The Wynnum Manly Seagulls overcame a sluggish start to defeat the Tweed Heads Seagulls yesterday, scoring six tries to two at BMD Kougari Oval.
Wynnum were threatened early by their opposition, with Tweed controlling the field position early, leading to a bustling Jackson Clarke try near the sticks to open the account for the visitors.
The visiting Seagulls looked dangerous in the opening minutes, earning repeat sets and working their way into attacking territory seemingly with ease early.
“We didn’t control the ball as well as we’d like in the first 25 minutes,” Wynnum coach John Buchanan said.
“We were flat to start with, but once we got into the flow of game we were good.”
After an underwhelming performance against against the Cutters in Moranbah last round, plenty of red and green players were seeking redemption, amongst them centre Mitchell Buckett whose two missed tackles last week led to early points.
“It’s no secret he [Buckett] was poor last week,” Buchanan pointed out. “I told him he really needed to show me something this week or he may not be there.”
And that the big man did; his first half littered with damaging runs, with Buchanan commending his outside back post-game, labelling his game as “tough and physical”.
Winger Daniel Wallace, in his return to Cup, would eventually get Wynnum level, finishing of a tight blind side play down the left hand side on the back of their first quality ball set.
The Tweed attack continued to question the Wynnum defence however, often looking to the kicking game to find a responding blow.
A penalty inside their attack 20m saw them find the lead again in 32nd minute, with Sam Meskell successfully turning one of their eight first-half penalties into go-ahead points.
Coincidentally, Wynnum would return the favour minutes later, riding a penalty into attacking position to send usual try-scoring suspect Daniel Ogden in the left-hand corner for his 15th of the season.
The second half was not as tightly contested, Tweed seemingly switching off for certain periods, allowing a trio of Wynnum tries within 10 minutes.
Crowd favourite John Te Reo gave the Chook Pen his patented post-try celebration when he snuck in for his first try this season in the 52nd minute.
Mitchell Cronin followed in the 57th after a quality ball from Mathew Seamark, before skipper Patrick Templeman added one in the 60th, completing a long-range set that started with a Mitch Moore line break deep inside their own territory.
Tweed would struggle to find attacking form for much of the second half, with a lack of execution on set plays and a spirited Wynnum defence making it hard to find scoring opportunities.
“That’s unfortunately been the case for us for a lot of the season,” Tweed Heads coach Aaron Zimmerle said.
“We play great for 60 minutes and then lose concentration – it’s costing us games.
"We really need to understand that there are consequences for those lapses of concentration – your team-mates suffer for it.”
Tweed centre Doug Hewitt would help tighten the margin after he burrowed in from dummy half in the 74th minute before his team would again look a chance a few minutes later after a strong bust from winger Leva Li.
However, Wynnum Manly would find it’s icing when lock Nicholas Harrold ran a picture-perfect line for a four-pointer on the siren.
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 34 (Daniel Wallace, Daniel Ogden, John Te Reo, Mitchell Cronin, Patrick Templeman, Nicholas Harrold tries; Mathew Seamark 5 goals) def TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 14 (Jackson Clarke, Brian Kelly tries; Sam Meskell 2, Doug Hewitt goals) at BMD Kougari Oval.