THE points flowed at Piggabeen Sports yesterday as the Tweed Heads Seagulls scored a big 60-28 win over the visiting PNG Hunters in their round 19 Intrust Super Cup match.
One of the biggest crowds seen at the northern NSW ground in recent years were treated to an entertaining, free-flowing match as the Seagulls continued their unbeaten run – with this result their 11th game in a row without a loss.
Interestingly – it was the Hunters back in round 7 in Kokopo Oval who were last able to inflict a defeat on the black and white stripes.
While the Hunters looked the stronger outfit in the first moments of the match, looking refreshed from a week off; it was the Seagulls who could do no wrong in the first half, going out to an impressive 32-0 lead following tries to Ricardo Parata from an intercept, co-captains Matt King and James Wood, Queensland Residents forward Pele Peletelese, halfback Michael Burgess and forward Cory Blair.
At the return to the field – again it was the Hunters who looked dangerous early – and it appeared they would get their first points after a break by Dion Aiye sparked a powerful Noel Zemming run that for all money looked like producing points.
However, the Seagulls held them out and were able to turn defence into attack with Jamal Fogarty (moved to five-eighth for this match) scoring at the other end of the field after a Blair flick-pass and fortuitous bounce from a Wood kick ahead.
A rare Tweed Heads error gave the Hunters their first real opportunity and it was taken with the returning Thompson Teteh crossing for the first of his two tries for the afternoon.
The two sides then went try for try as Tweed Heads (via Blake Anderson) and Willie Minoga (Hunters) crossed in quick succession.
The home side then went on another roll, with Luke Dumas and then both Parata and Burgess crossing for their second tries; resulting in a 60-10 lead for the Seagulls with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Another Tweed error gave the Hunters some much-needed possession and this sparked a mini-revival from the Hunters – who then ran in four tries in a row with Zemming crossing, followed by Aiye and big winger Garry Lo – who is now out in front of the leading try scorers tally with 19.
In the final minute of the match, Teteh went over to get his second – giving the Hunters some hope of carrying some positive momentum into their next game – a match at home in Kokopo against the Sunshine Coast. Tweed Heads will have the bye next weekend.
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 60 (Ricardo Parata 2, Michael Burgess 2, Blake Anderson, Luke Dumas, James Wood, Jamal Fogarty, Matt King, Cory Blair, Pele Peletelese tries; Jamal Fogarty 7, Blake Anderson goals) def PNG HUNTERS 28 (Thompson Teteh 2, Garry Lo, Noel Zemming, Dion Aiye, Willie Minoga tries; Noel Zemming 2 goals) at Piggabeen Sports.
Tweed Heads Seagulls: 1. Tom Merritt 2. Blake Anderson 3. Luke Dumas 4. James Wood (c) 5. Ricardo Parata 6. Jamal Fogarty 7. Michael Burgess 8. Reg Saunders 9. Matt King (c) 10. Damian Sironen 11. Cory Blair 12. Zac Friend 13. Trent Richardson 14. Sam Saville 18. Paul Stephenson 16. Ayden Lee 17. Pele Peletelese
PNG Hunters: 1. Israel Eliab (c) 2. Garry Lo 3. Noel Zemming 4. Adex Wera 5. Jason Tali 6. Dion Aiye 7. Roger Laka 8. David Loko 9. Lawrence Tu'u 10. Brandy Peter 11. George Benson 12. Sebastian Pandia 13. Adam Korave 14. Wartovo Puara 15. Willie Minoga 18. Thompson Teteh 17. Timothy Lomai