Gulls win historic Stradbroke clash
Fans enjoy the view from the clubhouse at North Stradbroke's Ron Stark Oval.
Round 19 saw Intrust Super Cup football played at North Stradbroke Island for the first time as the Wynnum Manly Seagulls moved their home game to the picturesque Ron Stark Oval to meet the Central Queensland Capras.
Deadly Choices and the Redland City Council sponsored the Indigenous Recognition game with both sides wearing jerseys inspired by aboriginal art. All participants acknowledged the traditional owners of the land, the Quandamooka people as NAIDOC week drew to a close with a special celebration of rugby league.
The game started in surreal fashion when the Capras’ opening kick-off went dead as it bounced off the cross bar. Wynnum were then able to strike in the opening set of the game when centre Mitchell Buckett held defenders at bay to score in the left corner.
Buckett was over the line again just five minutes later. After some strong carries by the Seagulls forwards which drew the Capras’ defence in tight, fullback Daniel Ogden found some space sweeping out the back to offload for his centre to finish.
There were concerns for Seagulls prop Ben Shea who sustained an ankle injury early in the game. The hard carrying front-rower has been an important cog in the Wynnum engine room for many years and the club will hope he will not be out for long.
Despite the injury, Wynnum continued to make in-roads through their strong forward running and hooker Alehana Mara took advantage to score beside the posts from a sharp run out of dummy-half.
Passionate winger Peter Gubb then extended the Seagulls lead as he busted over the line and celebrated his 29th Intrust Super Cup try with a roar of emotion. Gubb was relentless in his carries and again set the standard for every set.
Just before half time the Capras scored their first try through a well-placed kick from half Ian Webster. Mitch Zornig crossed over as centre Smith Samau forced the ball in the air back to the on coming back rower to finish. Wynnum lead the visitors 18-4 at the break.
The points then began to flow for the home side in the second half. Centre Matt Grieve picked up a try off a Matt Seamark grubber which confused Capras fullback Rhys Baker.
The John Te Reo – Tanu Wulf combination was on again as the former Broncos hooker found the Wynnum front rower with a flat ball at the line to score a try in identical fashion to their previous game.
Despite a commanding Wynnum lead, the Capras continued to ask questions and captain Gavin Hiscox crossed over close to the posts with 23 minutes remaining. The lock benefitted from a play that swept left to right and saw winger Marlon Doak jink his way back inside to make the defining pass.
However it would be a memorable day for the Seagulls’ Buckett who looked determined with every involvement in the match. He deservedly scored a hat trick when half Ben Cronin chipped the ball on the last tackle to the left hand corner for Buckett to make the put-down.
Interchange Wynnum prop Stephen Coombes also scored a late try as the home side took the victory in dominant fashion, 40-10.
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 40 (Mitchell Buckett 3, Peter Gubb, Matt Grieve, Alehana Mara, Stephen Coombe, Tanu Wulf tries; Matthew Seamark 3, John Te Reo goals) def CQ CAPRAS 10 (Mitch Zornig, Gavin Hiscox tries; Ian Webster goal) at Ron Stark Oval, Dunwich, Stradbroke Island.
Wynnum Manly Seagulls: 1. Daniel Ogden 2. Peter Gubb 3. Matt Grieve 4. Mitchell Buckett 5. Benaiah Bowie 6. Ben Cronin 7. Matthew Seamark 8. Benjamin Shea 9. Alehana Mara 10. Timothy Natusch (c) 11. Jon Grieve 12. Graham Clark 13. Mitchell Frei 14. John Te Reo 15. Stephen Coombe 16. Tanu Wulf 17. Dylan Smith
CQ Capras: 1. Reece Baker 18. Marlon Doak 3. Sam Madden 4. Smith Samau 5. Rhys Williams 6. Ian Webster 7. Shannon Rupapere 8. John Clayton 9. Mark Johnstone 10. Peter Gallen 11. Andrew Dale 12. Guy Williams 13. Gavin Hiscox (c) 14. Tom McKenzie 15. Clint Mooney 20. Arlin Paki 17. Mitch Zornig