JON Muir is an old-school forward ... a knockabout carpenter who likes to do the dirty work and let the boys in the backline rack up the tries.
But it was the lock’s brace of four pointers just before half-time that helped the Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles hold off Ipswich 28-26 in a Queensland Cup pre-season trial at Stockland Park on Saturday night.
With the hosts trailing the Jets 20-12, Muir exposed some soft on-line defence in the 35th minute to reduce the gap to 20-18.
Just a couple of minutes later, Muir gave the Sea Eagles a 24-20 half-time lead when he charged down a kick and raced 50 metres to score under the posts.
The scoring dried up in the second period. A 49th minute try to Sunshine Coast winger Michael Chapman gave the Sea Eagles some breathing space at 28-20 before Ipswich centre Brendan Marshall scored his second of the game to bridge the gap to 28-26 with 18 minutes remaining.
But despite gifting Ipswich plenty of good field position with handling errors in the slippery conditions, the Sea Eagles hung on for a second trial win in as many matches.
“I think I just got out there and had fresh legs, just tried to do a bit extra to lift the boys,” Muir said of his two tries.
“I ended up with two lucky ones. That’s a good start to the season. Here’s hoping they keep coming.”
While trial victories against Easts and the Jets are welcome, Muir said pre-season wins are not the main consideration for the defending premiers.
“We’re actually not working on wins at the moment, we’re working on completions and working for each other, and we did that. We only completed 50% in that second half so we’re not real happy about that. But it’s a work in progress and we still have a week to work on it before the season starts.”
The match was also the first time half-back Ben Whiddon and Manly-contracted five-eighth Daly Cherry-Evans combined in the halves for the Sea Eagles.
“I think he (Cherry-Evans) relieved a bit of pressure on Benny,” Muir said.
“When we only have the one playmaker, he has to do everything. He’s playing really well, Benny, and I think Costo (coach Brandon Costin) is really happy with him.”
SUNSHINE COAST 28
(Jon Muir 2, Wiremu Ratana, Daly Cherry-Evans, Michael Chapman tries; Dennis Sandow 4 conv)
(Brendan Marshall 2, Moses Manu, Smith Samau, Ramon Filipine tries; Marshall 3 conv)
Sunshine Coast Sea Eagle Darcy Lassick charges at the Ipswich defence during Saturday night’s trial at Stockland Park.
Photo: Warren Lynam