TURBULENT TIGERS | Wests Tigers' 2016 season was... interesting.
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The boot of Brandon Costin has landed Easts a 24-18 trial win over Norths at Langlands Park.
On song with his goal-kicking, Costin proved the difference in a contest that ended at four tries apiece.
The Tigers led from start to finish, but could not shake the Devils after creating an early 18-6 lead.
Minus strike weapon Darren Smith, who was on duty with the Brisbane Broncos, Easts created momentum against a Norths defence that was initially caught back-peddling.
Devils coach Wayne Treleaven admitted to being frustrated by the interpretation of the play-the-ball, effectively blunting his team?s style of ruck play.
?It was typical for a trial game, in that there a few issues with different understandings of the rules,? Treleaven said.
?For a start, you have to learn what the referees want from you and the referees have to learn how the game is being played.
?We have been doing a lot of work on `dominant tackles? with the Melbourne Storm and it?s probably something the refs up here are still feeling out to a degree.?
On a losing side McDonald and Smith were standouts, while 18-year-old prop Scott Anderson also impressed.
Tries for Easts were scored by Josh Essex, Walter Imo, Steve Beattie and Phil Dennis, while Norths? four-pointers came courtesy of Graham, Steve Irwin, Derek Fletcher and Quentin Laulu-Togagae.
In Mixwell Cup grade, Easts beat Norths 30-22, balanced by a 34-18 victory to Norths in colts.
Easts kick-off the 2005 Queensland Cup season on March 12 at home against Souths Logan, with the Devils taking on Redcliffe at Nundah the following day. _____________________
Souths Logan continues to show promise of emerging from the wilderness, beating Toowoomba 44-30 at Clive Berghofer Stadium on Saturday.
Long-time absentees from finals football, the Magpies held on to down the Clydesdales after opening an early 10-point lead.
The tit-for-tat affair drew comparisons with the AB Norris Cup Nines tournament played just a fortnight earlier, where Souths Logan also defeated Toowoomba for the prize.
Magpies coach Phil Economidis again praised the enthusiasm of his young squad, directed well by halves Nathan Roe and Cameron Joyce and led up front by club captain Darren Glase.
?The main thing I took notice of was our improvement as a team, as a group,? Economidis said.
?Our oldest bloke is 23 and there?s probably greater capacity for improvement in this team than any other in the comp.
?At this early stage everything is going to plan. I just hope we keep moving forward.?
In lower grade results against Wests on Sunday, Souths Logan won the Mixwell Cup trial 10-8 but lost in colts 22-4. _________________________
Winger Michael Anschau has delivered Wynnum a heart-stopping trial victory over Ipswich, scoring in the dying moments for a 24-22 win at Raceview.
Despite dramatically completing an undefeated run through the pre-season, Seagulls coach Neil Wharton could only describe his team?s performance as ?terrible?.
?We were very ordinary,? Wharton said.
?The fact they took off their big guns at halftime was probably the only explanation for us getting up in the end.?
Indeed, Ipswich coach Trevor Gillmeister saw cause to bench Ricky Bird, Grant Young, Steele Retchless and Brendon Lindsay for the majority of the second half.
Bird was a surprise starter in any case, given fears during the week that he had inflamed an old knee injury.
The artful half helped orchestrate an early 22-4 lead, from where it seemed the Jets were well and truly home and hosed.
Yet the tide turned dramatically in the second stanza, entertaining an above expectation crowd at the home ground of Ipswich Brothers.
Brothers had accepted the game due to ongoing surface improvements at the Jets? own QLD Group Stadium, with just under 1000 fans responding through the gate. ________________________
Burleigh coach Rick Stone has given a blunt assessment of his team?s pre-season form, following a scrappy 12-10 win over Tweed Heads at Carrara on Saturday.
Aiming to defend the premiership won last season, Stone admitted there was plenty of work to do before the Bears? first fixture match on March 13.
Aside from the slim win over Tweed, other trials have seen Burleigh draw with Wynnum and end behind on the scoreboard to Redcliffe and Newcastle Wests.
?To be perfectly honest we?re not really where I want us to be,? Stone offered.
?Mostly, we are lacking fluency in attack and it?s something we?ve really tried to work on in training.
?There?s two weeks now (to amend the situation).?
Renowned as slow starters in recent seasons, the Bears also have injury concerns to captain Ali Brown (sternum), fellow front rower James Griffiths (back) and playmaker David Hicks (knee). Hicks is the most serious of the three.
The weekend?s victory was established in the first half when Tweed struggled to maintain possession, despite reasonably favourable conditions.
Burleigh suffered a similar fate in the second stanza, but had the game wrapped up until a late try by the Seagulls threw some spice into the encounter.
?Both teams were in the trap of forgetting to hold the footy,? Stone said.
?There?s probably a few guys that wouldn?t like to have that as their last performance heading into the competition.
?In saying that, defensively both sides were pretty tidy.?
In a curtain-raiser to the Sydney Roosters v Penrith NRL trial, the best for Burleigh were Robert Apanui, Shane O?Flanagan and Trent Leis.
Stone said he was still unsure where to play Leis, with the former North Queensland Cowboy alternating between centre and fullback on Saturday. _______________
The Comets continued their measured build-up to the season-opener on March 13 with a 46-18 loss to the Canberra Raiders.
A scintillating second quarter blitz from the Raiders halted a strong start from the home side. After Canberra flyer Michael Robertson touched down in the opening minutes, good field possession helped the Comets experiment in their new-look attack.
A set-play from the middle of the park led to lock David Nixon responding before the home side came close to a second minutes later only to be denied by some last-ditch Canberra defence.
Canberra captain Simon Woolford was at his attacking best in the second quarter, playing a hand in all four tries, as the NRL club stepped up the intensity.
Raiders coach David Furner said the plan was al- ways to come out running and play the first-half ?hard and fast??.
?I can?t fault the enthusiasm,?? Furner said.
?The first half we looked at different set-ups and made sure our shape was good.
?To the Comets? credit, they did a lot of ground-work.??
Comets coach Neale Crow said the combinations were starting to come together in attack.
?We had some success with moving the ball wider and getting people in motion a lot more,?? Crow said.
?We?re building towards the start of the season and it was another tough hit-out.??
Crow praised fullback Clint Rothery and big forwards Damien Wilkes and Fili Sofa, while Furner was impressed with the courage shown by young forwards Josh Miller and Rockhampton product Alan Rothery.
In a massive blow for the Comets, winger Jimmy McConachy suffered cruci- ate ligament damage to his knee and is out for the season.
Quarter breakdowns (1/4 10-6, 2/4 22-6, 3/4 0-0, 4/4 14-6). _________________
The last remaining clubs without a Queensland Cup finals appearance have experienced varied fortunes, with North Queensland unconvincing in victory and the Central Comets showing signs of life in defeat.
Playing a Queensland Indigenous team before over 17,000 fans in Cairns, North Queensland got home 26-14 to record its fourth straight win in trials.
But unlike the previous week?s 50-8 shellacking of a Mackay Invitational side, the Young Guns did not have everything go their way, with the Indigenous team providing a good challenge.
Meanwhile in Rockhampton, Central was inflicted its third big loss of the pre-season, going down to Canberra 48-18.
The Comets struggled when they allowed leeway to the well-drilled Raiders? attack, but competed well in the first and third quarters when fresh in defence.
Thanks to http://www.qrl.com.au for yet another great article.