The Wynnum Manly Seagulls have continued to turn around their turbulent start to the season, defeating Tweed Heads 30-16 at Piggabeen Sports Complex, making it four straight since opening with zero wins from six matches.
Coming off a 62-16 demolition of Mackay last week, Coach Jon Buchanan named an unchanged side for the first time since 2015.
“It hasn’t happened this year [unchanged list], so it’s pleasing” said Buchanan before the clash.
“I honestly can’t remember the last time it happened, but it’s good to do it for the first time this year.”
Replacing hat-trick hero David Sheridan, back-line utility Shaun Carney was tested early by Wynnum, Daniel Ogden winning the aerial battle to claim a Patrick Templeman bomb in the seventh minute to get the ball rolling for Wynnum.
Wynnum again looked dangerous a few sets later when fullback Greg Eden sent Ogden through a gap on a kick-return but it was Tweed who would notch the next try, lock-forward Sam Saville stepping off the right foot to answer for Tweed Heads.
The match would go through a stale period for much of the rest of the second half as a dour wrestle for control slogged out in centre field.
Tweed Heads, armed with a bigger pack in 2016, did not shirk the interior battle, contrasting past strategies to play laterally “out of necessity” as described by Tweed coach Aaron Zimmerle.
Eventually this lull was broken by Patrick Templeman who pounced on a fifth tackle handling error by Tweed before racing away 30m to record his eighth try of the season.
Following a penalty deep in their own half, Tweed managed to string together a final-minute attack swoop in which winger Leva Li bolted down the left wing, but his failure to get the ball back inside to supporting centre Karl Lawton meant the score remained 14-6 going into the halftime break.
The start of the second half opened with Ogden finishing off a nice cut-out pass from Eden to extend the lead to 18-6 after Matt Seamark missed from out wide.
Eight minutes later Tweed were in attacking position again, the home side using the field position to return fire after Lawton offloaded a ball to fullback Shannon Walker who came back in field to serve up a try to Sam Irwin.
The next score came in the 61st minute when Mitch Cronin took flight for Wynnum, the attacking kicking game of Seamark returning to typical form.
Tweed looked a chance to bring this game to a grand-stand finish with a few late opportunities and a try to Michael Burgess, but Wynnum kept control, also adding a late try to Alex Barr in the 73rd minute.
Tweed Heads, who were also defending a run of victories, became the fourth notch on the belt for the boys from the Bayside, who hope to collect their second home victory at BMD Kougari Oval next week against the CQ Capras.
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 30 (Daniel Ogden 2, Patrick Templeman, Mitchell Cronin, Alex Barr tries; Matthew Seamark 5 Goals) def TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 16 (Samuel Saville, Samuel Irwin, Michael Burgess tries; Samuel Meskell, Michael Burgess goals) at Piggabeen Sports Complex