Easts Tigers remain alive in the Intrust Super Cup Final Series after thumping the Ipswich Jets 50-20 on Saturday afternoon.
It was the second big win in a row of this final series for Easts, after thrashing the Northern Pride 32-0 late weekend in Cairns.
The win also shows the luxury of depth that Easts has, with one of the stars Brayden Torpy only playing after Brodie Croft was called up by the Melbourne Storm.
One of the other stars being Scott Drinkwater, who kicked on for Easts after making his Storm debut the weekend before.
TIGERS PUNISH EARLY JETS ERRORS
Easts ran in two tries in the first seven minutes, both coming after Ipswich errors gifting possession in a great area for Easts. The first scored by Shane Neumann bursting through Jets defence after going through the hands, having threatened to do it a few minutes earlier. The second try was all too easy for Brayden Torpy who strolled over from 10 metres out and converted for a second time for a 12-0 lead.
THE SHORT KICKS OFF EVENTUALLY PAY DIVIDENDS
A regular viewer of Ipswich Jets games will know that their kicks offs are usually always short, but even then one isn’t sure if it is going to be a rugby union style high kick, the slightly longer version, or the dreaded worm burner direct at the poor soul standing on the sideline. The Jets third kick off was the first to earn them the ball back with a successful low blow being fielded but not even to stop them getting forced into touch.
It led to Ipswich’s first try in the next set as the perfect grubber ended in the perfect result, but not without a great off load by Billy McConachie to Tyson Lofipo.
Ironically Easts tried a short kick off next, and the Jets could have run length of the field if not pulled back for an obstruction penalty.
A MATTER OF INCHES FOR IPSWICH JETS
Easts had the upper hand for large parts of the first half, but instead of being 24-8 down at half time, the Jets could have been a lot closer after a failed attempt at an intercept sadly failed and led to another try to Brayden Torpy in the 16th minute as the Tigers played to the whistle. But whilst they missed out by inches on the intercept, the Jets next try was secured by a barely an inch as Isimeeli Hafoka slammed the ball down to make it 18-8.
Instead of Ipswich kicking on and reducing the lead Scott Drinkwater sailed over for the Tigers after back to back to back penalties followed by a knock on gave Easts great field position, which Drinkwater exploited by sliding through the Jets defence with ease.
EASTS TAKE GAME FROM JETS EARLY IN SECOND HALF
As if the 24-8 half time lead wasn’t enough, the Tigers just about wrapped things up by the 56th minute when they had put on their third try of the second half and led 38-8. The first try came from a penalty, the second on the same play as a Jets knock on, and the third after a failed recovery of their short kickoff failed and Linc Port took the perfect catch of the cross field kick.
Ipswich did get on the score sheet eventually in the second half, of course regular try scorer Michael Purcell being the man, taking full advantage of a Tigers spill of a grubber on their line. Billy “The Madness” McConachie scored as well as a decent reward for a good day, but by then it was all too late. Easts Marion
Seve laid on a try either side of the McConachie try to make it up 50-20, his second and third tries of the afternoon.
The win now sets up a clash with the Burleigh Bears next weekend for a shot at the Grand Final and the waiting Redcliffe Dolphins. Easts will be hoping the result is an improvement on the 48-18 Burleigh win on their turf in the last weekend of the regular season.
Going on their Final Series form so far, it no doubt will be.
EASTS TIGERS 50
Tries: Shane NEUMANN (3m) Brayden TORPY (7m) Brayden TORPY (16m) Scott DRINKWATER (37m) Shane NEUMANN (42m) Marion SEVE (53m) Linc PORT (56m) Marion SEVE (67m) Marion SEVE (74m)
Goals: Brayden TORPY 7 Conv
IPSWICH JETS 20
Tries: Tyson LOFIPO (11m) Isimeeli HAFOKA (31m) Michael PURCELL (59m) Billy MCCONNACHIE(70m)
Goals: Wes Conlon 2 Convscored