The Northern Pride fell just shy of a game winning resurgence on Saturday night, with a 75th minute Travis Burns penalty goal enough for the Gulls to claim their second victory of the season with a 20-18 result.
In a game where Wynnum Manly looked in control for most the game, a frantic final quarter from the Pride brought the excitement back for those at the BMD Kougari home opener.
Penalties would be a common occurrence for both sides throughout the game and the Seagulls were the first to capitalise when David Mead found space outside a decoy runner before turning it back inside to fullback Daniel Ogden.
Using a penalty of their own, the Pride almost returned fire minutes later through a set move that found Marcus Jensen on the outside, before running out of space.
The kicking game between the two teams’ playmakers was certainly on show at Kougari, with booming field-position punts and crafty attacking chips featuring throughout the contest.
Burns would use said kicking game to guide his side to their second try, kicking early in the tackle count and catching out Pride winger Jensen.
Under extreme pressure from Mead, Jensen bobbled the ball in retreat; the error handing winger Jack Goodsell his maiden try in Wynnum colours.
Another mishandled kick would lead to Wynnum Manly points again in the second half, and Burns again made life hard for the Pride back three – this time fullback Khan Ahwang the victim of towering Burns bomb.
The consequent scrum would provide the platform for Mitchell Cronin to squirt out from lock to send five-eighth William Brimson over to join the home side’s try-scoring sheet.
The three score deficit wouldn’t last long, with an Alex Barr dropped ball on the ensuing Seagull seeing the Pride finally capitalise on an attacking opportunity as halfback Jared Allen muscled over from short-range.
This would spark a scintillating 15-minute period for the Pride.
Connor Jones capped off an early contender for try of the year in the 65th minute, a long pass finding centre Gideon Gela-Mosby who chipped the ball back in field to find team-mate Jordan Biondi-Odo who soccered the ball forward past Ogden for Jones to win the footrace to the ball.
The long range efforts weren’t done. Superstar Javid Bowen would turn defence into attack for the Pride, intercepting a pass and racing away 90m to tie up the ball game after a successful Ahwang conversion.
The comeback would fall short however, with Wynnum Manly holding on to a two-point lead after kicking a go-ahead penalty goal with five minutes remaining.
Wynnum now look to keep their winning record intact as they travel to Stradbroke Island to play the Tweed Head Seagulls, while the Pride will host the Sunshine Coast.
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 20 (Daniel Ogden, Jack Goodsell, William Brimson tries; Travis Burns 4 goals) def NORTHERN PRIDE 18 (Jared Allen, Connor Jones, Javid Bowen tries; Khan Ahwang 3 goals) at BMD Kougari Oval.