THE Queanbeyan Tigers have secured a place in round one of the Foxtel Cup after defeating the Northern Territory Thunder by 53 points in Canberra on Saturday.
The Tigers were able to overcome a fast start from the Thunder, surging to a 13.10 (88) to 4.9 (35) victory in the qualifying match.
Fine conditions at StarTrack Oval resulted in a high-pressured contest that was ultimately controlled by a disciplined Tigers outfit.
The Tigers kept the fast-paced Thunder to a single goal in the second and third quarters, returning eight majors of their own in the process.
Kaine Stevens, who last year received the Alex Jesaulenko medal for winning the club's best and fairest award, led the way for the Tigers with four goals and 18 disposals.
Tigers player-coach Kade Klemke, who spent the 2009 season on Essendon's rookie list, demonstrated leadership through his ferocious tackling and unselfish ball-use.
18 year-old small forward Ben Fulford proved difficult to contain, kicking three important goals for the Tigers, including two in the first quarter.
Skipper Toby Conroy was also busy for the Tigers, stamping his influence on the game through the midfield and around stoppages.
On a sour note, new Tigers recruit Beau Walker was stretchered off in the second quarter after sustaining a horrific ankle injury in a marking contest.
For Northern Territory, skipper Cameron Ilett was brilliant, finding the ball at will and bringing teammates into the game in a well-rounded performance.
Exciting small forward Baydon Ngalkin kicked two goals for the Thunder and was creative with his ball use.
Promising centre half-forward William Farrer demonstrated his extreme athleticism, presenting well and showing off his impressive leap.
Julian Lockwood was solid in defence, while midfielder Brad Vassal worked tirelessly throughout four quarters.
The Thunder was without former Melbourne player Austin Wonaeamirri, as well as damaging forward Darren Ewing who had kicked eight goals for the Thunder the previous Saturday.
The Tigers travel to Etihad Stadium to play Werribee in round one of the Foxtel Cup on Tuesday, May 28.
Queanbeyan 2.3 6.5 10.6 13.10 (88)
Northern Territory 2.2 3.3 3.8 4.9 (35)
Queanbeyan: Stevens 4, Fulford 3, Quade 3, Griggs, Conroy, Kavanagh.
Northern Territory: Ngalkin 2, Ilett, Dunn.
Queanbeyan: Stevens, Klemke, Fulford, Conroy.
Northern Territory: Ilett, Ngalkin, Lockwood, Vassal.
Queanbeyan: Walker (ankle)
Northern Territory: Nil