DIVE: Sakenasa  Lalakomacuata on his debut crosses the line for Eastern Suburbs.
DIVE: Sakenasa Lalakomacuata on his debut crosses the line for Eastern Suburbs. Brian Cassidy

Why the new Pies are flying high

LEAGUE: If there is such a thing as a dream debut, new Easts player Josateki Masibalavu had it on Saturday at Salter Oval.

The Fijian recruit scored a hat-trick in his first game for Easts who defeated Hervey Bay 22-12.

The Magpies defeated the Seagulls for the second time this year and won the contest in the first half, scoring three tries to lead 16-8 at the break.

Both sides were only able to add one try each after half time.

Masibalavu scored three of the tries and was joined by fellow new recruit Sakenasa Lalakomacuata who also scored on his debut.

"He (Masibalavu) actually played reserves beforehand,” Easts coach Mick O'Sullivan said.

"He only came into town on Friday, so he played reserves, impressed and we had a spot on the bench to put him there.”

O'Sullivan was not going to give him too many minutes but an injury changed that.

Masibalavu then grabbed this chance with both hands.

"Matt Ross injured his leg, so we put him on and he made an immediate impact,” O'Sullivan said.

"He's quick, very quick.”

O'Sullivan said Masibalavu and the win were the highlights of a frustrating night for him and the club.

"I was happy with our defence,” he said.

"But we dropped the ball too many times and could have and should have scored more points.

"But it was good to get back into playing again.

"Hervey Bay are a good young side as well who took it to us.”

O'Sullivan admitted he put added pressure on the side to perform in the game.

He sees the next month as vital if the side wants to not only qualify for the finals but gain the important top-three spot and a double chance.

"I spoke about it at the start of the week, now is the time to shine,” he said.

"It started from yesterday (Saturday), we don't want to drop any games for the next few weeks to start a run.”

The side plays Western Suburbs this week before facing Maryborough sides the Wallaroos and Brothers after that.

The Magpies play the Panthers next Saturday at Brothers Sports Complex at 4.20pm. Past Brothers play the Wallaroos in the other match at 6pm.



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