Friday was the show holiday in Ipswich, but the Easts Tigers produced their own show time on Saturday afternoon against the Jets at the North Ipswich Reserve.
The Tigers dug deep into their own bag of tricks, and led by rampaging front rower Mitch Garbutt, came hard at the Jets to get the two competition points courtesy of a 22-12 victory.
The Tigers have become a bit of a hoodoo side for the Jets in previous years, with Ipswich having won only one of the last six games between these two sides.
Saturday also saw former Jets’ players Jacob Ling, Donald Malone and Jarrod McInally return to the North Ipswich Reserve, adding some emotion to the clash.
At times the emotion came to the surface with a few fiery clashes throughout the game. The Jets were also welcoming back former Jets Colts player and Jet number 552, Martin Kennedy from the Broncos.
The match went 18 minutes without score as each team probed for a weakness. The Tigers were well prepared for the Jets brand of attack and were verbally tipping each other off to what was coming.
The Tigers opened the scoring in the left corner through smart hooker Tom Butterfield and the kick was successful, getting them away to a good start at 6-0.
The match settled again into both teams feeling each other out until Dane Phillips attacked the posts with a clever kick and rebound to score. Wes Conlon converted the try to level the score at 6-6 at half-time.
Butterfield had been dangerous all half with plenty of scoots out of dummy half, engaging the markers so his big forwards could get some extra yards.
The Jets had pushed the pass too much, and gone away from what has worked for them but the defence had been outstanding, led by Kerion Lander and Brendon Marshall.
The Jets started the second half in great fashion when Marmin Barba swooped on an Easts’ pass on the Jets’ line and ran 80m to score. The kick was converted and the Jets had the start they wanted to the second half with a 12-6 lead.
Easts’ Grant Giess, using plenty of halfback guile and a huge show and go, went through to reply within five minutes to lock up the score at 12-12 after 50 minutes.
The Jets were given a piggy back out of trouble with a penalty but failed to find touch, which the Tigers capitalised on with Eddie Tautali scoring in the right corner. The Tigers’ conversion was unsuccessful, leaving the visitors in front 16-12 with 23 minutes remaining.
With the clock winding down, Barba put boot to ball and claimed a try in the in-goal. But referee Chris Anderson ruled a knock on, allowing the Tigers to preserve their lead.
Easts also had a try disallowed at the other end of the field, but big front rower Garbutt sealed the win with a huge run straight up the middle of the field.
EASTS TIGERS 22 (Eddie Tautali, Grant Giess, Tom Butterfield, Mitch Garbutt tries; Donald Malone 2, Liam Tyson goals) def IPSWICH JETS 12 (Dane Phillips, Marmin Barba tries; Wes Conlon 2 goals) at North Ipswich Reserve.
Ipswich Jets: 1. Javarn White 2. Kurt Capewell 21. Martin Kennedy 4. Brendon Marshall 5. Carlin Anderson 6. Josh Cleeland 7. Dane Phillips 8. Kurtis Lingwoodock 9. Troy O’Sullivan 10. Rod Griffin 11. Josh Seage 12. Sam Martin 13. Keiron Lander (c) 14. Tariki Peneha 17. Marmin Barba 19. Wes Conlon 22. Matt Parcell
Easts Tigers: 1. Cameron Munster 2. Eddie Tautali 3. Hymel Hunt 4. Donald Malone 5. Jarrod McInally 6. Liam Tyson 7. Grant Giess 8. Steven Thorpe (c) 9. Tom Butterfield 10. Felise Kaufusi 11. Dane Hogan 12. Tim Glasby 13. Jacob Ling 14. Liam McDonald 15. Foisa Peni 16. Troy Giess 20. Mitch Garbutt