In a fierce return battle from a week ago, the Easts Tigers hit back and defeated the Wynnum Manly Seagulls 18-12 at BMD Kougari Oval yesterday.
The Tigers benefitted greatly from the return of Melbourne Storm pair Cameron Munster and Felise Kaufusi for the Intrust Super Cup finals match. Munster especially was very busy from the back and scored the important go-ahead try to collect the XXXX man of the match award.
Wynnum were leading for the majority of the first half, however an early second half try to Richie Kennar had the visitors in front 8-6. In the 62nd minute, Cody Walker found his fullback sweeping out the back to outpace the cover defence and score in the right hand corner.
The Munster try put the Tigers in front 14-6 and despite a late Granville try, the home side was not able to regain the lead.
The home side opened the scoring in the fifth minute through their try scoring left back rower, Mitchell Frei. Wynnum half Ben Cronin put a troublesome grubber into the Easts in-goal which the visitors struggled to hold onto, allowing Frei to collect and put it down.
Five minutes later Easts missed an easy opportunity to strike back through Kennar on the right edge, however his centre Hymel Hunt’s final pass was off the mark.
The Tigers were getting the better of the grind by the midpoint of the first half and had two more close try opportunities when captain Steven Thorpe was held up close to the line and Kennar was forced out when attempting to score on the right flank.
They would eventually break through when Walker bumped and skipped his way past Wynnum defenders to force a line break. Once in open space, the future South Sydney Rabbitoh passed to Hunt who linked with Donald Malone to scoot away for the four pointer.
Jacob Fauid would surprisingly stray the conversion despite being close to the posts and the two sides were locked up at 4 all.
Late in the half Wynnum started to gather momentum and had some decent opportunities in the Tigers red zone. Mitchell Buckett thought he had put the home side in front when he latched onto another Cronin grubber however the video referee correctly adjudicated a knock on.
The Seagulls were able to take two points out of their closing dominance, when Matthew Seamark converted a penalty to have the home side in front 6-4 at half time.
Kennar would finally find the try line after a Fauid cross kick minutes into the second half couldn’t be brought down by Wynnum and the Tigers winger was there to scoop up the spoils.
Wynnum receive significant value out of the hooker position with both Jake Granville and John Te Reo both making strong contributions to Wynnum’s effort. Te Reo has troubled Intrust Super Cup sides for years with his footwork at the line and ball playing ability.
Granville is an NRL star in waiting, with dynamic and direct running out of dummy half which has made him Cowboys bound. The rake spearheaded Wynnum’s resurgence by creating multiple try scoring opportunities however he could only convert one.
After the Munster try, with five minutes remaining and the score at 16-6 to the visitors, Granville forced another compelling finish when he dashed right from dummy half, hit and spin off Tigers defenders before diving over the line. Seamark duly converted to make it 16-12
However an improved defensive effort on the previous week meant the match finished in the Tigers’ favour. The visitors worked hard in getting numbers in the tackle and consequently not allowing the big Wynnum forward pack to dominate.
Malone converted a late penalty goal to round out the scoring.
Wynnum Manly Seagulls v Easts Tigers at BMD Kougari Oval on Sunday, September 7 – 2pm
EASTS TIGERS 18 (Cameron Munster, Richie Kennar, Donald Malone tries; Donald Malone 2, Cody Walker goals) def WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 12 (Jake Granville, Mitchell Frei tries; Matthew Seamark 2 goals) 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 8. Tanu Wulf 9. Jake Granville 10. Timothy Natusch (c) 11. Jon Grieve 12. Graham Clark 13. Mitchell Frei 14. John Te Reo 15. Chris McLean 16. Ben Shea 17. Dylan Smith
Easts Tigers: 1. Cameron Munster 2. Jarrod McInally 3. Shane Neumann 4. Hymel Hunt 5. Richie Kennar 6. Jacob Fauid 7. Cody Walker 8. Steven Thorpe (c) 9. Tom Butterfield 18. Felise Kaufusi 11. Dane Hogan 12. Troy Giess 13. Donald Malone 14. Liam McDonald 15. Matthew Zgrajewski 16. Kenny Bromwich 17. Joel Romelo