The Wynnum Manly Seagulls were too forceful in the middle of the park for the Papua New Guinea Hunters, as they accounted for the visitors 36-18 at BMD Kougari Oval today.
Coach Jon Buchanan was full of praise for middle forwards Aaron Rockley and Brendon Gibb, citing their relentless work ethic for paving the way for the home side’s victory.
Former Norths Devils’ captain Gibb picked up his second players’ player award in as many weeks and his hard-nosed style has quickly earned him respect from his team mates, coaching staff and the Seagulls’ faithful.
After graduating from the Brisbane Broncos Under 20s team last year, Rockley has grown each week into his role as a front row leader for one of the best forward packs in the competition.
As the Seagulls dominated the forward battle, Hunters coach Michael Marum would be disappointed with his side’s ball control and execution of their sets. All too often a ball would go astray or a bad pass committed whenever an opportunity presented itself.
The Hunters have lacked cohesion thus far in 2015 however all Intrust Super Cup sides remain wary of Marum’s men, knowing they are all but impossible to stop once their attacking movements are in full flight.
Late in the first half and the game still close at 10-6 to Wynnum, veteran utility John Te Reo sparked the home side’s attack into life with a sublime try.
Half Matt Seamark rolled a grubber into the Hunters’ in-goal which looked certain to run dead, but Te Reo was up for the task, diving for the ball and putting it down just before the dead ball line.
It turned out to be the tipping point in the match, as it enlivened the Chook Pen and kicked off a flurry of tries for the home side.
The Seagulls went on to post three more tries through Olsi Krasniqi, Daniel Ogden and Greg Eden to extend the scoreline out to 34-6.
The Hunters would score two consolation tries but it was all too late for the visitors to come back into the match.
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 36 (Daniel Ogden, Greg Eden, Alehana Mara, Mitchell Frei, Olsi Krasniqi, John Te Reo tries; Matthew Seamark 6 goals) def PNG HUNTERS 18 (Israel Eliab, Esau Siune, Brandy Peter tries; Noel Zeming 3 goals) 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. Brendon Gibb 12. Jon Grieve 13. Mitchell Frei 14. Olsi Krasniqi 15. John Te Reo 16. Tanu Wulf 17. Tim Natusch
PNG Hunters: 1. Stargroth Amean 2. Oti Bland Tony 3. Noel Zeming 24. Kato Ottio 5. Edward Goma 6. Israel Eliab (c) 7. Roger Laka 8. Henry Noki 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Esau Siune 11. Willie Minoga 12. Brandy Peter 13. Warren Glare 14. Atte Bina 20. Timothy Lomai 16. David Lapua 18. Ase Boas