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4 days ago
The Easts Tigers Colts have secured their place in the Grand Final, thanks to a polished 37-10 win over Tweed Heads Seagulls at Davies Park on Sunday.
Easts, who will now be aiming to defend their 2009 title, produced a commanding five-try first half to lead 26-0 at the break.
The Seagulls came out guns blazing in the second stanza, mounting a comeback with back-to-back tries, but some tenacious defence and two late tries of their own saw the Tigers run out convincing winners.
It was the sweetest revenge for the Tigers who had, only three weeks prior, suffered a heavy 46-14 defeat at the hands of Tweed Heads.
The Tigers opened the scoring when halfback Jono Stewart caught the defence napping on the last tackle. Brendan Harper slotted the conversion from out wide to give Easts an early 6-0 lead.
Harper then increased the advantage with a try of his own. In a day of high involvement, the fullback showed great strength to reach out and score despite the attention of three Tweed Heads players.
Easts surged ahead with another three four-pointers, the highlight being a long range effort from Waita Setu - the younger brother of Brisbane Broncos backrower Lagi - following some quick hands by Mboya Adams. Moments before the break, speedy winger Matthew Ruthenberg snaffled an intercept, racing 40m to score in the corner.
A fiery Seagulls outfit greeted the Tigers in the second half - two quick tries to the "home" side reduced the deficit to 26-10.
But some starch goal line defence, coupled with errors on the part of Tweed Heads, saw the Tigers weather the storm and when prop Daniel Hauiti crashed through the line any sniff of a Seagulls resurgence had evaporated.
Hooker Mark Gordon then added his name to the try scorers list, before a late field goal from the boot of Harper put the exclamation point on a convincing victory.
Looking forward, the decider looms as an intriguing match-up, with the third placed Tigers facing the fourth placed Wynnum Manly side in a re-match of the first semi final. Easts won that meeting 38-22 but to reuse a timeless adage, it will mean nothing come grand final day.
Easts Tigers 37
Tries: Brendan Harper, Matthew Ruthenberg, Joe Bobbin, Jono Stewart, Daniel Hauiti, Mark Gordon, Waita Setu
Goals: Brendan Harper 4
Field Goals: Brendan Harper
Tweed Heads Seagulls 10
Tries: Ken Allison, Jake Ryals
Goals: Joel Munro