Sunday, June 12, 2011
THE Easts Tigers have gone back-to-back for the first time in 2011 with a 24-22 victory over the Ipswich Jets at the North Ipswich Reserve.
Easts trailed the Jets by 10 points on three separate occasions during the game but came from behind to post a crucial win in the context of their season.
The Tigers’ ball control was almost perfect – they completed 37 from 38 sets – against an Ipswich side that were often guilty of pushing the pass.
The win was even more impressive considering the Tigers lost skipper Shane Neumann and experienced prop James Stosic to hamstring injuries midway through the second half.
A fired up Ipswich started the match in sensational fashion with two quick tries in the opening 10 minutes, before Easts stabilised when winger Adam Breen’s fingertip control saw him latch onto a cross field kick in the 19th minute.
However, the Jets increased their lead to 16-6 thanks to the Gold Coast Titans backline combination of Esi Tonga and Luke Capewell, with Capewell supporting a long range Tonga bust.
The Tigers kept plugging away though – they set up camp on the opposition line and finally found reward when some quick hands saw Breen find an unopposed passage to the tryline, reducing the deficit to 16-12 at the break.
Ipswich opened the second half with Capewell’s second off a Donald Malone break but Easts clawed their way back again when Kaufmann ducked under the defence to score with 20 minutes left on the clock.
Errors and penalties crippled the Jets and the visitors struck the critical blow when Matt Zgrajewski popped an offload in traffic for young five-eighth Rhys Jacks.
In an unblemished day with the boot Breen slotted the conversion to give Easts the lead, taking his personal tally to 16 points for the match.
Ipswich has now slipped to fifth on the ladder and could be without utility Ian Lacey (knee) for an extended period after the former Bronco was carried from the field in the second half.
Easts 22 d Jets 20