For the second consecutive week, the Wynnum Manly Seagulls have scraped home for a last minute win after defeating the Easts Tigers at BMD Kougari Oval yesterday.
The hot conditions reflected the fire in the match, as the two rivals resumed their fierce battles from the previous season with tensions spilling over multiple times and players sent to the sin-bin.
A late try to Brisbane Bronco and Super League recruit Greg Eden in front of a raucous Chook Pen was the deciding factor, pushing the home side in front 18-14 in the dying minutes.
Wynnum head coach, Jon Buchanan, who was also celebrating his 50th game coaching in the Intrust Super Cup, described the win as ugly and was critical of his players’ ball handling.
He praised the efforts of new recruit and former Norths Devils captain Brendan Gibb for his energy and work rate in the middle of the park. Gibb was voted players’ player by his teammates and really lifted the home side when the game was in the balance.
The Tigers were very unlucky not to come away with the two points and the game could have gone either way in the second half.
Easts’ Melbourne Storm fullback Cameron Munster showed some class touches at the back for the visitors..
Concerns were held for the elusive fullback when he injured his neck midway through the second half, however he was able to complete the match.
With 25 minutes remaining, the score was 12-10 in favour of the home side and the game was on a knife edge.
Wynnum repeatedly gave away piggy back penalties as the Tigers were returning the ball off their line, allowing the visitors plenty of momentum and opportunities on the Seagulls’ line.
They eventually broke through when former Northern Pride half Shaun Nona delivered a cross kick which Eden couldn’t bring down, and Storm centre Mahe Fonua collected the scraps for the try.
The conversion was unsuccessful and Easts held a slim lead 14-12 with minutes on the clock.
A perfectly executed short kick-off saw centre Mitchell Buckett bat the ball back for an on-coming Mitchell Frei and the Seagulls grabbed the match with both hands a couple of tackles later.
Former Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs’ half Patrick Templeman weighed up the defensive line and dropped a pinpoint chip kick to Eden alone on the left flank for the putdown.
The Wynnum Manly Seagulls also used the first home game of the season to host their Family Fun Day, sponsored by the local Wynnum Herald. There were plenty of activities for children and Queensland sport legends Petero Civoniceva and Ian Healy were on hand to promote the event.
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 18 (Peter Gubb, Greg Eden, Brendan McKinnon tries; Matthew Seamark 3 goals) def EASTS TIGERS 14 (Cameron Munster, Shane Neumann, Mahe Fonua tries; Shaun Nona goal) at BMD Kougari Oval.
Wynnum Manly Seagulls: 1. Daniel Ogden 2. Peter Gubb 3. Matthew Grieve 4. Mitchell Buckett 5. Greg Eden 6. Patrick Templeman 7. Matthew Seamark (c) 8. Ben Shea 9. Alehana Mara 10. Aaron Rockley 11. Olsi Krasniqi 12. John Te Reo 13. Mitchell Frei 14. Brendan McKinnon 15. Brendon Gibb 16. Tanu Wulf 17. Stephen Coombe
Easts Tigers: 1. Cameron Munster 2. Richie Kennar 3. Shane Neumann 4. Mahe Fonua 5.Donald Malone 6. Shaun Nona 7. Joel Romelo 8. Matthew Zgrajewski 9. Tommy Butterfield 10. Christian Welch 12. Jake Foster 13. Troy Giess 14. Liam McDonald 15. Francis Tualau 16. Dean Britt 17. Liam Tyson 20.