THE Tweed Heads Seagulls extended their unbeaten run to 10 matches following their tough 30-22 win over Redcliffe at Dolphin Oval yesterday afternoon.
For much of the second half – it was a game that could have gone either way following a spirited Dolphins comeback – but in the end it was a concerted defensive effort from the Seagulls that decided the result.
When Redcliffe threatened to take the game away from them – the experienced head of James Wood proved crucial – with the veteran back twice ensuring the pressing Dolphins would not cross, taking an intercept and also showing good desperation to pick up a loose pass off the ground.
The Tweed defence also frustrated the Dolphins; with some players letting it get the better of them in a scrappy end to the game.
Overall, it was a strong performance who the Gulls who after an even start from both sides, posted two quick tries – one through brute force from Pele Peletelese and the other from pure speed from Tom Merritt.
The first half produced a point-scoring flurry from both sides, with the Dolphins quick to respond, with young winger Oliver Regan going over before the Seagulls extended their lead once again thanks to Ayden Lee.
A late inclusion for the Seagulls, Titan Albert Kelly played his part in Tweed’s next try, building on some good work from Kalifa Faifai Loa to sprint downfield before passing back inside to fullback Jamal Fogarty to score.
From then however, the rest of the half belonged to the home side, with the Dolphins capitalising on their chances close to the Tweed line. Aaron Whitchurch’s four-pointer came after some clever work from Cameron Cullen and was soon followed by another try – this time to Zach Strasser when a dropped ball gave the Dolphins possession.
Although behind 24-16 at halftime; the Dolphins carried their momentum with them into the second half, with Joe Bradley opening the scoring early. With the conversion from Adrian Davis successful, the Dolphins were only two points behind – trailing 24-22 to set up a tense finish.
However, despite putting the Gulls under sustained pressure, the Dolphins were not able to get over the line; while a try to Faifai Loa and a late penalty goal at the other end of the field sealed the win for the visitors – their first against the Dolphins in their past seven attempts.
It may have been costly however, with the Seagulls left with a one-man bench by the end of the match; with Tom Kingston, Sam Irwin and Caleb Binge all unable to finish the game.
In round 19 – Tweed Heads will host the PNG Hunters, while the Dolphins will make the short trip up the road to take on the Falcons.
See the highlights from the game here: Redcliffe v Tweed Heads
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 30 (Jamal Fogarty, Tom Merritt, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Pele Peletelese, Ayden Lee tries; Jamal Fogarty 5 goals) def REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 22 (Joe Bradley, Oliver Regan, Aaron Whitchurch, Zach Strasser tries; Adrian Davis 3 goals) at Dolphin Oval.
1. Joe Bradley 2. Oliver Regan 3. Aaron Whitchurch 4. Marty Hatfield (c) 5. Liam Georgetown 6. Zach Strasser 7. Adrian Davis 8. Tyson Cleal 9. Hayden Hansen 10. Martin Cordwell 11. Jake Marketo 12. Constantine Mika 13. Tui Samoa 14. Cameron Cullen 15. Sarafu Fatiaki 16. Jared Cherry 17. Caleb Hoffmann
Tweed Heads Seagulls
1. Jamal Fogarty 2. Tom Merritt 3. Albert Kelly 4. James Wood (c) 5. Kalifa Faifai Loa 6. Sam Irwin 7. Michael Burgess 8. Reg Saunders 9. Matt King (c) 10. Pele Peletelese 11. Cody Nelson 18. Caleb Binge 13. Tom Kingston 14. Blake Anderson 15. Chris Piper 16. Damian Sironen 17. Ayden Lee