QCup Rd 15 Mackay 10 Easts Tigers 36
Tigers coach Troy McCarthy was tickled pink following his side's clinical 36-10 victory over the Mackay Cutters at Virgin Australia Stadium on Sunday.by NRL
Tigers coach Troy McCarthy was tickled pink following his side's clinical 36-10 victory over the Mackay Cutters at Virgin Australia Stadium on Sunday.
The Tigers opened up a 16-6 at the break before running away convincing winners in a display that clearly impressed McCarthy.
"I thought it was our most complete performance of the year," he said.
"Mackay threw a bit at us first up but our defence was great ... and then our outside backs capitalised, so I was pretty happy with our overall performance."
An injury to regular captain Shane Neumann saw five-eighth Cody Walker handed the reins of the side for the first time, with the 22-year old playing a leading hand in the win.
It was made even more impressive considering the absence of experienced halfback Isaac Kaufmann, who didn't play the second half due to a shoulder knock.
"He was great - I thought he lead the team around well when Kauffy went off - he directed the team on both sides of the ruck," McCarthy said.
It was Walker who inspired the opening try of the afternoon when he scooped up a pass on his own 20 metre line before racing away downfield and finding flyer Ryan Tongia in support.
However, to the delight of the locals, Mackay hit back through centre Lee Williams who pounced on an error from young fullback Eddie Tautali in the 22nd minute.
Easts returned serve and made the Cutters pay for a mistake when a lost ball from Grant Rovelli on the last tackle found the hands of Wiremu Ratana. It eventually found its way out to Tongia, who again had a clear passage to the line.
The Tigers continued to find space down the left hand side of the field. Melbourne Storm contracted centre Shea Moylan managed to get on the outside of his man before finding the ever-present Tongia in support to take a 16-6 lead into the sheds.
After some late first half pressure from the Cutters, Easts returned to the field all guns blazing with three quick tries in the space of 15 minutes.
Walker sent second rower Matt Zgrajewski through a yawning gap before human wrecking-ball Liufau Hala crashed over in the 47th minute. The damage continued when Corbin Kiernan finished off a long-range break from Corey Thompson to give the Tigers a 30-6 advantage.
Hala then grabbed a second in similar fashion to the first, while Mackay salvaged some pride when giant centre Moses Pangai crossed in the final play of the match.
EASTS TIGERS 36 (Ryan Tongia 2, Liufau Hala 2, Eddie Tautali, Corbin Kiernan, Matthew Zgrajewski tries; Cody Walker 4 goals) def MACKAY CUTTERS 10 (Moses Pangai, Lee Williams tries; Liam Taylor goal) at Virgin Australia Stadium.
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