Something had to give in this meeting of the two frontrunners in Wynnum-Manly Juniors vs Easts Juniors in the U19s Southside Ted Beaumont Trophy in a rivalry spanning back decades.
The Seagulls outfit were too good for the Tigers, running in five tries to three in the hard-fought 28-18 victory played at Emerson Park, the Grange, last Saturday.
In a frenetic contest bathed in beautiful autumn sunshine, the Seagulls came into the match confident of an upset win against the highly rated Tigers and it was on the 10th minute that Wynnum lock and captain Elliott Davis drew first blood, with a determined run that saw the playmaking forward cross beside the sticks.
Six minutes later and on the back of a fantastic kicking game by Seagulls halfback Jackson Krause, the ball was swung out wide and a neat cross-field kick by Nathan Bell found centre Jaiden Gream who collected the ball and dived over in the corner to score a fantastic Seagulls try.
With Nathan Bell slotting the conversion from the sideline, the Seagulls had the Tigers rattled early on with their foot to the throttle start that had the Tigers on the back foot.
The Tigers worked hard to get back into the match and special mention to forwards Takai Mokohar and Finn Barnes who laid the platform for the Tigers first try as prop and captain Mason Pakai smashed his way through the Seagulls defence in a one-man demolition job to put the Tigers on the board.
With the match still being played at a frantic pace, there was no room for complacency by either side, but a lapse in concentration by the Seagulls defence saw Tigers Eli Noovao burrow his way over from dummy half to go in to score right on the halftime hooter.
Tiger’s halfback Mark Newman lobbed the conversion over the black dot to see both sides go to the break locked up at 12-12.
The script couldn’t have been written any better in this match. Both sides again taking the second half just as hard and fast as the first stanza. Wynnum’s Krause and fullback Sam McKenna were sensational for the Seagulls as was the Tigers Jesse Enright and inspirational captain Pakai.
A superb 40/20 kick by halfback Krause for the Seagulls saw the Baysiders in good field position 20m out from the Tigers line. From the ensuing scrum, Krause would fire out a superb cutout pass that found winger Bell unmarked and the point-scoring machine planted the ball down in the corner.
East’s could have easily folded at this stage, however tireless captain Pakai and hooker Jacob Navybox did anything but, with both players still muscling up in defence.
Another superb try from winger Bell in the corner saw the highly rated Seagull bag an impressive personal haul of 14 points to see Wynnum edge out to a 28-12 lead.
With two minutes remaining, a consolation try to Tigers centre Barry Bobongie wasn’t enough for a late comeback with the Seagulls hanging on for a spirited 28-18 win.
Final score Wynnum-Manly Seagulls 28 def East’s Tigers 18.