Easts Tigers have extended their unbeaten run to five games with a 30-18 win over Wynnum Manly Seagulls on Sunday.
In a pleasing sight for Storm fans, new recruit Matt While was named man of the match in his first game since recovering from a pre-season calf injury.
Jeremy Hawkins had a strong first half, scoring Easts Tigers opening try but unfortunately suffered a hamstring tear just minutes after the restart. The injury is expected to rule him out for six weeks.
Easts raced out to a 20-0 half-time lead but they were forced to hang tough in the second half as several injuries saw them run out of reserves with 32 minutes left to play.
Needing to hold on, it was the new Storm recruit who stood tall to lead the side in his first game of the season.
“Matt White was fantastic, he played about 70 minutes. His experience really helped with our young forward pack,” Easts coach Scott Sipple said.
“When things got tough he just knuckled down and led with action, he got the boys going forward.
“We seemed to panic there midway through the second half and he just got back to basics and you could just see the experience in him. He was a huge impact for us.”
Another shining light for Storm fans was the performance of emerging youngster Suliasi Vunivalu.
“Suli had his best game for the season, if he plays like that every week he is in for a big year,” Sipple said.
“He scored two tries, he ran with a purpose every time he got the ball, he was awesome.”
Easts will travel to take on Northern Pride this Sunday at Barlow Park.
Easts Tigers 30
Tries: Suliasi Vunivalu 2, Jeremy Hawkins, Billy Walters, Matt White, Jamie Anderson
Goals: Billy Walters 3
Wynnum Manly Seagulls 18
Tries: Stephen Coombe, Patrick Templeman, Alehana Mara
Goals: Matthew Seamark 3