Easts hit straight back two minutes later to take a 16-6 lead to the break.
They extended that lead further not long after the break through Shane Neumann, two more tries within 9 minutes took the game away from Burleigh, who only had a consolation try in the 69th minute to show for their second half efforts. Once again to Jamal Fogarty who scored all 12 of the Bears points.
Easts will play knockout finals football now, but will have home advantage, which is a good thing as they have only been defeated twice there this season. Burleigh will rue a slow start to the season, but have plenty to build on for 2018.
EASTS TIGERS 32
Tries: Jake Foster (2m), Charlie Galo (18m), Conor Carey (28m), Shane Neumann (44m), Tommy Butterfield (49m), Jarrod McInally (53m)
Goals: Billy Walters 4/6 Conv
BURLEIGH BEARS 12
Tries: Jamal Fogarty (26m), Jamal Fogarty (69m)
Goals: Jamal Fogarty 2/2 Conv
Two of the competition’s in form sides meet on Saturday evening, and for the home side Easts Tigers it is a chance to jump to second ahead of Redcliffe. They will still need Redcliffe to lose to finish second, which doesn’t look too likely against the Northern Pride. A loss could see them drop as low as fourth, but their recent form of 7 wins from their last 8 games should see them through.
Having Brodie Croft named in the side helps too, the halfback put in a sensational performance for Melbourne last weekend, and is a weapon that most other top 6 clubs won’t have at their disposal come the finals.
Burleigh are capable of spoiling the party however, and they come into the match on the back of five straight wins. A run that includes top 6 sides Sunshine Coast and Townsville. Jamal Fogarty has not been named, which will hurt their chances given his return has sparked the Bears late season revival.
The Bears can finish as high as seventh with other results going their way, which is a decent effort given they started the season with 5 straight losses.
1. Linc Port 2. Young Tonumaipe’a 3. Shane Neumann 4. Conor Carey 5. Jarrod McInally 6. Billy Walters 7. Brodie Croft 8. Steven Thorpe 9. Tommy Butterfield 10. Mark Nicholls 11. Jake Foster (c) 12. John Puna 13. Jack Svendsen 14. Matt Zgrajewski 15. Charlie Galo 16. Mat Pitman 17. Chris Ostwald 18. Brayden Torpy
Coach: Scott Sipple
1. Kurtis Rowe 2. Henare Wells 3. Sami Sauiluma 4. Connor Broadhurst 5. Troy Leo 6. Daniel Schwass 7. Jacob Grant 8. Luke Page 9. Christopher Law 10. Matt White 11. Jamie Dowling 12. Hayden Schwass 13. Sam Coster 14. Ricardo Parata 15. Tyler Sparkes 16. Darren Griffiths 17. Dylan Kelly
Coach: Jim Lenihan
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