A length of the field try late in the game saw the Tugun Seahawks come from behind to defeat the Burleigh Bears 24-22 at Pizzey Park.
The Seahawks had trailed for the entire game but with just ten minutes to go Seahawks hooker Brandon Wakeling produced one of the tries of the season.
Starting from dummy half inside his own 20, Wakeling showed terrific speed and elusiveness to beat several Burleigh defenders and run away from the fullback to score under the posts and give Tugun their first lead of the day.
“He’s just a freak,” Seahawks coach Selwyn Apanui said.
“He’s a track and field champion from PBC and I’ve coached him from about 13 years of age. I know exactly what he’s capable of. He’s just an out and out finisher.”
The match itself was a roller coaster and exactly what has come to be expected from these meetings.
It was a physically demanding, heated and emotional game of rugby league giving the good crowd at Pizzey Park plenty to be vocal about.
Burleigh led 16-10 at the break and extended it to 20-10 ten minutes into the second half.
Everything seemed to be under control for the Bears at that point, but Tugun is a club that can never be counted out.
A try to Joel Sykes in the 67th minute got the ball rolling and Wakeling’s long range try off the next set put Tugun in front. A penalty goal apiece in the final ten minutes saw the final score of 24-22.
The win means Tugun claim the Crackers/Tangata-Toa Cup (named after club legends Mark “Crackers” Goodwin and Joe Tangata-Toa) for the sixth time in the Cup’s seven year history.
“It’s just Tugun and Burleigh, isn’t it?” Apanui said.
“At the end of the day it’s not about winning a game of footy it’s about beating Burleigh. That’s typical of this Tugun/Burleigh rivalry.
“Had it been some other side we may have just let it go when we were ten points down, but because it was Burleigh, no way.
“(Winning the Cup) is a massive thing. Crackers is all over himself and thinks he’s still playing footy. He gets to relive his football career through winning these cups and being a part of Tugun.
“That’s what we are about. We’re a big family club and we look after our past players as well as our future players.”
In other Coast-2-Coast Bycroft Cup results Southport thumped Bilambil 50-4, Tweed Heads beat Cudgen 40-16 and Currumbin picked up their first win of the season beating Runaway Bay 24-10.
TUGUN SEAHAWKS 24 (D Nash, J Sykes, D Backo, B Wakeling tries V Buataua 4 goals) def BURLEIGH BEARS 22 (D Clark, C Toia, W Wanahi, C Elliott tries W Wanahi 3 goals) at Pizzey Park.