The Champions Become the Hunted at Tigerland
East Tigers upset 2016 champions Brothers with a 28-19 Round 1 victory at David Wilson Field on Saturday.
The Tigers forward pack proved too strong and capitalized off the back of a dominant scrum and line-out throughout the game.
Forcing numerous penalties throughout the match, Easts’ scrum earned them points at different stages, while the momentum the forward pack gained laid the foundation for the backline to showcase some entertaining and expansive Rugby.
After a physical opening exchange, Brothers led Easts 19-17 at half-time, but the Tigers defence held strong in the second half to deny the Brethren any more points.
After the half, Easts were first to score with a penalty goal off the back of a scrum, before new recruit Navi Tiko nailed a drop goal to extend the home side’s lead.
With territorial pressure mounting, hulking reserve lock Mitch Schneider crossed for a five pointer following an uncharacteristic error from Brothers deep in their territory.
This placed the lead outside of a converted try and Easts defended well to hold off the champions.
A late inclusion to the game was Queensland U20’s halfback Eli Pilz who was rushed from Wests Rugby Club to Tigerland following his game against NSW U20’s earlier that afternoon.
His kicking and running game proved to be decisive for Easts late in the second half leading Easts lock Tyrell Barker to say:
“Good commitment, to have just played for Queensland and then drive across town to play for us, a lot of guys probably wouldn’t have done that. They would have just come over and watched,” he said.
The Tigers will recuperate this weekend having been gifted the bye while Brothers will host West Bulldogs at Jack Ross Oval.
Easts 28 (Richie Asiata, Toby White, Mitchell Schneider tries Tim Smith 2 pens 2 cons Navi Tiko dropped goal) defeated Brothers 19 (Criff Tupou, Mitch Felsman Will Shipperley tries Mitch Felsman 2 cons)