Desperate Seahawks seize chance
Tugun has booked their place in a fourth consecutive Coast-2-Coast Bycroft Cup grand final thanks to a 36-16 win over Bilambil in the preliminary final at Boyd Street.
The defending premiers bolted out of the gates early to jump to a 20-0 lead before halftime.
Dan Backo, Adam Barnes, Cameron Moran and Joel Sykes all got in on the try-scoring action and established early that the Seahawks had turned up with the right attitude.
“I think there was a little bit more desperation in today’s effort,” Seahawks coach Selwyn Apanui said.
“Last week I think the boys knew that we had another week up our sleeve regardless of the result. That wasn’t the way we approached today.
“We knew coming into today that next week we might not get to turn up for training on Tuesday because this could be the end of our season.”
Bilambil were in danger of being blown away but they bounced back five minutes before halftime with a try to Brad Jones.
The Seahawks though were quick to re-establish their dominance after the break with Chris Hodges powering his way over the line in the 42nd minute.
Hodges, along with Martin Griese, had an enormous impact off the bench while Daniel Webb and Robert Apanui were tremendous in the middle of the park.
Tugun’s core group of senior players stood up on the day and were the best on the field.
Bilambil wouldn’t lie down and crossed for back-to-back tries in the 65th and 67th minutes, but ultimately two more tries from Joel Sykes ensured the Seahawks finished with a comfortable win.
The result brings Bilambil’s remarkable season to an end.
The Jets won just three of their first ten games this season, but picked up seven wins from their next nine on their way to the preliminary finals.
“It’s unfortunate, I would have liked to have seen us play a little bit better today, but I’m really proud of how we finished the season, that’s for sure,” Jets coach Scott Cooke said.
“Did we expect to get as far as we did? Maybe not, but we showed some great character to get there and had some really good wins in the last seven weeks or so.”
Tugun goes on to meet minor premiers Southport in the Coast-2-Coast Bycroft Cup grand final on Sunday, September 14.
Earlier in the day Burleigh defeated Tugun 20-18 in reserve grade and Cudgen knocked off Burleigh 14-12 in the under 19s.