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2018 Grand Final Review

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After Easts defied the odds from the middle point of the season to make the finals the Tigers rallied to win three elimination games in a row to make the grand final.

Standing in their way were the minor premiers Redcliffe Dolphins at Suncorp Stadium.

Redcliffe were well-rested having only played one finals match, a qualifying final against Burleigh which they won to qualify directly for the final. With Easts having to beat Ipswich and the Northern Pride in elimination finals before defeating the Bears in the preliminary final.

Easts were boasted by Melbourne affiliate players Sam Kasiano, Pat Kaufusi, Albert Vete and Scott Drinkwater for the game with Redcliffe too brimming with Broncos affiliate talent.

The deadlock was broken after ten minutes when Kotoni Staggs converted a penalty goal from 40 metres out to give Redcliffe the lead early on.

However, Easts took the lead in the 13th minute when Connor Carey crashed over in the corner to send the Easts fraternity into raptures. Brayden Torpy converting from the corner to give the Tigers a 6-2 lead.

A late offload from Cameron Cullen saw Trai Fuller score to draw level just four minutes later. A Jeremy Hawkins try ten minutes later from a high ball saw Redcliffe regain the lead.

The conversion from Kotoni Staggs alongside a penalty goal saw Redcliffe extend the lead to eight just before half time.

Things went from bad to worse for the Tigers with Billy Walters coming from the field in the 34th minute with an ankle injury.

Easts were able to overcome the loss of their reigning best and fairest with some swift hands along the backline which saw Marion Seve score in the corner to bring the scoreline back to 14-10 in the Dolphins favour.

That’s how the scoreline stood at half time with Easts receiving confirmation Walters would not return for the match.

Similar to the first half, Redcliffe hit the scoreboard with two converted tries to take the breath out of a potential Easts comeback now leading 26-10 with just over half an hour to go.

Inspirational captain Tom Butterfield returned to the field after leaving the field in the first with a facial injury and injected the attack the Tigers needed to chip into the lead.

Butterfield delivered a sharp face ball out of dummy half to put back-rower, Jake Foster, through. Torpy again converting from an awkward angle to bring the score within ten.

Redcliffe again scored to keep the three try buffer with a smart trail kick from Redcliffe half Bryce Donovan finding Nathan Watts back on the inside.

With fifteen minutes to go Easts threw caution to the wind looking to chase the improbable. An impressive offload from winger Linc Port saw Scott Drinkwater score for the Tigers to regain the ten-point buffer.

Easts with their tail up nearly scored again through a pinpoint Brayden Torpy grubber which found
Marion Seve in the corner. With the winger unable to and ground the ball to bring the game to within one score with ten minutes to go.

The missed chance seemingly took it out of the boys from south of the river with Dolphins halves Donovan and Cullen able to ice off what would be a memorable day for Redcliffe.

The Dolphins added insult to injury taking advantage of some tired short side defence to take the margin to fourteen thanks to a late Tom Opacic try with a minute to go.

That would be the last action of the game with Redcliffe sealing victory 36-22 in front of a crowd of 7,504 at Suncorp Stadium.

Scott Drinkwater was phenomenal for the Tigers finishing with a try and a try assist alongside four tackle breaks and 100 running metres.

Albert Vete too was inspirational running for 159 metres alongside his fifteen tackles.

Brett Greinke who missed the final due to injury would claim the best and fairest gong at the clubs awards night. With Jarrod McInally taking home the illustrious Loth Medal, an award based on playing ability, conduct, integrity, will to win and dedication towards the club.

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