QCup Rd 19 Easts 30 Tweed Heads 24
The Langlands Park faithful witnessed a comeback for the ages, as the Easts Tigers rose from the dead to secure a memorable 30-24 victory over the Tweed Heads Seagulls.by NRL
The Langlands Park faithful witnessed a comeback for the ages, as the Easts Tigers rose from the dead to secure a memorable 30-24 victory over the Tweed Heads Seagulls.
Trailing 24-6 in the early stages of the second half and seemingly out of the contest altogether, a brace of three tries saw the Tigers roar back to life to level at 24-all.
A brilliant 90 metre movement, featuring a solo break from debutant winger Maeli Seve, then secured victory in the 77th minute.
Seve stepped his way through the initial line of defence before swerving and linking with speedster Eddie Tautali, who evaded a desperate dive from Seagulls' winger Tom Merritt to score under the sticks.
The quietly-spoken Seve said he was simply happy to contribute to the team in his first top grade game.
"It was definitely the toughest game I've played in all year - it was pretty difficult to break through tackles," he said.
Fortunately for his team, he broke the line at the crucial moment to help deliver a victory which sees the Tigers move up to fourth place on the ladder.
Trailing 20-4 at halftime, the writing was on the wall for the Tigers when Seagulls flyer Merritt went over in the corner in the early stages of the second half.
However the Tigers found some life in fortuitous circumstances when McKanah Gibson scooped up a loose ball before finding Ryan Tongia, who streaked away to score in the 56th minute.
The comeback was well and truly on the cards thanks to another involvement from Gibson - the crafty hooker was again in the thick of the action when he sent Cody Walker through a hole for his 17th try of 2012.
Easts were able to ride the wave of a vocal home crowd, reaping reward when prop Jordan McLean surged through the defence. The ensuing conversion from Walker locked up the ball game at 24-all with 10 minutes to play.
The stage was then set for Seve to position Tautali for the stunning match-winner.
Earlier, the game appeared to be well within Tweed Heads' control courtesy of three first half tries to veteran flyer Phil Graham.
Mammoth forward Ryan James proved hard to handle, while Shaun Carney was dangerous from the fullback position.
But it all turned pear shaped for the Seagulls, who faded at the back-end of the contest as Easts powered home.
The Tigers now face the Redcliffe at Dolphin Oval next Sunday, while Tweed Heads will return home to Piggabeen Sports Complex to take on Central Capras in Round 20.
EASTS TIGERS 30 (Cody Walker 2, Eddie Tautali, Ryan Tongia, Jordan McLean tries; Cody Walker 5 goals) def TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 24 (Phil Graham 3, Tom Merritt, Cory Blair tries; Blake Anderson 2 goals) at Langlands Park.
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