The Wynnum Manly Seagulls are the FOGS Colts Challenge premiers for 2016 after proving too strong for the Easts Tigers winning 34-12 at Suncorp Stadium today.
Seagulls half back Aaron Booth fittingly received man of the match honours, scoring two tries and setting up two more for his wingers with some spectacular kicks.
It was the perfect start for the Seagulls in the game – and it was one that all teams hope to achieve in a grand final match.
Centre William Toloi was able to cross in the corner to open the scoring for the Seagulls who were on the hunt for the premiership after going to Burleigh at the same venue in the decider last year.
Steven Tatipata, Booth, Mitipere Tuatai and Dale Madden also went over in the first half to set up a dominant 24-0 lead in first half.
This came despite the fact they fumbled three times from the kick off. Despite the miscommunications; the Gulls were able to rely on their strong defensive effort to hold out a dangerous Tigers pack.
It was going to take a big comeback for the Tigers, who took a tough road to get to the grand final winning two golden point matches, to get back into the game.
They started their second half attack brilliantly with back-to-back tries, with winger Connor Jones and speedy centre Hayden Bishop scoring to bring the score to a respectable 24-12 with in the 50th minute.
With the Tigers lifting and needing only two converted tries to level the scores; the Seagulls looked as though they might have left all their efforts on the field in the first half.
It looked as though it might be a similar situation to last year’s decider when they let a strong lead to fall to the Bears who started their comeback early in the second and ran away with the victory.
However, history did not repeat itself and the Seagulls proved they were the minor premiers for a reason. Two late tries to Booth and an impressive Madden put the game to rest for the Wynnum Manly side.
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 34 (Aaron Booth 2, Dale Madden 2, William Toloi, Steven Tatipata, Mitipere Tuatai tries; Aaron Booth 3 goals) def EASTS TIGERS 12 (Connor Jones, Hayden Bishop tries; Matthew Richards 2 goals) at Suncorp Stadium. (Halftime: Wynnum Manly 24-0)
Man of Match: Aaron Booth (Wynnum Manly)
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