A good night for the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys in Townsville, outlasting the Vodafone Warriors...
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In their final home game of the season, the Easts Tigers produced a gallant challenge but were ultimately outclassed by competition heavyweights Souths Logans Magpies, going down 30-6 at Langlands Park.
With the recently injured trio of Ben Vaeau, Kev Stephensen, Matthew McPhee sitting on the sidelines, the writing was on the wall for the ten-placed Tigers against the top placed Magpies.
But to Easts credit, they competed with their more fancied rivals but struggled to match the pace and power of Souths' seasoned NRL players, in particular fullback David Milne and prop Troy Thompson.
Souths opened the scoring early, with winger Michael Brophy crossing in the corner and when the elusive Milne got on the outside of his man from a scrum play, the scoreboard read 12-nil after only eleven minutes.
In a positive sign for the future, young fullback Matt Lindsay had some dangerous touches midway through the first half but the Magpies reaffirmed their dominance thanks to tries to James Stuart (26th minute) and Mick Picker (29th minute) to take their lead to 22-nil.
On the stroke of the break Matthew Ruthenberg had a surge for the corner but was pushed into touch by some resolute Souths defence.
The beginning stages of the second half saw Liam Campbell touch down for what looked like a try. But to the dismay of the home crowd, the video referee ruled the centre put a foot on the sideline before grounding the ball.
With fifteen minutes remaining, Easts again went close when Jace van Dijk created a gap but he couldn't hold on to the ball on his way to the line.
The match then erupted into a good ol' fashion all in brawl after Souths Reece Robinson threw hooker Dane Phillips to the ground in a judo style tackle. Easts took exception to the rough treatment, with both sides throwing a flurry of punches at each other - remarkably all players stayed on the field.
Souths were the first to get on with playing footy - they increased their lead to 26-nil when Robinson dotted down following a nice offload from Lewis Balcomb.
Much to the delight of a vocal crowd, the Tigers' perseverance finally turned into points after a pinpoint Isaac Kaufmann chip kick found Campbell unmarked on the left flank. Paoa Faamita slotted the conversion from wide out.
But the Magpies had the final say thanks to Picker, who grabbed a double when he slid through the defence in the 80th minute.
Easts Tigers 6
Tries: Liam Campbell
Goals: Paoa Faamita 1/1
Souths Logan Magpies 30
Tries: Michael Picker 2, David Milne, Michael Brophy, James Staurt, Reece Robinson
Goals: Marc Herbert 3/6
1. Matthew Lindsay 2. Matthew Ruthenberg 3. Liam Campbell 4. Paoa
Faamita 5. Lance Morris 6. Isaac Kaufmann 7. Jace Van Dijk (c) 8. Cameron
Durnford 9. Dane Phillips 10. James Stosic 11. Steven Thorpe 12. Brent
Williams 13. Dean Sheppard 14. Dywayne Rigby 15. Fili Sofa 16. Leon
Panapa 17. Dean Shepherd
Coach: Jason Gainey
Souths Logan Magpies
1. David Milne 2. Michael Brophy 3. Quentin Laulu-Togagae 4. James Stuart 5. Reece Robinson 6. Marc Herbert 7. Mick Picker 8. Lewis Balcomb 9. Matt King 10. Kieran Whalley 11. Joshua White 12. Brad Cross 13. Phil Dennis 14. Jarrad Kennedy 15. Wade Liddell 16. Mathew Pitman 17. Troy Thompson
Coach: Mark Beaumont
FOGS A Grade
Easts Tigers 12 (Scott Ireland, Kerryn Blake tries; Steven West 2 goals) defeated by Souths Logan Magpies 42 (Shaun Daylight 2, Jarrod Kendall 2, Matt Ward, Troy Corbo, Sam Gardel, James Tutulia tries; Jarrod Kendall 3, Matt Ward, Paul Stanley goals)
FOGS Colts Challenge
Easts Tigers 44 (Brendan Harper 2, Joe Bobbin, Ryley Jacks, Waita Setu, Blair Young, Charlie Jones, Chris Cook, Lindon Miranda tries; Brendan Harper 4 goals) defeated Souths Logan Magpies 10 (George Sami, Edrick Lee tries; Kieran Battelley goal)
Next Fixture: Round 22 - Tweed Heads Seagulls v Easts Tigers at Ned Bryne Field
Saturday, August 28
Queensland Cup - 2:00pm
FOGS A Grade - 12:15pm
FOGS Colts Challenge - 10:45am