Seagulls book finals berth
The Wynnum Manly Seagulls have booked their place in this year’s Intrust Super Cup finals series after an entertaining 28-10 victory over the PNG Hunters at BMD Kougari Oval.
More than 3000 spectators were in attendance, including a large Hunters contingent, creating an electric atmosphere that the players thrived in.
The Hunters play much like a Brazilian soccer team with their players interchanging positions and free forming their attacking structures at will. Back rowers were placing chip kicks, their halves were taking tough hit ups and each player had great footwork at the line.
Wynnum would be the Chelsea of the Intrust Super Cup, staying true to their structure and gaining confidence from consistent execution of their sets.
On Sunday the Seagulls were at their methodical best, as they convincingly put away the impressive Hunters with 14 points in each half to take the victory.
Wynnum Manly had the early running and many opportunities to open the scoring. They eventually broke through with Graham Clark who twisted his body through the line to score.
PNG then worked their way down field and moved the ball right to Thompson Teteh. The big centre was able to skip to the outside and bust through three Wynnum defenders for the try.
Minutes before half time Ben Cronin scored to the left of the posts to extend the home side’s lead to 12-4. The five-eighth did a show and go at the line which caught the Hunters’ middle defenders napping as they were tracking across.
Matt Seamark converted a penalty at halftime to have the Seagulls in front 14-4.
Two minutes into the second half Seamark was able to perfectly place a cross kick under immense pressure for Daniel Ogden to score. The playmaker stared down the defender and took a big whack straight after the ball left his boot, as winger Peter Gubb knocked it back in the air to his oncoming fullback.
To get back in the ball game, the Hunters heeded wise words from their supporters and “Got the ball to Garry!” The PNG fan favourite and leading try scorer of the Intrust Super Cup made his 23rd try of the campaign a memorable one.
The winger has become a cult hero to his nation and the reason was evident when he beat the Wynnum defence for pace on the outside and powerfully stepped across field to beat Ogden and cross to the left of the posts.
PNG at this stage were trailing 18-10 but were building momentum by offloading at will and tiring the Wynnum defence.
With 17 minutes to go, Lo thought he was in again when a long ball found him all alone on the left flank. However the try was called back due to a forward pass and the missed opportunity would prove costly for the visitors.
Midway through the second stanza, the Seagulls started to really grind out their sets and make some inroads back behind the ruck.
The home side would eventually be rewarded when Jordan Kahu scored off a long cut out ball from back rower Mitchell Frei.
The Brisbane Bronco had a strong outing, earning the players’ player award predominantly from his ability to beat the first defender with elite footwork and a powerful fend.
Trailing 22-10 with eight minutes remaining the Hunters fancied themselves to score points. However a kick off that went out on the full and a whole hearted cover tackle from Gubb on a flying Adex Wara would keep the vistors at bay.
A late Jake Granville try capped off a great display by the home side.
It was a historic day for the Wynnum Manly Seagulls club as earlier victories in the FOGS Cup and FOGS Colts sealed their first ever Club Championship. All three grades sung the club song in the Chook Pen surrounded by their loyal supporters to celebrate a wonderful year.
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 28 (Daniel Ogden, Jordan Kahu, Ben Cronin, Jake Granville, Graham Clark tries; Matthew Seamark 4 goals) def PNG HUNTERS 10 (Garry Lo, Thompson Teteh tries; Noel Zemming goal) at BMD Kougari Oval.
Wynnum Manly Seagulls: 1. Daniel Ogden 2. Peter Gubb 3. Matt Grieve 4. Mitchell Buckett 5. Jordan Kahu 6. Ben Cronin 7. Matthew Seamark 19. Bill Solah 9. Jake Granville 10. Timothy Natusch (c) 11. Jon Grieve 12. Graham Clark 13. Mitchell Frei 14. Lachlan Bristow 20. Saia Makisi 16. Chris McLean 17. Dylan Smith
PNG Hunters: 1. Israel Eliab (c) 2. Garry Lo 3. Thompson Teteh 4. Jason Tali 5. Adex Wera 6. Dion Aiye 7. Roger Laka 8. Timothy Lomai 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Esau Siune 11. Lawrence Tu'u 12. Sebastian Pandia 13. Brandy Peter 14. Noel Zemming 15. Willie Minoga 16. Stanton Albert 17. Albert Patak