By Laura Matthews (Souths Logan Magpies correspondent)
Brisbane Tigers clawed back from a 22-10 deficit at halftime to record a 22-22 draw against Souths Logan Magpies in Round 2 of the Hostplus Cup.
The first home game in Logan for the Magpies, the crowd was set to be an exciting match as the side took on their fierce rivals, the Tigers. The Magpies had a formidable line-up with new inclusions of notable Broncos including Brenko Lee and Cory Paix in their starting squad.
The home side had a strong start with fullback Cole Waaka scoring in the opening minutes; with Ezra Mam’s successful conversion to put the scores out to 6-0.
The Magpies dominated the following 10 minutes with tries from both Fabien Paletua-Kiri and Ethan Quai-Ward for an imposing lead with less than 20 minutes on the clock.
After an immense defensive effort, the Tigers managed to fight back with Solomona Faataape scoring their first points for the match.
The conversion from Bessie Toomaga was unsuccessful, however, Darren Nicholls made up for it by scoring in the following minutes with 12 minutes to go to the break.
However, just as the Tigers seemed to be making a comeback, Magpies No.14 Christian Hazard stormed over the try-line, and once again, a successful conversion from Mam saw the score push to 22-10 which remained to the halftime break.
The Tigers set out to redeem themselves in the second half; and did just that.
Faataape scored his second in the first 10 minutes after the break, building the team’s momentum.
Both teams ramped up the intensity, although it was the Tigers who made the most of a poor defensive effort from the Magpies to score in the final minutes of the match.
The successful conversion from BJ Aufaga-Toomaga brought the scores to 22-22 at full-time, with the Tigers displaying a huge effort to fight back and hold the Magpies scoreless in the second half.
“The atmosphere at Marsden was up there with our Semi Final last year, it’s great to be taking some games back to Logan and hopefully with quality games like tonight our following will continue to build”
“The game was very physical and our energy and intent was much better than Round 1,” Magpies coach Steve Bretherton said.
Our halves tonight were both 19 with Harry (Wilson) on debut, we had some opportunity to ice the game in the last 10 minutes, but couldn’t quite come up with the play or a field goal.
“We will learn very valuable lessons the more often we put ourselves into those game winning moments.”
“The 22-22 draw gave us a pretty empty feeling at fulltime, we believe in our abilities and prepare every week to win the game.
“The Tigers are a completely different footy team this year, I can see them playing finals footy if they manage to stay fit, so not all is lost for us.”
Next week, the Magpies will be aiming to secure their first win of the season when they travel to the Sunshine Coast to take on the Falcons.
“We will look forward to the challenge of Sunshine Coast away next Saturday and continuing to build our year,” Bretherton said.
The Tigers will also be on the road and will face PNG Hunters.