QLD Premier Rugby: Easts Scrumhalf Claims Jobs Not Done Despite Securing Finals; Jeeps Make Massive Statement
By Finn Morton; Photo – Brendan Hertel/QRU Media
Easts assured their position in the 2019 Queensland Premier finals series after overcoming Sunnybank 29-15 at Chipsy Wood Oval.
After sitting seventh a few weeks ago, the Tigers won their fourth straight match to rise to fourth, with the potential to move to third this weekend should results fall their way.
While Rugby is a team game, halfback Eli Pilz has been instrumental in his side’s recent successes.
The scrumhalf scored nine of his sides twenty-nine points against the Dragons, helping guide his side to a vital win in the process.
Pilz was once again thrilled with the work ethic of his side but is focusing now on the improvements that are required as Easts prepare for both Brothers and finals.
“I was definitely happy with getting the win. I still don’t think we were at our best for the full eighty minutes but to score a couple of late tries really showed how much we wanted this one,” said Pilz.
“The positives with us as a team have been the same all year round, I don’t think many can fault our effort. We also created a lot of opportunities.
“[But] We are yet to put a complete eighty-minute performance together all year so I think if we keep challenging ourselves to do that we should be right. We need to take every opportunity we get and come away with points.
“We’ve probably been a little guilty of forcing fifty-fifty’s, so if we can clean that area up and defend like we’ve shown in glimpses that we can we will be right.”
Easts may be adopting the sports adage of “one game at a time” over the next few weeks, but that isn’t to say that they aren’t happy with what they’ve accomplished.
Pilz suggested that while finals is a great accomplishment for his side, the Tigers are focused on ticking all their pre-season goals off before they can be truly satisfied with what they’ve done.
“We are all really happy with securing finals, but for us we sat down at the start of the year and set goals.
“Until we tick all those boxes our job won’t be done so although we are excited we know finals footy is a different game.
“Brothers for us will be a massive one. Leading into finals versing the team that’s probably been the benchmark this year, it’ll give us massive confidence [that] we can knock them off.
“For now we won’t get too far ahead of ourselves and we will just take it one game at a time.
Easts currently sit equal on competition points with UQ, but are split by ten-points on the points differential.
With third up for grabs on Saturday, Pilz is wanting to finish “as high as possible on the ladder” while maintaining the momentum that Easts have built up over the last few weeks.
“Obviously we are wanting to finish as high as possible on the ladder. Although it makes no difference being a must win for third and fourth as a win this weekend will keep our momentum that we have gained over the past few weeks.
“In saying that I think we have proven to ourselves [that] we are capable of beating any team on our day.
“A lot of our wins this year have been grinds and that’s what finals footy is about so we definitely believe we can take out the competition.”
In the other games, Bond handed Norths their thirteenth loss from fifteen games, defeating the Eagles 31-15 at Shaw Road.
Wests ended Souths finals hopes with a 31-43 away from home. While the Bulldogs only sit one competition point behind fourth-placed Easts, a bye next week has brought an abrupt end to an up-and-down 2019 campaign.
Jeeps remain in the hunt for the Minor Premiership after handing Brothers their third loss of the season, and their second in as many weeks. Jeeps also claimed the Welsby Cup in their 43-36 win at Crosby Road.